Despite Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign, the country has dropped from 144 in 2018 to 146 in 2019 on the annual corruption perception index published by Transparency International.
The report revealed that Nigeria ranks 146 out of the 180 countries considered, behind Botswana (34), Rwanda (51) and Mauritius (56) among other African nations.
In 2017, Nigeria ranked 148, while it dropped to 144 in 2018. Nigeria’s current position means the most populous black nation is two steps lower to 146 in 2019.
Least Corrupt Countries
According to Transparency International, the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.
The index ranked 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
According to the report, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of just 43. Similar to previous years, the data shows that despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively.
The top countries (least corrupt) are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85).
Most Corrupt Countries
Meanwhile, the bottom countries (most corrupt) are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16).
In the last eight years, only 22 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Guyana and Estonia. In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia, and Nicaragua.
On the other hand, the Sub-Saharan Africa’s country ranks the lowest-scoring region on the CPI, with an average of 32. The performance of Sub-Saharan Africa paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption.
In its recommendation, Transparency International stated that to end corruption and restore trust in politics, it is imperative to prevent opportunities for political corruption and to foster the integrity of political systems.
As stated in the report, to end corruption, countries must manage conflicts of interest, control political financing, strengthen electoral integrity, regulate lobbying activities, tackle preferential treatment, empower citizens and reinforce checks and balances.
Basically, it was disclosed that governments should reduce the risk of undue influence in policy-making by tightening controls over the financial and other interests of government officials. Governments should also address “revolving doors”, establish cooling-off periods for former officials and ensure rules are properly enforced and sanctioned.
On political financing, it was stated that in order to prevent excessive money and influence in politics, governments should improve and properly enforce campaign finance regulations. Political parties should also disclose their sources of income, assets, and loans, and governments should empower oversight agencies with stronger mandates and appropriate resources.
It stated, “For democracy to be effective against corruption, governments must ensure that elections are free and fair. Preventing and sanctioning vote-buying and misinformation campaigns are essential to rebuilding trust in government and ensuring that citizens can use their vote to punish corrupt politicians.
“Governments should promote open and meaningful access to decision-making and consult a wider range of groups, beyond well-resourced lobbyists and a few private interests. Lobbying activities should be public and easily accessible.
“Governments should create mechanisms to ensure that service delivery and public resource allocation are not driven by personal connections or are biased towards special interest groups at the expense of the overall public good.
“Governments should protect civil liberties and political rights, including freedom of speech, expression, and association. Governments should engage civil society and protect citizens, activists, whistle-blowers, and journalists in monitoring and exposing corruption.”
[READ: Corruption still responsible for Nigerians’ sufferings – Buhari]
What it means for Nigeria
Corruption remains one of the most endemic issues affecting development in Nigeria. Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that corruption was the major factor responsible for the suffering of millions of Nigerians.
According to the President, corruption at all levels was the biggest problem impeding Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
“I urge you now to always see corruption in its true colour as a gross violation of human rights. Corruption is the major reason why millions of our people are in hardship, sick and helpless. Our fight against corruption is, in reality, a struggle for nation-building and the future. Corruption and impunity become widespread when accountability is disregarded.
“Disrespect for accountability also strives when people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them. Corruption is the major reason why many children cannot go to school, why we have a few equipment and doctors in our hospitals. Corruption diverts public resources thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary death in the country.”
Meanwhile, critiques of the government continue to stress that the corruption campaign of the current administration is selective, claiming that some political office holders and government officials are left to walk away despite money laundering and other corruption charges levied against them.
Download full report here: Global Corruption Index in 2019
FG issues guidelines to access N75 billion MSME survival funds
FG released guidelines to access the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund.
The Federal Government (FG) has released the guidelines to access the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund and Support Initiatives, which took effect from September 21, 2020.
The scheme, which is the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan includes the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and the N15 billion Guaranteed Offtake Schemes.
This disclosure was made in an official statement by the Federal Government through a series of tweet posts on its official Twitter handle.
