U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Can you provide an overview of corruption in Nigeria, presenting the existing evidence on what types of corruption take place in the country, at what levels of society, at what magnitude – and in particular, what social norms are involved?


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1.          Introduction: The literature on corruption in Nigeria

2.          Social norms and corruption in Nigeria

3.          Forms of corruption in Nigeria

4.          References


This answer provides an overview of the existing evidence regarding corruption and social norms, highlighting the main areas discussed in the literature related to the social mechanisms influencing corruption in the country, as well as an overview of existing evidence regarding the main forms of corruption that take place in Nigeria.

Available evidence demonstrates that corruption in Nigeria serves two main purposes: (i) to extract rents from the state, which includes forms of corruption such as embezzlement, bribery, nepotism and cronyism, among others; and (ii) to preserve power, which includes electoral corruption, political patronage, and judicial corruption.

Evidence also suggests that these forms of corruption are related to the country’s social norms. Nigeria is assessed as a neo-patrimonial state, where power is maintained through the awarding of personal favours and where politicians may abuse their position to extract as many rents as possible from the state. 


Maíra Martini, Transparency International, [email protected]




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