…Ranks 144th position on Corruption Perception Index
By Raphael Jov, Abuja
Transparency International, a German based anti-corruption assessment body has classified Nigeria as a country where corruption still thrives.
The body in its 2018 corruption perception index released on Tuesday in Abuja, ranked Nigeria as 144th most corrupt nations, globally, linking the trend to over bloated contract cost, abuse of security votes, recalcitrance of the government to try certain persons found culpable in corruption related charges, among other misdemeanors.
The newly released index published in Nigeria exclusively by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency International Chapter in Nigeria, reveals that Nigeria scored 27 out of 100 points in the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), maintaining the same score as in the 2017 CPI. Nigeria ranks 144 out of 180 countries polled for the year 2018 as opposed to 148 out of 180 countries in the 2017 CPI.
They explained that more is required in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, though the ranking shows that Nigeria moved up four places, it only indicated that four other countries scored worse in 2018, while Nigeria stagnated, Nigeria has neither improved nor progressed in the perception of corruption in the public administration in 2018.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, while presenting the 2018 CPI said, “The public image of the anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria is tarnished domestically and internationally with extremely slow progress to move on numerous anti-corruption commitments made by the Government.
“With the inability of the present administration to stop political boycott of key appointments and pass the much needed legislation such as the proceeds of crime bill and to implement the recommendations given at launch of the CPI 2017, it is no wonder that Nigeria’s score in 2018 is no different than 2017.”
“Lack of progress in the fight against corruption as testified by this year’s edition of the CPI is a direct consequence of unaccounted funds siphoned under the guise of security votes by highly placed public officials, including lip service in initiating charges against those already implicated in corruption related offences.”
He also faulted the Whistleblower policy of the Federal Government which does not guarantee immunity for persons with privileged information, in addition to failure to inaugurate the National Procurement Council (NPC) as provided in the Public Procurement Act.
He explained that further research analysis shows a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies.
“Government feigning ignorance to money-laundering crimes and tax evasion, most of which should have been stringently investigated and prosecuted by competent agencies in line with financial action task force standards”
“Despite some indisputable evidence, many corrupt politicians and businessmen and women seem to be above the law and out of reach of law enforcement.
Recent corruption scandals, including the GandujeGate, ShemaGate, DasukiGate, IkoyiGate, among others, have not seen diligent investigations, prosecutions and convictions of these cases and other Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). The authorities need to understand that these acts deepen a sense of hopelessness among well-meaning Nigerians,” Rafsanjani added.
The group advised on the need to strengthen the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power and ensuring their ability to operate without intimidation.
“Closing the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement, supporting a free and independent media, ensuring safety of journalists and supporting civil society organizations which enhance political engagements will help stop corruption.”