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Gap In Data Supply, Analysis Responsible For Low Ranking By Transparency International – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, addressing reporters in Abuja on February 20, 2020.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says Nigeria’s low rating on the Transparency International (TI) corruption perception index is due to certain gaps in the provision and analyses of data between the country and the anti-corruption agency. 

While briefing newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the minister stated that the government looked into the ratings and made certain discoveries that show why the low rating has continued.

“We took the ratings seriously, so we actually went to analyze the ratings, and we found that there have been some gaps; either we have not forwarded enough data or they have not analysed such data.

The spokesman further revealed that the government found it strange that the country’s rating has remained the same for a period of 10years.

He however noted that the authorities are taking remedial measures so they can get the data in respect of those sectors.

“We believe that it is not possible for you not to improve, for you not to lose points for 10years. There is a bit of discrepancy” Lai Mohammed stressed.

Mr Mohammed argued that the issue of TI’s low ranking of the country was not necessarily about stealing of public funds, arguing that the assessment has so far not correctly reflected the government’s effort to curb graft in the country.

The minister observed that there are some inconsistencies in the ranking by the global body over the years due to inadequate data, noting however that reforms are in the works to see that the nation’s corruption perception would improve.

In alluding to past rankings, Mr. Mohammed said it was realized that the nation was scored very low in the area of ease of doing business in particular.

“That is why the Federal Government embarked on reforms, especially at the seaports. That is one area where we scored very low and you’ll see that in recent times, we’ve embarked on numerous reforms at our seaports so that our rating will improve.

“In addition, we are putting more emphasis on the preventive mechanism of corruption rather than prosecution. The preventive mechanism that we’ve put in place include the National Ethics Policy launched by the ICPC to address integrity issues in all sectors of the polity and is directly linked to the pillar of the national anti-corruption strategy,” the minister stated.

He added that “the Code of Conduct Bureau has put in place some preventive measures, especially in the area of energizing the code of conduct for public officers

“The Council for Ease of Doing Business recently launched the Nigerian Ports Process manual to hasten the processing of goods at the ports.”

Worst Ranking Since 2013
In January, Nigeria recorded its worst rating on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index since 2013.

In the 2020 index, the country scored 25 out of 100 points, dropping to 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed, taking the nation three steps down from the 146 scored in 2019.

According to Transparency International, the nation’s deep in ranking stems from an absence of transparency,  nepotism, lack of adequate anti-corruption legal frameworks, the prevalence of bribery and extortion in the Nigerian Police, corruption in the security sector, among others.

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