Olalekan Adetayo and Eniola Akinkuotu
Nigeria has dropped to 149 on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index, the worst ranking received by Africa’s largest country in recent time. Nigeria also scored 25 out of a possible 100 points
In the last TI rating in 2019, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of a possible 100. On a scale of zero to 100 in TI’s rating, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean.”
This means that Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries.
According to the latest ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.
In Africa, only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria. They are Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan. Both Somalia and South Sudan were ranked as the most corrupt nations on earth.
The least corrupt countries in the world are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.
The United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong were all ranked at 11 while the United States received one of its lowest ever rankings at 25.
Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), came into power with the promise of curbing corruption which has been plaguing Nigeria for decades.
However, Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
Transparency International said the interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic gave room for corruption to thrive in countries with weak systems.
It said even countries like The Netherlands which are highly ranked as upright, failed to reveal details of contracts awarded to persons supplying COVID-19 equipment.
TI said former American President, Donald Trump, failed to properly oversight COVID-19 spending.
The report read, “Finally, the unique challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have tested high-scoring countries’ commitment to transparency and integrity in their own public sectors as never before.”
We know anti-Buhari characters behind TI -Presidency
In its reaction, the Presidency said it was aware of some “characters” behind the TI in Nigeria whose opposition to the regime Buhari is not hidden.
In the statement titled, ‘President Buhari deserves credit for diminishing corruption in public service,’ Shehu said the present regime 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.
The presidential aide said the government was analysing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest TI’s report since the organisation admitted that it does not gather its own data.
The statement reads partly, “In the coming days, the Government’s Technical Unit on Governance Research 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.”
Shehu argued that reality is based on verifiable facts and data and that any evidence-based analysis would prove that whether it is by prevention or punitive measures in recoveries and prosecution, the present regime would be rising fast up these rankings rather than standing still.
He added, “In the existential fight against this multi-pronged malice and manifestations of corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari has avowed that he would take-no-prisoners, guided by respect for the rule of law.
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