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Corruption ranking: Characters behind report are Buhari’s opposition, says Garba Shehu


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GARBA Shehu, spokesperson to Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, has said that the persons behind the recently published global corruption ranking are the opposition of the current administration.

Shehu said this in a statement issued on his official Twitter handle in reaction to the Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) that ranked Nigeria as West Africa’s most corrupt country after Guinea-Bissau.

“We are also not unaware of the characters behind the TI in Nigeria whose opposition to the Buhari administration is not hidden,” Shehu said.

He stated that the Buhari administration had repeatedly challenged the ranking while labelling it as ‘sensational and baseless.’

According to the presidential spokesperson, its anti-graft agency, Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had recovered 1.2 trillion naira in the last decade, 939bn naira of it was between 2015-2019.

He added that the current administration had also deployed preventive measures to curb corruption and fish out ghost workers from the federal civil service.

“Additionally, preventative instruments deployed by this administration such as Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) coverage expansion and the removal of 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service saving us 200bn naira annually serve as evidence that perception is not reality,” Shehu further stated.

In the 2020 ranking, Nigeria, again, slipped down the ladder to 149 (out of 180) on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), scoring 25 points out of 100.

In 2019, Nigeria was ranked 146th, with a total score of 26 (out of 100).  In 2018 and 2017, the country maintained a CPI score of 27, ranking 144 and 148 respectively.

Nigeria ranked 136 out of 176 with a score of 27 in 2014, one year before Buhari was elected.

The 180-member nations are usually ranked from 0 to 100. While zero indicates the participating country is ‘highly corrupt,’ 100 signifies the highest level of transparency – ‘very clean.’

However, The ICIR had reported how contract inflation, breach of procurement process, among others, reigned supreme during the peak of COVID-19 in 2020.

Several government agencies, including the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), among others, were found culpable of illegal conducts.

While the 2020 CPI report shows that corruption is more pervasive in countries least equipped to handle COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises due to the relaxed procurement process, Shehu did not address the several breaches of procurement process during the COVID-19.

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Shehu said the federal government was currently analysing the source of the data used for the 2020 ranking.

“We are currently analysing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest Transparency International (TI) report on Corruption Perceptions Index in Nigeria since by their own admission, they don’t gather their own data,” Shehu further stated.

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