The statement from FG read, “As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries of Survival Fund opens, interested Nigerians in the Payroll Support Scheme are to note that the site will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.”
The statement says that the registration for the payroll support will start with the educational institutions at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020, and will be followed by businesses in the hospitality industry by 12am Friday, September 25, 2020.
The portal will also open for other categories of small businesses from 12am, Monday, September 28, 2020. It should be noted that the scheduling of the registration for prospective beneficiaries is to ensure that the process is seamless and hitch-free. The registration of every sector is to continue until Thursday, October 15, 2020.
To register for this initiative, the Federal Government has also provided a portal for entry. Potential beneficiaries are advised to log on to https://survivalfund.ng to complete their registration.
As part of the registration process, the beneficiaries are expected to provide personal registration details, activate their account, register their organization after they have successfully activated their account.
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Number, Bank Verification Number (BVN), SMEDAN Number, a Tax ID (optional) and the organization’s bank account details will be needed.
Completing the Payroll Support Registration, beneficiaries’ first name, last name, email, mobile number and Password will be required. Also, their Date of Birth, residential address and residential Local Government Area will also be provided.
Registration for #PayrollSupport will start with educational institutions at 10pm on Monday Sept 21, 2020, and will be followed by businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday September 25 beginning from 12am.
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 21, 2020
Tony Elumelu named in “Time 100” list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020
The UBA and Transcorp Plc Chair is one of three Nigerians on the list, alongside Tomi Adeyemi and Tunji Funsho.
TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.
Tony Elumelu is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family-owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare. He is the Chairman of top pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States. The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally. Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.
Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries. Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.
Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November. Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
The full list of the 2020 TIME100 and tributes appear on time.com/time100.
Rack Centre to create West Africa’s largest data centre in $100m expansion
Rack Centre’s expansion programme will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres.
Leading carrier neutral data centre operator in West Africa, Rack Centre, has announced an expansion programme that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres, which will pave way for 13MW of IT power capacity in its Lagos campus.
This was disclosed in a press release by the company, which was seen by Nairametrics.
The expansion is expected to bring carrier neutral scale to West Africa, and this is in response to increasing demand for data centre space from cloud uptake, telecommunication investment and outsourcing of IT facilities by enterprises in the region.
The funding for this expansion will come from a $250m pan-African data centre platform, established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa.
In addition to the expansion in Rack Centre, the platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centres aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers.
Back story: It is noteworthy that on March 2020, in a bid to pave way for the expansion programme, Actis, a London private equity firm, announced an investment in Rack Centre, taking a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal.
Why this matters
Nigeria is a key entry point for global telecommunications, content, and cloud players seeking access to the region. Despite the potentials of the country; with 138 million internet subscribers, more than any country in Africa or Europe, and the largest population and GDP in Africa, a lack of cost-effective, energy-efficient IT infrastructure, has been a constraint to doing business in the region.
However, in a bid to create unrestricted connectivity between customers, telecommunication carriers, and internet exchange points within its data centres in the region, as a unique scale carrier neutral player, Rack Centre brings global best practice to Nigeria, as the first carrier neutral data centre in the region, to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF).
The global leaders that the platform has engaged include:
- Tim Parsonson, Co-founder, Teraco Data Environments – the largest carrier neutral operator in Africa, who joins the Board as Chairperson on the board.
- Frank Hassett, a veteran of the global data centre industry and previous Vice President of Infrastructure, at Equinix, brings over 1300MW of build and operate experience, to assist with hyperscale expansion.
While speaking on the expansion of capacity, Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said; “Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges, and harness the immense potential of its people. Convergence Partners is delighted to partner with Actis in accelerating the growth of high quality data centre infrastructure, an indispensable part of the foundation of this revolution in the region.”
Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, emphasized that the group is proud of the quality and scale bar which they have set in the region.
“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa
“Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities,” Coker said.
Supporting this ambition, engineering consultancy Arup, have been appointed for the project. The leadership status of Arup is uncontested, having designed over 2,000MW of IT capacity for industry-leading tech giants, and co-location providers across the globe.