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Nigeria needs to develop its own corruption perception index, says CSO

Nigeria needs to develop its own corruption perception index, says CSO
January 24
12:08 2020

Umar Yakubu, executive director, Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Financial Crimes Prevention, says Nigeria has to develop its own corruption perception index.

Yakubu was reacting to the corruption perception index published by Transparency International (TI) which ranked Nigeria 146 out of the 180 countries considered.

With a score of 26 out of 100 points, Nigeria ranks as the second most corrupt ECOWAS country.

But in a statement issued on Friday, Yakubu faulted said TI’s methodology and sources by which it arrived at its ranking.

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He said it would be difficult to ascertain the true state of corruption in Nigeria when the perception of the social vice is not gathered inward but from people outside the country.

According to him, the methodology used by TI will always rank African countries low, adding that it is misleading and does not encourage the efforts of developing countries.

Yakubu, however, agreed that corruption is still prevalent in Nigeria, and that the anti-corruption agencies are not doing enough in the discharge of their duties.

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“Without a doubt, we believe that Transparency International means well for the world in terms of improving good governance. There is also no need to shy away from stating that corruption is still prevalent in some sectors of the economy. But we firmly believe that its high time to develop a Nigerian or an African Corruption Experience Index,” Yakubu said.

“The reason we argue for such is that with the current methodology used by Transparency International, most African countries will always rank low, thus misleading the public about efforts made by several governments in Africa but particularly Nigeria.

“Firstly, Transparency International insists on using a ‘perception methodology’ and draws data about 13 foreign-based sources.

“Tl is clear about its technical methodology; stating that it does not source for perceptions or experience of corruption by Nigerians! So how does the generated data support the ‘perception’ of corruption in Nigeria?

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“It becomes difficult to convince any audience that you evaluate a country with indicators based on perceptions of people outside the country. If it’s from the businessmen, what percentage are international businessmen compared to local ones in terms of transactions within Nigeria? Who does corruption hurt the most?

“The methods are not designed to encourage developing countries. Therefore, it is our opinion that Nigeria conducts its own Corruption Experience Index where people that have been exposed to acts of corruption are those used in developing an index.

“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently conducted something along that line but with a focus on ‘bribery’. A lot of MDAs were reported with valid and reliable data. That is more acceptable because it identifies the areas that bribery occurs. The same methodology could be researched upon and expanded to be used on matters related to corruption. That will pinpoint exact areas of concern in which remedies would be sought.

“But to continuously spread a blanket of corruption over a whole country for the last 20 years based on the perception of external institutions will not reflect the reality or complexity of the actual level of corruption.”

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Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, had described TI’s ranking of Nigeria as baseless, saying the government has been “doing more work” on the fight against corruption.

 

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