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Nigeria’s Drop-in Transparency International’s Corruption Ranking and the ‘Blame-Game.’

February 4, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolu Okunade

“This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody Blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.”

How is this short story related to the title of this piece? Keep reading, you’d find out soon. 

Exactly a week ago, the Corruption Perception Index was published by Transparency International. In this report, it showed that Nigeria ranked 149th out of 180 countries surveyed scoring 25 out of 100. This is three places lower than it was in 2019 as we occupied the 146th Position scoring 26th out of 100. 

Did you know? 

That with the Current Corruption Perception Index, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt nation in West Africa only behind Guinea-Bissau. We are also 12th out of 54 Countries in Africa.

Now, before you ask for the credibility of this organization and the report, know that the reports published by Transparency International based in Berlin have been done consistently annually since 1995. It ranks countries based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption as determined by surveys and opinion experts. 

Did you know? 

According to NairaMetrics, Nigeria’s drop on this index has continued over the last four years.

What exactly were the reasons for Nigeria’s drop in the 2020 Global Corruption Perception Index? Here are some of the reasons according to Transparency International:

  • Inadequate anti-corruption legal frameworks and interference in the operation of law enforcement agencies. 
  • Absence of Transparency in the COVID-19 Pandemic. 
  • Prevalence of bribery and extortion in the Nigerian Police
  • Nepotism 
  • Security Sector Corruption

In response to this, The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says the report is a reflection of corruption by Nigerians and not by the Buhari administration. In his exact words, He said: 

“I’ll tell you that this one by Transparency International is not a judgment on Buhari or his administration or its war against corruption, I will tell you that this one is a judgment on Nigerians because if you look at the indices they used at arriving at these conclusions, they used eight indices, six of which showed Nigeria as being more or less Nigeria in the same position. The two that they dwelled on, that caused this backslide, are essentially Nigerian problems. They’re talking about the political culture of this country, vote-buying, thuggery. Is it Buhari that is a thug? We’re not doing thuggery.

His position, however, differs from that of Transparency which drew its conclusion from 13 data sources that capture the assessment of experts and business executives on several corrupt behaviours in the public sector including bribery, diversion of public funds, use of public office for private gain and nepotism in the civil service.

That is exactly what that story at the start of this piece is about. Blaming everyone when you could do the job yourself. For the longest time, the antic employed by the administration for poor or non-performance has been the blame game. When they first assumed office, the blamed the former administration. We understood. It made perfect sense. They just came in. Then months in, they began to blame the leaders that have led in the first 16 years before them. It seemed strange. We elected you to fix the nation and not pass the baton of blame around. Now, they’ve passed it to us and we’re the ones to blame.

The Government should understand that we aren’t anti-people or anti-country. We want this nation to work not just for ourselves but for our children. So when we constructively criticize or protest as we did in October 2020, we do not hate them. We only want a nation that works. 

We didn’t elect them to give excuses. No government can exist without its people because their powers stem from them. It only makes sense that their allegiance should be to us. The ordinary Nigerian has no power to fix Nepotism in the public sector. Or the Security Sector’s Corruption. Or the Bribery and Corruption among the Police. Or even the Inadequate anti-corruption legal frameworks and interference in the operation of law enforcement agencies. The Government can. And they must. 

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