Regardless of the claims by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration that it is waging a successful war against corruption, the latest Transparency International ranking places the country in the bottom rung of the corruption ladder. The country is ranked 144th out of 180 countries.
Backstory: The 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which was published on Tuesday by the anti-corruption campaigner showed that Nigeria moved four spots from 148 in 2017 to 144 in 2018, placing it on the same spot as countries like Guatemala, Comoros, Kenya and Mauritania. However the country’s score remained stagnant from last year at 27 out of a possible 100.
Ratings on the list are drawn from 13 surveys and expert assessments used in measuring public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, with scores ranging from zero which indicates high rate of corruption, to 100, which signifies a country completely free of corruption.
Dismissal by the Presidency: Recall that the report which measures the level of corruption in the public sector as perceived by the business community and country experts, had been previously dismissed by the Buhari-led administration in 2017 on claims that it was politically motivated to discredit the work of the current administration.
Way forward: The Nigerian arm of the agency, The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has however come up with some ways with which the country can effectively tackle the endemic issue of corruption:
- Strengthening the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power, and ensuring their ability to operate without intimidation.
- Closing the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement.
- Supporting civil society organizations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the state and local level.
- Supporting a free and independent media, ensuring the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.
Bottom line: The administration is expected to still dismiss this report. But it is another proof that the government’s claims on its corruption fight are not resonating with the most of the populace.