Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch is still very corrupt and remains a country without clear policies to address the menace, Transparency International said in a report released on Tuesday.
This comes against claims by the Buhari government that it has done well in fighting corruption.
The anti-corruption campaigner in the released 2018 Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) said Nigeria has “neither improved nor progressed in the perception of corruption in the public administration in 2018.”
The report released by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency International Chapter in Nigeria, shows that “Nigeria scored 27 out of 100 points in the 2018 CPI, maintaining the same score as in the 2017 CPI – ranking 144 out of 180 countries this year as opposed to 148 out of 180 countries in the 2017 CPI.
According to the report, Nigeria is still perceived as highly corrupt.
The country however moved up four places in the ranking, but that only means that four other countries have scored worse while Nigeria made no progress.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by the business community and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.
In 2016, Nigeria had scored 27/100 and was ranked 136th but dropped to 148/180 in 2017 despite a higher score of 28/100.
In a statement released along with the 2018 report on Tuesday morning, Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International, emphasised the need “to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights” with many democratic institutions “under threat across the globe”.
“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” she said.
The Presidency is yet to respond to this latest report as at the time of going to press. But this comes within days to the 2019 presidential election.
Recall that Mr. Buhari rose to power promising to stamp out corruption. However, many of his critics accuse him of prosecuting a selective war against corruption, shielding his cronies and party men who have been found wanting.