The Transparency International (TI) says that Nigeria ranked 149th on its latest orruption Perception Index (CPI) after it picked 25 points, the worst since 2013.Nigeria dropped three points from its 2019 ranking when it sat 146th on the table, local media reports said on Friday.
The reports added that the 2020’s index was co-led by New Zealand and Denmark after they polled 88 points individually, while Finland, Switzerland and Singapore (a country that emerged from a stinky official corruption history under the late Lee Kuan Yew) followed in that order.
According to the reports, Nigeria picked the same point with Cameroon, Mozambique, Madagascar and Tajikistan for the 149th position out of 179 countries surveyed.
Nigeria, however, ranks ahead of Somalia, which sits at the bottom, South Sudan, Sudan, Congo, Chad, Burundi, Guinea Bissau and a few other African countries. It, however, falls short of its peers such as Angola, Egypt, Algeria, Kenya and many others.
But some stakeholders in Nigeria have described the latest rating as an open testimony of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inability to tame corruption in fulfillment of his electioneering promises about six year ago.
Meanwhile, reacting to the ranking by Transparency International, the Nigerian Presidency said that the Buhari administration deserved credit for diminishing corruption in the public service and would continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.
A statement by the Senior Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Barba Shehu, said: “We are currently analyzing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest Transparency International (TI) report on Corruption Perceptions Index in Nigeria since by their own admission, they don’t gather their own data.
He noted that the report is not an accurate portrayal of the facts on ground and that in the coming days, the government’s Technical Unit on Governance Research (TUGAR) will be providing more detailed information on the sources of the TI data.
“While this is being awaited, the examination carried out on their 2019 report showed that 60 percent of their data was collected from businesses and other entities with issues bordering on transparency and the ease of doing business at the ports.
“Although this is a government ready to learn from mistakes and make corrections, the economy of this country, in its fullness, is bigger than the sea ports we have.
“We are also not unaware of the characters behind the TI in Nigeria, whose opposition to the Buhari administration is not hidden.
“We have repeatedly challenged TI to provide indices and statistics of its own to justify its sensational and baseless rating on Nigeria and the fight against corruption. We expect them to come clean and desist from further rehashing of old tales,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to stand with an administration that has done so much on asset recovery, prosecution, legislation, political will and leadership by example in the fight against corruption.
“Equally, we urge our friends in the media, development partners and the civil society organizations to continue to support efforts to strengthen accountability, transparency, ethical values and integrity in Nigeria’s public sector.
“President Buhari has put his hand to the plough and will not relent in working with those passionate about the welfare, stability and prosperity of future generations to come in Nigeria,” he added.