TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Nigeria falls to 41st place in Mo Ibrahim governance index

By The Rainbow

Nigeria's governance index has fallen further in the Mo Ibrahim Index for African Governance.

Significantly, for fourth time, no African leader qualified to win 2013 prize

In the latest ranking, Nigeria fell eight places since 2000, and scored 43.4 per cent, lower than the African average of 51.6 per cent.

It showed however that the governance impact improved marginally by 0.8 per cent since 2000.

Nigeria was ranked 13th out of 16 in the West African region, by the Foundation and  scored lower than even the regional average of 52.5 per cent for West Africa..

Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Independent Prize Committee found no African leader worthy for the  award this year's Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

In the latest index on governance on the African continent released on Monday, Nigeria ranked 41st out of 52 countries rated by the foundation.

The 2013 Ibrahim Index for African Governance (IIAG) further revealed Nigeria's performance across four categories of governance: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. In the ranking, Nigeria was deemed to have recorded a notable decline in its score for Participation & Human Rights. Participation & Human Rights measures the protection of human rights, civil and political participation, and gender issues.

But the country's showing improved in the Human Development category by emerging 33rd out of 52.

Perhaps because of the perplexing attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, Nigeria scored her lowest in the category of Safety & Rule of Law, where she was rated 42nd out of 52. Nigeria however got her highest rating in the Public Management sub-category, where she finished in 14th place out of 52 countries, but ranked lowest in the Personal Safety sub-category, emerging in the 49th position out of 52.

The index showed further that six per cent of the people living in a country, which experienced a deterioration in governance since 2000 live in Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Eritrea, Somalia, Libya and Mali.

At the sub-regional level, the IIAG ranked the West African sub-region third out of five regions in the overall governance level. This has been the case every year since 2000, except in 2011 when it ranked 2nd.

Nigeria's drop in the Mo Ibrahim governance index coincided with the decision by the Foundation's independent prize committee not to award this year's 2013 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

This would be the fourth time the committee could not find any past African leader deserving of the prize.

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is the largest prize in the world, worth an annual US$5 million over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.

To win the prize, laureates must fulfill the following criteria: be a democratically elected former African Head of State or Government who has left office in the previous three years; have served her/his constitutionally mandated term; and have demonstrated excellence in office, helping to lift people out of poverty and paving the way for sustainable and equitable prosperity.

The prize was established in 2007 by Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Foundation, to celebrate excellence in African leadership and to provide laureates with the opportunity to pursue their commitment to the African continent once they have stepped down from office.

On why it decided  not to award the prize in 2013, Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity, former Prime Minister of Tanzania and chair of the prize committee, said, 'This prize honours former Heads of State or governments, who, during their mandate, have demonstrated excellence in leading their country, and by doing so, serve as role models for the next generation. 'After careful consideration, the prize committee has determined not to award the 2013 Prize for Excellence in Leadership.'

Chairman of the Foundation, Mo Ibrahim,  on his part said, : 'Neither Afro-pessimism nor Afro-optimism do justice to modern Africa. This is now the age of Afro-realism – an honest outlook on our continent. It's about a celebration of its achievements but also a pragmatic acknowledgement of the challenges that lie ahead.'

Previous winners of the Ibrahim Prize include: President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007), President Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde (2011) and President Nelson Mandela of South Africa (Honorary).