January 26, 2022

Nigeria drops five places on TI corruption perception rating

FRSC, Akin Fadeyi Foundation partner on corruption fight

…Ranks 154 out of 180 countries

Nigeria’s CPI: PDP mocks Buhari, APC

By Dirisu Yakubu, Gabriel Ewepu, Bernard Ozuanu & John Precious

Nigeria has dropped five places on the 2021 corruption perception index published by Transparency International, TI, yesterday.

The country scored 24 out of 100 points, ranking 154 out of 180 countries surveyed by the organisation.

In the 2020 index, Nigeria had scored 25 out of 100 points, ranking 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed.

This means that Nigeria dropped to 154, five places down, out of the 180 countries surveyed, in comparison with the 2020 rating.

It also scored 25 out of 100 points, less than the 24 points obtained in the 2020 CPI, indicating the worst ranking the country has got under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In 2015, Nigeria was ranked 136th; 136th in 2016; 148th in 2017; 144th in 2018; 146th in 2019, and 149th in 2020.

READ ALSO: CSOs express disappointment over Nigeria’s ranking on 2021 Corruption Perception Index

The Nigerian arm of of Transparency International, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, said the CPI aggregated data from eight different sources that provide perceptions by experts and business people on the level of corruption in the public sector.

It said the CPI result was coming at a time the country was battling rising nationwide insecurity, high unemployment and damning revelations around public finance management.

The organisation said the index didn’t show specific incidents of corruption in the country but the perception of corruption.

CISLAC enumerated seven weaknesses that impede Nigeria’s fight against corruption, while calling for an immediate improvement for the sake of ordinary Nigerians.

The seven weaknesses listed include damning audit report; security sector corruption; failure to investigate high profile corruption cases and prevent Illicit financial flows, IFFs; absence of asset recovery, protection of whistle-blowers and other key anti-corruption legal frameworks; Judicial challenges; Corruption in the COVID-19 response; Twitter ban, shrinking civic space and intimidation of human rights defenders.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, who disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja yesterday, said, the data used for the CPI was not collected by CISLAC/TI-Nigeria or any of their partners, but by independent and reputable organisations with sound methodologies.

He said:  “It is important to stress that this is not an assessment of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies who are making commendable efforts in reducing (in the fight against) corruption in Nigeria despite the political interference they face. Rather, the CPI goes beyond the anti-graft agencies.

“In October last year, we received the report of the committee set up by the government in March 2021 to review Nigeria’s rating on the 2020 CPI shortly after CISLAC/TI-2

“Nigeria released the 2020 CPI. CISLAC/TI-Nigeria sees this move as a good step and would like to call on the government to further examine the weaknesses listed below and consider actions which will tackle systemic corruption and salvage Nigeria’s deteriorating image when it comes to corruption.

“Accordingly, CISLAC/TI-Nigeria has listed key weaknesses to explain why Nigeria may not have improved in the fight against corruption. We feel that these areas require immediate improvement for the sake of the well-being of ordinary Nigerians and the economy.”

Meanwhile, Manager, BudGit, Tolulope Aguloye, said:  “The arbitrary and illogical decision of the Nigerian government to ban Twitter on June 5, 2021, for about seven months stands condemned. While this ban has been lifted just recently, Nigeria is still suffering from the consequences of the ban. According to the CIVICUS monitor, Nigeria’s civic space is repressed.

“On the Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2021 report, Nigeria recorded a decline with a score of 45 out of 100 from a score of 47 in 2020 and 50 in 2019 (with 0 being not free and 100 being very free).

“The tale is further gloomy when one considers the World Press Freedom Index released in 2021 by Reporters Without Borders which describes Nigeria as “one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.”kg

Reacting to Nigeria’s rating yesterday, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said ranking of Nigeria as a country with increasing corrupt practices was an indication that neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the All Progressives Congress, APC, had an idea of what it takes to wage a successful anti- graft campaign.

The party also chided the federal government for “failing to match words with action,” given that one of the cardinal pillars of its electioneering campaign was the war against corruption.

In a telephone conversation with Vanguard, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said:   “Every sector of the economy is riddled with corruption today. President Buhari and his party have no clue of what to do.

“They recently celebrated their ‘pyramid of lies’ which they put up to deceive Nigerians. The cost of transporting those rice from wherever they brought them, the cost of labour and everything in between was dressed in corruption.

“The 2022 budget is corruption-laden and this they did in preparation for the 2023 general election.”

 Today, Nigerians have realized the mistake they made in electing a clueless government into power. Every facet of their lives has been destroyed by a party that promised so much and delivered nothing.

“So, we can only say that TI’s CPI ranking of Nigeria under the leadership of President Buhari vindicates the position of PDP in the past few years.

“It is apt to let the ruling party know that we don’t fight corruption on the pages of Newspapers. We don’t fight corruption with sloganeering,” he added.

The publicity scribe further urged Nigerians of voting age to prepare to exercise their civic obligations in 2023 by “voting out the incompetent APC out of power.”