March 1, 2021

2020 TI-CPI rating not true reflection of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agenda – FG

By allcitynews.ng

The Federal Government has said Nigeria’s low rating in the 2020
Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) does
not truly reflect the great strides by the country in its fight
against corruption.

The Minister of Information
and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
in a statement made available to allcitynews.ng by Adeyemi
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of The Minister of Information and Culture issued in Abuja on today Sunday, assured that the country’s
anti-corruption agenda, which has placed great emphasis on corruption
prevention measures and the building of integrity systems, remains on
course.

The Minister said the implementation of the various reforms, especially in the Ease of Doing Business, is expected to yield
positive outcomes in the country’s corruption perception and other
relevant assessments in the next 12 to 24 months.

”For instance, following the release of the 2019 TI-Corruption
Perception Index, the government initiated reforms to improve on
Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business indices. This is because we found
that up to 40% of the country’s corruption perception survey indices
relates to business processes and general public service delivery
processes. Government’s swift action has led to major reforms in the
processes at our ports and business process points,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said in addition to placing more emphasis on
corruption prevention measures and building of integrity systems, high
profile corruption cases are currently under investigation and
prosecution.

He said the emphasis on preventive mechanisms is in response to
various local and international reviews and evaluation that Nigeria
has gone through, including those from the United Nations Convention
Against Corruption (UNCAC) and even from the TI-CPI

“In response to these evaluations, a number of significant policies
have been instituted to enhance transparency and accountability, and
prevent corruption. Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a
number of key transparency and accountability policies were developed
and are currently being implemented.”

He listed such policies as including the launch, by the ICPC, of the
National Ethics Policy which addresses integrity issues on all sectors
of the polity and is directly linked to a key pillar of the National
Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), which is Ethical Reorientation;
efforts by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to energize the Code of
Conduct for Public Officers (CCPO) and the launch of the Nigerian Port
Process Manual (NPPM), which is ultimately aimed at sustaining the
country’s improvement in the Ease of Doing business.

According to the Minister ”While we expect the results from these reforms to speak for us in
due course, we are also taking measures to improve our data collection
and retrieval on these issues to reduce the current under-reporting of
our ongoing corruption reduction measures.”

He said having analyzed the 2020 TI-CPI rating for Nigeria, the
Federal Government is interrogating a number of issues and
discrepancies that have been observed in the rating process, including
some data sources in which Nigeria’s scores have remained flat over
the past 10 years, reflecting no improvement, decline or fluctuation.

Similarly, the Minister noted that ”This is very improbable given the nature of behaviour of variables,
which are normally influenced by a variety of factors (which is the
reason they are called ‘variables’). In this case, the corruption
scores would have been affected by changes in the size and structure
of the public sector over the past 10 years, changes in policies and
personnel and systems over the period including, for instance, process
automation, etc. There is therefore a need to verify that there is no
transposition of figures from year to year due to absence of current
data.”

Also, he said, different assessments on the same indicators (for
instance corruption in the bureaucracy) by different rating
institutions have generated different scores and different rankings
across the ranking agencies

”There is a need to understand why these variations occur, and
consequently the robustness of the methodology and validity of data,”
Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that there are missing assessments for
Nigeria in the data entries where the country has performed well in
previous CPI calculations, like the African Development Bank Country Policy and
Institutional Assessment.

“There is a need to understand why scores for this assessment have
not been recorded for Nigeria for the past two years, which has had
the effect of reducing Nigeria’s cumulative score and ranking relative
to countries with those scores included in their CPI for both years.”