Nigeria’s latest ranking in the 2021 Corruption Perception Index, CPI, released by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, and Transparency International has emerged as a source of worry to Civil Society Organisations.
The CSOs on Tuesday, expressed their displeasure over the ranking, tracing it to inaction of the government to take the bull by the horn and ensuring that those found culpable in corruption cases were dealt with according to the law.
The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, decried the level of corruption in the country as worrisome while calling for more commitment on the part of the government.
“From the Civil Society angle there is so much we can do and there are things we cannot do. We need government reaction or action because their inaction can result in a lot of things and to be able to move the Perception Index, we need activities on the ground.
“We need action on the ground. What else can we do if the government itself that is fighting corruption will not have sanctions, a lot of people have done some bad things like mismanagement and misrule on issues of public trust in terms of finances, there is a lot that is going on, but where are the sanctions and so we need to be able to get the sanctions, we need to have people who have looted the economy, and have cases in court not to walk free.
“The issue of distribution of wealth is very, very important. This will affect the overall and that is why I am quite excited about the Electoral Bill, because when you get it right, the issues of corruption will be stronger, we can get people with credibility to go on to rule in our government.
“It is not strange, because there hasn’t been any drastic thing done at the governmental level, that will, you know, at the policy level to be able to hasten things, and the level of agencies in terms of what you do is something that we have to look at.
“So, if we say everyone is equal and all equal before the law, what can we do? When we are seen people walking freely, they are accused of several things and those who miss managed funds, nothing has been done to them, they are walking the street when we have no money for pensioners, when we have no money, we are having misappropriation all over the place and nobody’s getting sanction.”
She further stated that, “So for me, I think the struggle will continue but it is very unfortunate because one of the cardinal goals of this government is the issue of fighting corruption.
“One is on corruption, the other is on the economy, the welfare of the people, and we can’t help but continue this struggle.”
She also added that, “It is very unfortunate, the way things are so at the end of the day the government will also put its card in terms of score card on that particular aspect of fighting corruption. What have we done about it? We are working at the society level. We won’t give up on Nigeria. So we will continue the struggle against corruption.”
In another reaction, the Executive Director, Adopt A Goal for Development Initiative, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said, “The CPI results released by Transparency International appear very fair to Nigeria, dropping to 154 in 2021 from 149 in 2020 because the level of corruption in the system is alarmingly beyond imagination.
“Nigeria CPI should be reading above 167 of 180 because the Buhari regime is flat-footed about tackling the menace of corruption, and sadly, it has been tolerated as the new normal.
“When blood is thicker than justice in the estimate of a leader, obviously, it would be difficult to address a corruption crisis because your ‘personal people’ are involved.
“What we are experiencing in Nigeria is ‘it is our time’ corruption affairs because the Niger Delta people had their turn, and it is now our turn to do as we like.
“The only way out is to vote in credible leaders who will restructure Nigeria and reform the system. We must stop trying with Gen Buhari and hoping that he will do anything decisive about corruption to ensure a working system.”
Recall that CISLAC, and TI, Tuesday, released the 2021 Corruption Perception Index, CPI, indicating that Nigeria ranked 154 out of 180 countries.
This was made known by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, during a press conference in Abuja.
According to Rafsanjani, the index revealed that Nigeria scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 CPI.