Yet again, the Nigerian government has rejected the assessment of Buhari’s administration done by Transparency International.
Last month, it was reported that Nigeria dropped in the 2020 corruption ranking released by Transparency International (TI).
That served as an indicator that corruption is perceived to have worsened in the country within the last one year. The country dropped three places and scored lower in number of points than in its previous year’s record.
According to the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Nigeria ranks 25/100 which is by one point less than its 26 points in the previous year.
This update makes Nigeria 149 out of 180 countries, a record that is three steps lower than its rank of 146 in 2019.
In the 2018 index, Nigeria rose by four places on the index from 148 to 144.
When the report was first released, the Nigerian government reacted by saying the report did not properly reflect the government’s anti-corruption effort.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while responding to questions from State House correspondents in Abuja, described the rating as unfair and unacceptable.
He said: “I think that I’m aware of that particular rating which was not quite flattering to Nigeria, but our position, which I’ve declared before is that that rating does not truly reflect the great strides that the administration has made in the area of fighting corruption.
“The government has put in place various reforms in fighting corruption, but some of these reforms will take time to yield the desired results because the matrix used by TI is not just about grafts alone.
“It includes how transparent or how opaque the services are and you’ll find out that when we scored in the 2018, 2019 transparency reports, we realized that we scored very low in the area of ease of doing business in particular.’’
The minister stated that various measures have been put in place by the federal government to tackle cases of corrupt practices in both private and public sectors of the economy to improve the country’s rating by Transparency International (TI).
He said : “That is why the federal government embarked on reforms, especially at the seaports, because that is one area where we scored very low.
“You will see that in recent times, we’ve embarked on numerous reforms at our seaports so that our rating will improve.
“For instance, we realised that following the release of 2019 TI corruption perception index, we initiated reforms to improve on ease of doing business indices.
“This is because we found that up to 40 per cent of the country’s corruption perception survey indices related to business, process and general public service delivery.
“So, that is why we are concentrating on the ease of doing business, making sure that people can get to the ports, clear the goods in good time and by the time some of these forms start yielding fruits, I’m sure that perception will improve.’’
Mr Mohammed further revealed that the federal government had put proper structures in place so as to serve as a preventive mechanism against corruption rather than prosecution.