From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has said Nigeria’s low rating in the 2020 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) does not truly reflect the country’s great strides in its fight against corruption.
Minister of Information
and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, assured that the country’s anti-corruption agenda, which places great emphasis on corruption prevention measures and the building of integrity systems, remained on course.
The Minister said the implementation of 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 per cent of the country’s corruption perception survey indices relates 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.”
The minister also said high
profile corruption cases are currently under investigation and prosecution.
He said emphasis on preventive mechanisms was in response to various local and international reviews and evaluation that Nigeria had 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.”
Mohammed listed such policies to include the launch by the ICPC of the National Ethics Policy which addresses integrity issues on all sectors of the polity and is directly linked to a key pillar of the National
Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), which is Ethical Reorientation; efforts by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to energise the Code of Conduct for Public Officers (CCPO) and the launch of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM), which is ultimately aimed at sustaining the country’s improvement in the Ease of Doing Business.
The minister added that having analysed the 2020 TI-CPI rating for Nigeria, the Federal Government was 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.
‘’This is very improbable given the nature of behaviour of variables, which are normally influenced by a variety of factors (which is the reason they are called ‘variables’). In this case, the corruption scores would have been affected by changes in the size and structure of the public sector over the past 10 years, changes in policies and personnel and systems over the period including, for instance, process automation, etc. There is therefore a need to verify that there is no transposition of figures from year to year due to absence of current data.”