Friday, January 29, 2021

Nigeria Criticises Transparency International Over Corruption Survey

Friday, January 29, 2021

Officers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, an agency that was created to tackle corruption. 

Mohammed Momoh | Nation Media Group

By Mohammed Momoh

West Africa Correspondent

Nation Media Group

Nigeria on Friday criticised Transparency International (TI) following the release of the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index report which ranked it among the world’s most corrupt nations.

The report released Thursday, rated Nigeria as having dropped three places from 146 to 149 out of 180 countries.

Nigerian government officials have accused TI adopting inaccurate facts on ground.

Mr Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), reacted to the report saying that the administration should be credited for lighting the flame of anti-corruption not only in Nigeria but globally.

``Nigeria deserves credit for diminishing corruption in the public service and will continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.’’

He explained that presidency was analysing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest TI report since by their own admission, they don’t gather their own data.

``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’’ as the one provided by TI is not reflective of the situation on ground.

``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.’’

Shehu also punched, saying the government was aware of that characters behind the TI in Nigeria were those in opposition to the Buhari’s administration and that they were 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 that recoveries from corrupt persons stood that at $3.3 billion between 2009 — 2019 out of which $2.6 billion of that total was recovered between 2015 – 2019 with less than $700 million in the first six years.

These recoveries were made possible by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Additionally, preventative instruments deployed by this administration such as Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) coverage expansion and the removal of 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service saving us $560 million annually serve as evidence that perception is not reality.

Reality is based on verifiable facts and data. And any evidence-based analysis would prove that whether it is by prevention or punitive measures in recoveries and prosecution, this administration would be rising fast up these rankings rather than standing still.

Organisations should be factual in their analysis and be prepared to rely on inputs outside of sensational media reports and age-old narratives which have not been updated to reflect today's reality in Nigeria concerning its globally-respected war on corruption.

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.

TI’s report is 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.

No comments: