Nigeria has once again scored 24 out of 100 points while ranking 150 among 180 countries on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International on Tuesday, reports.
Although the country maintained its previous year’s (2021) score of 24 out of 100 points, there was a change in rank from 154 to 150, in the newly released index.
The PUNCH reports that the CPI is Transparency International’s tool for measuring the level of corruption in the systems of the 180 countries across the world, based on certain prevalent indices.
Such indices are bribery, diversion of public funds, public officials using public office for private gain without consequences, ability of governments to contain corruption and enforce effective integrity mechanisms in the public sector, red tape and excessive bureaucratic burden which may increase opportunities for corruption, meritocratic versus nepotistic appointments in the civil service.
For Nigeria, the CPI sourced its data for the ranking from eight globally acclaimed organisations, some of which Nigeria is a partner.
The eight organisations are the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey, Works Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Varieties of Democracy Project, Global Insight Country Risk Guide, PRS International Country Risk Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Ratings, and the Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index.
Two former governors were pardoned in April 2022, their convictions and sentencing had been affirmed by the Supreme Court and they had yet to serve half the length of their jail term.
The prosecution of the former governors which started under the previous administration lasted over 10 years with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission having to expend scarce public funds to see the case to the end.
In previous years, Nigeria had experienced a consecutive drop in the CPI ranking. In 2012, the country scored 27, and in 2013 it scored 25, then went back to 27 in 2014, and down to 26 in 2015, moved up to 28 in 2016, 27 in 2017 and 2018, 26 in 2019, down to 25 in 2020, and 24 in 2021 and 2022.
However, the Nigerian authorities have continued to criticise reorts from Transparency International that points to worsening corruption in the country.
It claimed last year, in reaction to the 2021 assessment, that the global anti-corruption body lacked the basis upon which it could rank Nigeria.
Meanwhile, according to Transparency International Chair, Delia Rubio, global corruption levels had been stagnant for 11 years in a row.
Rubio said, “Corruption has made our world a more dangerous place. As governments have collectively failed to make progress against it, they fuel the current rise in violence and conflict – and endanger people everywhere. The only way out is for states to do the hard work, rooting out corruption at all levels to ensure governments work for all people, not just an elite few.”
Also at a press conference on Tuesday, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre in conjunction with Transparency International, noted that the pardon granted two jailed former governors – Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and Jolly Nyame of Taraba State in 2022 by the Buhari-led administration, indicated a major setback in the country’s anti-corruption efforts.
CISLAC also noted that prevalent insecurity, lack of press freedom, inability to prosecute and convict politicians who failed to fully declare their assets, especially those in offshore accounts, increase in oil theft, opaqueness of the subsidy regime, lack of transparency and accountability in the security sector, lack of transparency in constituency projects, and also inadequacy of the judicial and the legislative arms of government, were all contributing factors.
Meanwhile, for Sub-Saharan Africa, the regional average score of 32 out of 100 marks another year of stagnation on the Corruption Perceptions Index for 44 of the 49 countries assessed in the region, all of whom scored below 50.
Gains made by a few countries are outweighed by significant declines in others.
This year’s CPI results underline how intertwined paths of democracy, security and development in Sub-Saharan Africa were eroded by corruption – particularly during a time of global crises. The region struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased cost of living
Seychelles continues to lead the region with a CPI score of 70, followed by Botswana and Cabo Verde, each with 60. Burundi (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (12) performed the lowest.