Nigeria improves in corruption perception index

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International (TI),have said that Nigeria’s rating has improved on the corruption perception index.
Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, CISLAC and partner TI, said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
Rafsanjani said that the report showed that Nigeria recorded an improved ranking, moving five places upward to rank 145 out of 180 countries assessed.
He added that apart from moving five places upward from its 150th position, Nigeria also scored 25 out of the 100 maximum points in the 2023 CPI results as compared to 150 on the 2022 CPI results.
According to Rafsanjani, Nigeria’s score is below the Sub Saharan African average of 33 points.
He said that most African countries showed stagnation, saying that ninety per cent of countries in sub-Saharan Africa scored under 50.
He said that in spite of Nigeria’s slight improvement on points scored, it placed below the Sub-Saharan African average of 33 points.
Rafsanjani said that CISLAC/TI-Nigeria listed key areas to explain why Nigeria showed some improvement and areas where gaps persisted.
“Some of the positive points include: Strength: the launch of the Beneficial Ownership Register.
” The Nigerian government launched its Open Central Register of Beneficial Ownership which is also known as the Persons with Significant Control (PSC) register having passed a Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 202 which supports its establishment.
“To this effect, we are calling on the government through the Corporate Affairs Commission to ensure that this register is updated with information on persons who have significant interest in companies,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that it was also paramount for the various anti-corruption agencies to work with the information in this register which was actionable intelligence.
He said that above all, citizens must have unfettered access to the register.
He said that another reason for the improvement was a vibrant media, civil society and citizenry in demanding transparency and accountability.
He added that arrests and recoveries by anti-corruption agencies also aided the improvement in corruption perception index as there had been arrests and recoveries of proceeds of crime by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies.
Rafsanjani said that there need for Nigeria to improve on the weak areas that led to increase in corruption perception like electoral corruption, judicial corruption and corruption in the security sector.
He listed others to include opaqueness of public institutions, wasteful expenditures, reward of corrupt and questionable individuals with appointments and failure to prosecute high-profile cases.
Rafsanjani said that to this end, there was need to put some measures in place to address these grey areas.
“The independence of the Nigerian justice system needs to be strengthened to shield it from interference.
“Merit-based promotion and appointments should be carried out rather than political appointments. This will help win back the trust of the citizens in the judiciary.“
Rafsanjani said that there should be a proper integrity monitoring mechanism in the Nigerian judiciary adding that it should cover whistleblowing and other reporting channel as well as the disclosure of assets and conflicts of interest.
He added that the electoral system needed to be reformed, agencies should ensure that high-profile corruption cases are pursued to their logical conclusion for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens and the government should better open and transparent.
He added that the National Assembly should ensure transparency in the implementation of the constituency projects and the relevant agencies should ensure that those found guilty were brought to book among other measures.

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