The Nigerian government has dismissed the country’s low rating in the 2020 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI), saying it does not truly reflect its fight against corruption.
Nigeria got its worst rating on the Transparency International corruption perception index since 2015 on Thursday, January 28 as the country scored 25 out of 100 points.
It also dropped to 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed, making it the second most corrupt country in West Africa.
Reacting in a statement on Sunday, minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed said the country’s anti-corruption agenda, which has placed great emphasis on corruption prevention measures and the building of integrity systems, remains on course.
Mr Mohammed said the implementation of the various reforms, especially in the ease of doing business, is expected to yield positive outcomes in the country’s corruption perception and other relevant assessments in the next 12 to 24 months.
“For instance, following the release of the 2019 TI-Corruption Perception Index, the government initiated reforms to improve on Nigeria’s ease of doing business indices. This is because we found that up to 40% of the country’s corruption perception survey indices relate to business processes and general public service delivery processes. Government’s swift action has led to major reforms in the processes at our ports and business process points,” he said.
Mohammed added that in addition to placing more emphasis on corruption prevention measures and building of integrity systems, high profile corruption cases are currently under investigation and prosecution.
He said the emphasis on preventive mechanisms is in response to various local and international reviews and evaluation that Nigeria has gone through, including those from the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and even from the TI-CPI
“In response to these evaluations, a number of significant policies have been instituted to enhance transparency and accountability, and prevent corruption. Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of key transparency and accountability policies were developed and are currently being implemented,” the minister said.
He said having analysed the 2020 TI-CPI rating for Nigeria, the Nigerian government is “interrogating a number of issues and discrepancies that have been observed in the rating process, including some data sources in which Nigeria’s scores have remained flat over the past 10 years, reflecting no improvement, decline or fluctuation.”