Anti-corruption in Nigeria: a political settlements analysis

This paper examines how the balance of power influences corruption and efforts to curb it


The Anti Corruption Evidence (ACE) programme will seek new, feasible and high impact anti-corruption strategies by engaging with different sectors and actors including policy-makers, private sector and civil society organisations, in partnership with local and international researchers. In seeking out these strategies, the programme will focus on how ‘horizontal’ approaches may complement or replace ‘vertical’ approaches to anti-corruption.

This Working Paper sets out our starting point for choosing these sectors and strategies, by delving deep into how the balance of power influences corruption, and efforts to curb it. Using ‘political settlement analysis’, the papers contribute a detailed and nuanced understanding of the distribution of power in Nigeria, focusing in particular on how ruling organisations maintain their position and respond to challenges to the political settlement.

The paper goes on to use this analysis, together with an understanding of the drivers of economic growth in each country, and the background on existing anti-corruption laws and agencies, in order to focus on strategic opportunities for new efforts on anti-corruption. This analysis sets the scene for the over 40 research projects now underway in Nigeria, Bangladesh and Tanzania through the ACE consortium.

This is an output from the ‘Anti Corruption Evidence (ACE)’ programme which is funded by the UK Department for International Development.


Roy, P. 2017. ‘Anti-corruption in Nigeria: a political settlements analysis’. ACE research consortium. Working Paper 002.

Anti-corruption in Nigeria: a political settlements analysis

Published 1 July 2017