The presidency on Thursday reacted to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index on Nigeria.
In a statement titled: “President Buhari deserves credit for diminishing corruption in public service,” and issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, the presidency alleged that some perceived “enemies of the government” were behind the low ranking of Nigeria on corruption index by the watchdog.
Transparency International had on Thursday ranked Nigeria at 149 out of 180 countries on transparency, the country’s worst performance since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015.
The report revealed that Nigeria scored 25 out of 100 points in the corruption perception index.
But Shehu insisted that the present administration would continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education, and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.
The presidential aide stressed that the government was analysing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest report, adding it did not accurately portray the facts on the ground in the country.
He said: “In the coming days, the government’s Technical Unit on Governance Research will be providing more detailed information on the sources of the TI data.
“While this is being awaited, the examination carried out on their 2019 report showed that 60 percent of their data was collected from businesses and other entities with issues bordering on transparency and the ease of doing business at the ports.
“Although this is a government that is ready to learn from mistakes and make corrections, the economy of this country, in its fullness, is bigger than the seaports we have.
“We are also not unaware of the characters behind the TI in Nigeria whose opposition to the Buhari administration is not hidden.
“We have repeatedly challenged TI to provide indices and statistics of its own to justify its sensational and baseless rating on Nigeria and the fight against corruption. We expect them to come clean and desist from further rehashing of old tales.
“A Naira denominated review that excludes recoveries in Dollars, Pounds, Euro shows that a sum of N1.2tn was recovered by EFCC between 2009 — 2019. N939bn of that total was recovered between 2015 – 2019 with less than N300bn recovered in the first six years.
“Additionally, preventative instruments deployed by this administration such as Treasury Single Account, Integrated Personnel, and Payroll Information System coverage expansion and the removal of 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service saving us N200bn annually serve as evidence that the perception is not reality.”
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