Leadership (Abuja)

5 December 2012

Nigeria: Report On Corruption Index in Nigeria is a Wakeup Call - NESG

Photo: Vanguard
Corruption dogs Nigeria's petroleum sector.

The Nigeria Economic Summit Group in Abuja on Wednesday described the latest Transparency International (TI) index report on Nigeria as 'a wakeup call' to the fight against corruption.

The 2012 TI Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released earlier on Wednesday, placed Nigeria 135 out of 176 countries surveyed in the report.

According to the report, Nigeria shares the position with Pakistan and Nepal, to remain one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Mr Frank Nweke, the Director-General, NESG said: "this figure merely serves to remind us that we need to keep working on the issue of corruption in the public and private sector.

"Even if we are ranked 20th out of 176, I still feel that government must continue to redouble its efforts to really address these issues," he said.

Nweke made the comment at a news conference to mark the end of the 18th summit of the Nigeria Economic Summit.

Earlier, Mr Folusho Philips, the Chairman of the NESG, was asked to assess Nigeria's government fight against corruption in the light of the latest TI report.

In his response, Philips said: "all I can say is that there is a due process for pursuing issues about corruption.

"Where people have been identified and government agencies such as the EFCC and the Court has confirmed and charged them, due process normally follows.

"Before then one has to be very careful on how to come to conclusion to talk about the level of corruption in Nigeria, " he said.

Earlier in his remarks during a panel discussion for financial regulators at the summit, the Central Bank Governor, Malam Sansui Lamido Sanusi, said no country was immune to corruption.

"The greatest challenge facing Nigeria is the challenge of a people that have lost sight of the importance of merit and not corruption.

"If you go to China they steal money, in Malaysia there is corruption and why don't we hear about it?

"It is because every day, these countries are developing, if you go to the hospitals, the doctors know their jobs, you go to the school, the teacher is qualified.

"If you are running a bank, a regulatory agency or a minister, there is merit," he said.

Sansui, however, expressed dismay that in Nigeria, issues of tribalism, religion and nepotism had relegated merit to the background.

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