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2020 corruption rating not true reflection of anti-corruption fight

By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

The Federal Government has disputed the recent rating of Nigeria by Transparency International (TI).

The country’s low rating in the 2020 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI),the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said does not truly reflect the great strides by the country in its fight against corruption.

In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, Mohammed, assured the 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.

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,” the Minister said.

He said having analysed 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.

”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,” the Minister said.

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,” Mohammed said, 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,” he said.

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Source: The Nation

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