Home Anti Corruption Nigeria Drops in 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index

Nigeria Drops in 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index

by Isiyaku Ahmed

Isiyaku Ahmed

Nigeria has again dropped five places in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranking released on Tuesday by Transparency International (TI).

In a statement made available to Stallion Times on Tuesday by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the Head of Transparency International-Nigeria and the Chairman, Board of Trustee, Amnesty International-Nigeria Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the index reveals t Nigeria scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 CPI, falling back one point compared to the 2020 CPI.

In the country comparison for this year, Nigeria ranks 154 out of 180 countries – five places down compared to the 2020 CPI results.

According to the statement, this is Nigeria’s second consecutive year of a downward spiral on the TI’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

“It is Nigeria’s second consecutive year of a downward spiral on the TI’s CPI ranking, the country’s score, having dropped from 26 in 2019 to 25 in the 2020 assessment, and further to 24 in the latest 2021 record.”

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

While the index does not show specific incidences of corruption in the country, it indicates the perception of corruption in Nigeria.

The index is completely impartial, objective, and globally acknowledged as the most widely used cross-country parameter for measuring corruption.

“This CPI result comes at a point when Nigeria as a country is battling with rising nationwide insecurity, a high unemployment rate, and damning revelations around public finance management by the auditor general and investigative journalists, amongst others,” the statement added.

Accordingly, CISLAC/TI-Nigeria have listed key weaknesses to explain why Nigeria may not have improved in the fight against corruption. We feel that these areas require immediate improvement for the sake of the well-being of ordinary Nigerians and the economy.

The weaknesses are Damning Audit Report, Security Sector Corruption, Failure to Investigate High Profile Corruption Cases and prevent Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), Absence of asset recovery, protection of whistle-blowers, and other key anti-corruption legal frameworks,

Others are Judicial Challenges, Corruption in the COVID-19 Response, Twitter ban, shrinking civic space, and intimidation of human rights defenders.

To improve the ranking, CISLAC/TI-Nigeria advised that Nigeria should implement the following recommendations;

  1. The relevant anti-graft agencies should investigate allegations of corruption by Politically Exposed Persons Irrespective of Political Party Affiliation.
  2. The National Assembly should speed up deliberations and passage of relevant anti-corruption-related laws or amendments to strengthen anti-corruption efforts in the interest of Nigerians. The President should assent to these laws once they are passed while taking into consideration the best interest of citizens.
  3. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Anti-graft agencies, Ministries of Justice, and Foreign Affairs should work in synergy and engage their international counterparts to ensure that global enablers/middlemen like lawyers, notaries, accountants who help facilitate money laundering and tax evasion are blacklisted, deregistered, or held to account under the several national laws, policies and international frameworks to which Nigeria is a signatory.
  4. The Nigeria Police Force should urgently investigate the unexplained disappearance of arms and ammunition with a view to close the gaps.
  5. The Nigerian police should strengthen its existing complaints channels by reinforcing the Complaints Response Unit (CRU) of the Police to handle and investigate complaints of misconduct by police officers across the country as provided for in the Police Act 2020.
  6. The government must ensure democratic and free civic space for engagement with the citizenry and the media. The decline in freedom of expression and lack of respect for human rights should be stopped.
  7. There is also a need to operationalize the anti-corruption strategy to ensure that anti-corruption efforts are not concentrated at the federal level alone.

Also, other arms of government need to be involved in the fight against corruption. It should not be left to the executive arm alone.

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