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Transparency International ranks Nigeria number 149 in its Corruption Perception Index 2020

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The Transparency International (TI) has placed Nigeria on number 149 in its Corruption Perception Index for 2020.

There are 183 countries reviewed with Nigeria sliding 13 places in the ranking.

According to the jointly signed report by CISLAC/TI Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development CDD, and BudgIT, Nigeria scored 25 of 100 points in the 2020 CPI, falling back by one point compared to last year.

The report also indicated and explained that the CPI aggregated data from eight different sources that provided perceptions by Nigeria’s business community and country experts on the level of corruption in the public sector.

While the index does not show specific incidences of corruption, “it is an indication of the perception of the Nigerian public about the state of corruption in the country. The index is completely impartial, objective and globally well respected”.

The report reads: “The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released globally by Transparency International (TI) today shows that Nigeria yet again, records a decline in the CPI in 2020.

“Published exclusively in Nigeria by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the National Chapter of TI, the index reveals that Nigeria scored 25 out of 100 points in the 2020 CPI, falling back by one point compared to last year.

In the country comparison for this year, Nigeria ranks 149 out of 183 countries -three places down compared to 2019 results.

“The CPI aggregates data from 8 (eight) different sources that provide perceptions by Nigeria’s business community and country experts on the level of corruption in the public sector.

While the index does not show specific incidences of corruption, it is an indication of the perception of the Nigerian public about the state of corruption in the country. The index is completely impartial, objective, and globally well respected.

“This result is coming at the heels of numerous challenges facing the country ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic, insecurity, high unemployment, and a sharp increase in government borrowing amongst others.”

The report also added: “Nigeria’s CPI score is just another reminder of the need for a fast, transparent, and robust response to the challenges posed by corruption to Nigeria.

“It is worrying that despite the numerous efforts by state actors on the war against corruption, Nigeria is still perceived by citizens and members of the international community as being corrupt. CISLAC/TI is forced to ask why the results do not commensurate with the efforts.

“Despite the fact that CISLAC and Nigerian partners do not collect the CPI data as this is done by independent, reputable organisations, we and other well-meaning citizens have experienced push-back from various governments and their supporters when the CPI results and other indices turn unfavourable.

Some of these pushbacks include labelling us ‘unpatriotic citizens’. In some instances, physical attacks were experienced.

“According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which is an independent think tank organisation, Nigeria witnessed a total of 2,860 kidnappings in 2020 which was up from 1,386 in 2019.”

It also added that “The picture is further gloomy when taking into consideration the Unemployment Data for the second quarter of 2020 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“This survey by the NBS which is the government’s statistical agency shows that one in two Nigerian is either unemployed (27.1%) or underemployed (28.6%). Each of these challenges can be linked to corruption and mismanagement of public resources, which further exacerbates the economic and health impact of the terrible global pandemic.”

According to the report, CISLAC/TI and partners pointed out that there are worrisome factors that would continue to hamper the fight against corruption and described them as a list of key weaknesses which include the absence of transparency in the COVID-19 pandemic response; nepotism in the public service appointments and promotions; lack of adequate anti-corruption legal frameworks and interference by politicians in the operation of law enforcement agencies; the prevalence of bribery and extortion in the police; and security sector corruption.

“In the past year, we witnessed nepotism and favouritism in the appointment and promotion of some public officers. For example, all Nigerians remember the controversy which trailed the decision of the National Judicial Council (NJC) when at least 8 (eight) of the 33 judges recommended for appointment by the NJC were either children or relatives of current or retired Justices of the Supreme or Appeal Courts.

“The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in itself is not an exception with allegations of individuals promoted on the basis of their relationship and other affiliations as against merit and other criteria stated in the rule books. Reports around the commercialisation of employment into various institutions including admission into various tertiary educational institutions put the nation in a bad light. The extortion for the acquisition of services like healthcare, passports renewal and obtaining of visas creates a negative perception of corruption in Nigeria.

“Prevalence of bribery and extortion in the Nigerian Police; The year 2020 witnessed the #EndSARS protests which saw young people across the nation demanding an end to police brutality and corruption. A factor that led to this protest was widespread bribery and extortion by law enforcement officials especially the police.

“The first and second national corruption surveys conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the government’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and released in 2017 and 2019 both showed the Nigerian Police is the institution with the highest prevalence of bribery amongst the institutions measured.

“While there have been commendable efforts by the Police Complaints Response Unit (CRU) in reducing police abuses, there is a need to scale up the efforts of the unit to meet the demands of citizens as contained in the Police Act 2020.

“Security sector corruption: From violent extremism and insurgency to piracy, kidnapping for ransom, attacks on oil infrastructure, drug trafficking, and organized crime, Nigeria faces a host of complex security challenges. These threats typically involve irregular forces and are largely societally based.

“They are most prevalent and persistent in marginalized areas where communities feel high levels of distrust toward the government—often built up over many years. At their root, these security challenges are symptoms of larger failures in governance.

“As many of Nigeria’s security threats are domestic in nature, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is often the primary security interface with the public. However, low levels of public trust in the police inhibit the cooperation needed to be effective against these societally based threats.

“Nigeria’s security system is also perceived to be politicized. Leaders are often appointed based on their political allegiances rather than on their experience or capabilities in law enforcement. As a result, the quality of leadership at the helm of affairs suffers.

“Appointees under such circumstances feel loyalty to their political patron rather than to their institutions or citizens. How and to whom the law is applied is not consistent. Norms of professionalism and ethics are weakened.

“The problem of non-meritocratic leadership is exacerbated by a command-and-control structure that is opaque, centralized, and often chaotic. security leaders who have not earned their position lose the respect of their colleagues, who are then more likely to abandon a unit when facing an armed threat. Insufficient understanding or commitment to effectiveness among a force’s leadership often results in the neglect of training. Problems of police engagement with communities are thus perpetuated,” the report added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday knocked President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) over the 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Report.

Yusuf Luka, is a journalist by profession, He is a graduate of Bingham University. Outside of work, He enjoys hiking with friends, Reading books, and Watching movies. Let's connect on social media.

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