Decentralization, Governance and Corruption at the Local Level: Evidence from Nigeria

The motivation for this study was to test theoretical debates around decentralisation. On the one hand, some theorists argue that decentralisation should reduce corruption through more accountable and transparent local governance. Others suggest that increased autonomy and proliferation of actors increases opportunities for corruption. Yet on the ground, it is clear that the rentier state system in Nigeria continues to dominate the political economy affairs of the country. Other studies provide ambiguous evidence of the effects of decentralisation on corruption, while the reality of descriptions of the impact of decentralisation on corruption are dependent on broad categories of quality of governance. In partnership with ODI, this CDD study seeks to unravel and clarify these contradictions through empirical research. This study improves the understanding of the relationships between decentralised governance and corruption, and the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures at the local level.