The Presidency has claimed that Nigerians, not President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, are responsible for the country’s poor ranking on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Nigeria had scored 25 out of 100 and was named the second most corrupt nation in West Africa and ranked 149 out of 180 countries.
Appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the rating is a reflection of corruption by Nigerians and not by the Buhari administration.
“I’ll tell you that this one by TI is not a judgement on Buhari or his administration or its war against corruption, I will tell you that this one is a judgement 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,” he stated.
“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.
“And when they talk about the justice sector, they are talking about perceived corruption in the judiciary.
“These perceptions are essentially not correct. Yes, there are issues in that sector but so many changes are going on in that sector wouldn’t it have been nice if they acknowledged it so that you encourage those judicial officers that are upright, and then the system gets getting better.”
However, Shehu’s position is contrary to that of TI which drew its conclusion from 13 data sources that captured the assessment of experts and business executives on a number of 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.
Buhari came into office with the promise of eradicating corruption in the country.
In July 2020, he suspended the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, amid allegations of corruption. Magu was the administration’s face of anti-corruption war.
After Magu’s suspension, Buhari admitted that some of his political appointees had abused his trust.
“On the issue of corruption, all past and present cases will be fully investigated. This is why we put the commission (of investigation) in place. There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration,” the President said at the time.