Nigeria moved to 144th from 148th in the latest Transparency International corruption perception index worldwide, that also saw the United States dropping four notches out of the top 20 countries in the world.
The African most populous country tied with Kenya, Comoros, Guatemala and Mauritania. Nigeria ranked better than Cameroon which was ranked at position 152nd.
“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and…where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, who chairs the global civil society group.
However, Nigeria made the four notch jump without improving its score of 27 out of a possible 100 as recorded in 2017.
In Africa, Botswana remains the continent’s most transparent country with a ranking of 34, followed by Namibia, Mauritius and Senegal.
Globally, Denmark and New Zealand had the best scores on the Corruption Perceptions Index again in 2018, scoring 88 and 87 respectively.
For the first time since 2011, the United States dropped out of the top 20 countries after slipping to 22nd in the world from 18th last year, Transparency International said in the report that cited growing threats to democracy worldwide.
Somalia, Syria and South Sudan remained at the bottom of Transparency International corruption perception index list, with scores of 10, 13 and 13 respectively.
The average score for EU and western European countries held steady at 66, while sub-Saharan Africa scored just 32, TI said.
A score of 100 is considered “very clean”, while a score of zero is highly corrupt.
Overall, more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 on the 2018 index, and the average was 43, said TI, which has more than 100 chapters worldwide.
The group said only 20 countries had significantly improved their scores since 2012, including Argentina and Ivory Coast.
Sixteen others, including Australia, Chile and Malta, declined significantly in the same period.