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Attorney General Malami discredits Nigeria’s worse anticorruption ranking

23 Jan 2020, 04:25 pm
Financial Nigeria
Attorney General Malami discredits Nigeria’s worse anticorruption ranking

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Nigeria is ranked in the 146th position out of 180 countries and territories in the 2019 CPI, dropping 2 places from the previous year's ranking.

Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

Nigeria's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has discredited the newly-released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 by Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption watchdog. The index, released today, ranks Nigeria in the 146th position out of 180 countries and territories, as the country dropped two places from the previous year's ranking.

Reacting to the report today, Malami stated that President Muhammadu Buhari's government has done a lot in the fight against corruption. In an interview on Channels Television, the AGF tasked TI to provide statistical proof for its poor ranking of Nigeria.

Under the Buhari administration, Nigeria dropped 12 places from the 2016 ranking to 148th position in the 2017 CPI. The country moved up four places to 144th position in 2018, but has now dropped two places on the latest index.

The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. Using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean, Nigeria got a score of 26 in 2019. This is below the Sub-Saharan African average score of 32.   

“The Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 reveals a staggering number of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption," said Transparency International. "Our analysis also suggests that reducing big money in politics and promoting inclusive political decision-making are essential to curb corruption.”

In the last eight years, TI said only 22 countries have shown significant improvement on the CPI, while almost as many have declined. More than 130 countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption, said the watchdog.

“In terms of legislation, we have done more; in terms of enforcement we have done more; in terms of recovery of looted assets we have done more; and in terms of political goodwill, we have demonstrated extraordinary political goodwill,” Malami argued in his Channels Television interview. “In terms of the fight against corruption, we have been doing more; we have done more and we will continue to do more out of inherent conviction and desire on our part to fight against corruption devoid of any extraneous considerations relating to the rating by Transparency International."

TI reported that countries in which elections and political party financing are open to undue influence from vested interests are less able to combat corruption. Analysis by TI shows that countries that perform well on the CPI also have stronger enforcement of campaign finance regulations and broader range of political consultation.

The anti-corruption watchdog recommends that to reduce corruption and restore trust in politics, governments must reinforce checks and balances and promote separation of powers. Governments must also tackle preferential treatment to ensure budgets and public services aren’t driven by personal connections or biased towards special interests. TI also said governments need to empower citizens and protect activists, whistleblowers and journalists.

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