A new study conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and shared by Spectator Index, confirms what everyone already knows—Nigerians don’t trust their politicians at all.
Of the 137 countries polled during the research, Nigeria is ranked 130 as one of the countries that distrusts its political class the most.
The countries that trust their politicians the most occupy the top places on the log while those who distrust their politicians the most can be found on the lowest rung of the table.
Only Zimbabwe (131), Venezuela (133), Paraguay (134) and Brazil (137) are ranked worse than Nigeria in the “trust in politicians” index.
The countries who trust their politicians the most are Singapore (1), UAE (2), New Zealand (3), Qatar (4), Finland (5) and Norway (6).
Interestingly, the United States and the United Kingdom—often held as the purveyors of modern day democracy across the world—come in on the index at 16 and 17 places respectively.
In Africa, Rwanda (10), Egypt (67) and South Africa (114) are ranked higher than Nigeria.
Why trust between politicians and the people matters
According to WEF, “the factors influencing whether we trust our governments or not include the state of the economy, political upheaval, and headline-grabbing events like major corruption cases”.
The WEF explains why trust between the people and government is important below:
“Trusting our government is in our own interest because it supports economic growth. The more people trust their government the more they are likely to invest and spend, which boosts the economy.
“Official policies and initiatives are also more likely to work. For instance, people are more likely to pay their taxes and comply with regulations if they trust their government. This is particularly true when people are asked to make sacrifices – such as austerity measures – for the common good.
“Governments must do more to win back their citizens’ trust, says the OECD. They need to start putting more money into public services, and become better at meeting the needs of the entire population, including in healthcare, employment and education. They also need to make sure that all their citizens can access government services”.
Nigeria ranks poorly everywhere
Nigeria’s latest democratic experiment commenced in 1999. However, Africa’s biggest and resource rich economy is often cited as one of the most corrupt countries in the world by international agencies like Transparency International (TI), no thanks to a political class that is as corrupt as they come and systemic graft everywhere you turn.
In February 2018, TI ranked Nigeria the 148th most corrupt nation in the world (out of 180 countries surveyed) in its Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
In June, the World Poverty Clock named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world, with an estimated 86 million people said to be living in extreme poverty in Africa's most populous nation.