The Federal Government has dismissed Nigeria’s rating on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI), insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war is well on track.
Naija News recalls that TI in its 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranked Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa.
The report also rates only 12 countries as more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa with Nigeria occupying 149th position out of 180 countries of the world analyzed in the report.
The countries listed as more corrupt in the latest report are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, and South Sudan.
According to the TI report, with 25 out of 100 points, Nigeria also dropped two places compared to the 2019 report where it scored 26 points and ranked 146th out of 180 nations and Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
But in a statement to newsmen on Sunday, the Minister of Culture and Information, Lai Mohammed, said that the progress made against corruption in the past two years was not included in the assessment of the country.
He said: “For instance, following the release of the 2019 TI-Corruption Perception Index, the government initiated reforms to improve on Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business indices,” he said.
“This is because we found that up to 40 percent of the country’s corruption perception survey indices relates to business processes and general public service delivery processes.
“Government’s swift action has led to major reforms in the processes at our ports and business process points. In response to these evaluations, a number of significant policies have been instituted to enhance transparency and accountability, and prevent corruption.
“Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of key transparency and accountability policies were developed and are currently being implemented.”
According to the Minister, a National Ethics Policy was introduced by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) which addresses integrity issues in all sectors.
”While we expect the results from these reforms to speak for us in due course, we are also taking measures to improve our data collection and retrieval on these issues to reduce the current under-reporting of our ongoing corruption reduction measures,” he said.
”After analysing Nigeria’s TI corruption rating, it was observed that some data sources in Nigeria’s scores have remained flat over the past 10 years, reflecting no improvement, decline or fluctuation.
“In this case, the corruption scores would have been affected by changes in the size and structure of the public sector over the past 10 years, changes in policies and personnel and systems over the period including, for instance, process automation, etc.
“There is therefore a need to verify that there is no transposition of figures from year to year due to absence of current data. There is a need to understand why these variations occur, and consequently the robustness of the methodology and validity of data.
“There is a need to understand why scores for this assessment have not been recorded for Nigeria for the past two years, which has had the effect of reducing Nigeria’s cumulative score and ranking relative to countries with those scores included in their CPI for both years.”