The Nigerian government has criticized the new Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 (CPI) published by Transparency International (TI) indicating that the level of corruption has not improved in Nigeria in the last year.

The new 2022 CPI released on Tuesday shows Nigeria holding its 24 out of 100 points. But despite the lack of improvement in points earned, Nigeria moved up four steps from 154th the previous year to 150th out of the total 180 countries tested.

Disgruntled with the assessment, however, Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said on Wednesday the government is not fighting corruption to impress TI or to earn the agency’s favorable corruption rating.

The minister speaking at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is fighting corruption because it believes that without doing so, “there will be no growth either in economic or political terms.”

echoing the government response a the previous CPI 2021 published in January last yearMohammed said TI was unaware of the administration’s efforts to combat corruption.

He said: “Regarding the TI Nigeria rating, our position is the same. We are not fighting corruption because we want to impress Transparency International or any other organization,” Mohammed said.

“We are fighting corruption because we believe that if we don’t fight corruption, there will be no growth, neither in economic nor political terms.

“Therefore, what we do and what we are implementing to combat corruption is not because we want to be rated by anyone. If, for example, what we are doing attracts the attention of International Transparency and it improves and gives us better grades, so we go.

“However, I can assure you that we do not know which template TI is using. Whatever template they are using clearly ignores what this administration is doing to combat corruption.”

The fight against corruption is not about the number of arrests

According to the minister, the fight against corruption is not primarily about how many people have been arrested, the number of people prosecuted in court or the number of convictions recorded.

Mohammed cited as an example of the administration’s anti-corruption efforts to include allowing the National Sovereign Investment Fund to manage Abacha’s loot that was returned from the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The initiative, according to the minister, largely prevented the returned loot from being stolen or looted again.

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He said the administration has been proactive in fighting corruption and would not worry about qualifying, while applauding the efforts of anti-corruption agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission. and other related (ICPC). , for what he described as his “impressive” performance,

“I am proud to say that we have been more proactive in the fight against corruption and that people are not willing to see what we have put in place to fight corruption. And that’s why I gave that example of setting money aside and how those funds are being used. Once again, the courage of this administration, including in exposing high-ranking administration officials who have broken the law, is a testament to our determination and courage to fight corruption.

“So we’re not really worried or upset about TI’s rating, because we know that everything we do is to make sure we fight corruption the best way we know how to. Like I said, if IT isn’t seeing this, again, I think they need to change their template. But then again, we don’t fight corruption to impress them.”

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TI’s partner in Nigeria, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), released the report in Abuja on Tuesday morning.

Despite maintaining its previous score of 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 assessment, Nigeria’s position rose to 150th in the new index compared to its position of 154 out of 180 countries assessed in the 202 ranking.

“There has been no change in the country score between 2021 and 2022. In the country comparison for the 2022 CPI, Nigeria ranks 150 out of 180 countries compared to 154 in the 2021 CPI results,” he said. the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa, in a statement. statement announcing the new ranking on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: Corruption: Why Transparency International’s rating on Nigeria?

Musa said that while the index does not show specific incidences of corruption in the country, it does indicate the perception of corruption in Nigeria.

“The index is impartial, objective and globally recognized as the most widely used cross-country parameter to measure corruption,” he said.

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