The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and THE National Contact of Transparency International (TI), Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) has said that the Nigeria’s poor performance in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was a serious setback in the fight against corruption.
Rafsanjani in a press statement personally signed by him averred that the report confirmed that grant-corruption, political corruption, nepotism, favouritism and bribery persist in Nigeria at all levels.
He noted that the negative perception was mainly a consequence of the inability to combat grant corruption and astronomical plundering of public coffers costing the Nigerian tax payers around 25 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP)
He lamented that since the current administration came to power on the anti-corruption ticket, no significant politically exposed person has been duly sentenced on anti-corruption charges.
He noted that anti-corruption agencies have accelerated the rate of convictions on anti-corruption charges, adding that Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) alone brought 286 cases to conviction in 2016 and 2017.
The Executive Director however said that, majority assets into the state budget and no effect on unfavourable public opinion.
Accusing the judiciary, he said, “there is reason to suspect that the judiciary is either not able or willing to prosecute the VIP cases of senior public servants and elected politicians who have either directly plundered lucrative Nigerian state resources or were at least responsible for the catastrophic lack of oversight over public funds as mandated by the constitution”.
The disclosed that promising steps such as the drafting of the first-ever National Anti-Corruption Strategy in 2017 have been undertaken but that little was done to put the strategy in motion. “Such half-way abandoned projects are unlikely to convince the Nigerian public and the international community about the seriousness to fight corruption”, he acknowledged.
“On a similar note, Nigeria has made numerous international commitments to tackle corruption and lack of transparency.
14 commitments were made as part of the open government partnership effort. In some cases, a modest progress has been made.
The World Bank Doing Business Index has improved due to concerted effort of the government and the civil society. However, the majority of the 14 commitment stay unfulfilled”.