Nile University’s Economics department held a program titled “Effective Anti-Corruption Strategies in Adverse Contexts; A Case Study of Nigeria” on October 22. The program was aimed at facilitating a critical discussion on the issue of corruption and how to effectively combat this problem. Giving the event’s keynote presentation was Dr. Pallavi Roy (Research Director, Anti-corruption Evidence Research Partnership Consortium, SOAS University of London), who highlighted some of the flaws in the current policies employed to combat the vice in developing countries like Nigeria, as well the conditions that must exist for corruption to be curbed.

According to her, the existing anti-corruption policies in the majority of developing countries are vulnerable to abuse by the power elite, who use them as tools to persecute their opponents. Furthermore, she continued, the attempt by countries like Nigeria to combat the corruption problem through a vertical (top-down) approach is unlikely to be effective since this strategy relies on the existence of strong formal, state institutions that can effectively establish and enforce rules, provide public services, etc., which are mostly absent in developing countries.

A more effective strategy to ensure a sustainable enforcement of rules and reduction of corruption in countries like Nigeria, Dr. Roy stated, is to combine the vertical (enforcement of rules from the top) and horizontal (enforcement of rules by the actors themselves) approaches.