By Ralph Chris-Izokpu
Nigeria has been said to have scored 26 points out of 100 in Corruption Perception Index CPI, in the year 2019, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has revealed.
The Executive Director of CISLAC Auwal Musa Rafsanjani disclosed this to newsmen at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja
Rafsanjani said, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, as released, revealed that Nigeria scored 26 points out of 100 points in the 2019 CPI, falling back by one point compared to last year. While In the country comparison, Nigeria ranks 146 out of 180 countries two places down compared to 2018 results.
Speaking further he said, “the 2019 corruption Perceptions lndex (CPI) released globally by transparency lnternational today reveals that Nigeria has further slipped down in the perception of corruption in 2019.
He said, “the newly released index published in Nigeria exclusively by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CLSLAC), Transparency lnternational Chapter in Nigeria, reveals that Nigeria scored 26 out of 100 points in the 2019 CPI, falling back by one point compared to last year. In the country comparison, Nigeria ranks this year 146 out of 180 countries two places down compared to 2018 results.
The CPI aggregates data from a number of different source that provide perceptions by business community and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector. While the index does not show real incidences of corruption, it is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigeria public and the international commumty about thc state of corruption in the country, adding that, the index is 100% Impartial, objective and globally well respected.
He noted that, the negative result from this war provokes tough questions. Despite the proclaimed war on corruption, why is Nigeria perceived by Nigerians and the international community still as very corrupt? The Govermncnt of Nigeria claims winning the war on corruption, but is this statement backed by evidence.
Rafsanjani stated that, “corruption remains the biggest governance challenge in Nigeria with far reaching cost on democracy and public support and confidence in democratization in Nigeria. While government anti-corruption efforts in asset recovery are yielding results, the fundamentals necessary to ensure rule of law and freedom of expression of activits have not received enough attention.
According him, “Anti-corruption stands the greatest chance of victory where there is collective action of citizens against corruption and strong collaboration between state and non-state actors; where there is no cherry -picking in terms of which curruption case to prosecute and the one not to be prosecuted; where there is alignment of purpose and commitment among the arms of Government Executive, Parliament and Judiciary, and where the anti-corruption campaign is transparent, inclusive and objective, there must be no room for untouchables; no matter how close to government, power or influence. Adding that, the anti-corruption campaign must be total as well as leaving no sector out of the spotlight. Critical revenue making sectors must be covered, the central bank, the extractive sector, customs, Nigeria Ports Authority and others in the business of managing huge resources accruing to the nation. There must be increased transparency and accountability in the management and use of recovered assets. The rule of law must be upheld in the Fight against corruption. Non-state actors must be allowed the right to enjoy freedom of expression and speak out withtout intimidation.
“Governments can achieve greater improvement in anti-corruption by forging stronger collaboration and coordination with non-state actors involed in anti-corruption. We can achieve more working together than what is possible working in silos”, he stated.
Therefore, we call on President Buhari to prionitize and support urgent political reforms including the overhaul of the supervision of political parties.
We wish to reintegrate our call on Mr. President to immediately initiate comprehensive electoral reforms to restore the trust of citizens in democracy.
Furthermore, judicial corruption must be confronted head-on. There is also an urgent need to pursue and press on with security sector reforms to stamp out corruption in the secunty sector. Lastly, economic reforms in the extractive sector has to be pursued without further delays or excuses.
Above all, We appeal to all Nigerians. especially those in power, not to attack and critize the results of the CPI but to use this time for a critical reflection on tangible ways to introduce real reforms. Corruption rankings alone do not eliminate poverty or improve security. However; they are indicators on the impact of the policies and the state of governance. We hope that we can use the CPI results at this moment for a genuine reflection about real and tangible improvements necessary to strengthen the Fight against corruption.