Nigeria Criticises Transparency International Over Corruption Survey

(file photo).

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 of basing its report on inaccurate information on the ground.

Mr Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), said 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 the 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," Shehu said.

"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."

The government is aware that the people behind the TI in Nigeria are in opposition to the Buhari administration.

"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 people stood at $3.3 billion between 2009 and 2019 out of which $2.6 billion was recovered between 2015 and 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).

Mr Shehu added that other measures have been taken to curb graft such as expanding the coverage of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and removing 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service payroll, saving the country $560 million annually.

According to TI's report, corruption is perceived to have worsened in Nigeria within the last one year.

The country dropped three places and scored lower in number of points than in its previous year's record.

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