A Civil Society Organisation, Center for Fiscal Transparency and Financial Crimes Prevention (CFTFCP), has called for an independent Nigerian African Corruption Index.
According to the organisation, the current ‘perception methodology’ used by Transparency International is sourced from 13 foreign-based countries. Due to this, many African countries will always rank low in its reports.
The group’s stance comes after the latest Transparency International’s corruption perception report, which was released on Thursday. According to the report, Nigeria is the fourth most corrupt country in West Africa.
In the report, Nigeria scored 26 out of 100 points, leading to a drop in two places from 144th to 146th position out of the 180 countries that were surveyed, worldwide.
The nation’s anti-corruption agencies: ICPC, EFCC, the Presidency, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, have all taken similar positions condemning and challenging the methodology used by TI in carrying out its research.
But, the CFTFCP executive director, Umar Yakubu, in a statement on Saturday, urged the Nigerian government not to shy away from the existing prevalence of corruption in some sectors of the economy.
”There is also no need to shy away from stating that corruption is still prevalent in some sectors of the economy. But we firmly believe that its high time to develop a Nigerian or an African Corruption Experience Index.
”The reason we argue for such is that with the current methodology used by Transparency International, most African countries will always rank low, thus misleading the public about efforts made by several governments in Africa but particularly Nigeria.”
The group said since the TI does not source for perceptions or experience of corruption by Nigerians, ”it becomes difficult to convince any audience that you evaluate a country with indicators based on perceptions of people outside the country.
”Firstly, Transparency International insists on using a ‘perception methodology’ and draws data about 13 foreign-based sources.
”These include the Bertelsmann Stiftung Sustainable Governance Indicators; Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Service, and African Development Bank.
”Data is also drawn from World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey; Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Asian Intelligence; Global Insight Country Risk Ratings; and World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment; and a few others. TI also admits that it collects information from “businessmen and credible institutions,” as well as “in-house researchers and academic advisors”.
”These sources are what are used to assess Nigeria. It becomes difficult to convince any audience that you evaluate a country with indicators based on perceptions of people outside the country.
”If it’s from the businessmen, what percentage are international businessmen compared to local ones in terms of transactions within Nigeria? Who does corruption hurt the most?
”Tl is clear about its technical methodology; stating that it does not source for perceptions or experience of corruption by Nigerians! So how does the generated data support the ‘perception’ of corruption in Nigeria?”