Transparency International (TI) has called on Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies to prosecute corruption cases to logical conclusion in order to reduce the rate of corruption in the country.
TI said this through its National Chapter in Nigeria, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, said that there was also need to address some issues that enhanced corruption, which, according to him, included pardon of convicted high profile individuals and increase in oil theft.
He listed others to include opaqueness of the petroleum subsidy regime, lack of transparency and accountability in the security sector and in constituency projects as well as judicial challenges.
He said that these were the weaknesses that increased Nigeria’s corruption index, so there was need to address them.
Rafsanjani said that the call was necessary because of the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) recently released by TI.
The CPI revealed that Nigeria scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2022 CPI, compared to 24 points in the 2021 CPI.
He said that Nigeria ranked 150 out of 180 countries, compared to 154 on the 2021 CPI results.
“The CPI for Nigeria aggregates data from eight different sources that provide perceptions by country experts and businesspeople on the level of corruption in the public sector.
“While the index does not show specific incidences of corruption in the country, it indicates the perception of corruption in Nigeria.
“The index is impartial, objective and globally acknowledged as the most widely used cross-country parameter for measuring corruption.
“It is important to stress that this is not an assessment of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies who are making commendable efforts in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, despite the political interference they face.
“Rather, the CPI goes beyond the anti-graft agencies,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that TI made some recommendations to tackle corruption in Nigeria.
He called on the National Assembly to ensure transparency in the implementation of the constituency projects.
He called on the relevant agencies to ensure that those found guilty were brought to book.
He urged the Presidency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, security actors and other relevant bodies to ensure that the 2023 General Elections were free, fair, and credible.
Rafsanjani added that the Presidency should ensure that adequate consultation was made with citizens, the media, civil society, and other actors before presidential pardons were granted.
He added that the relevant anti-graft agencies should ensure that high profile corruption cases were pursued to their logical conclusion for the benefit of Nigeria and her citizens.
“Agencies given the mandate to recover assets under the Proceeds of Crime (and Management) Act 2022 should ensure that they establish a database where information about assets in their custody is easily accessed by citizens.
“This should be in line with the Act and the proactive provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
“The Federal Government should address the lingering issue of oil theft in the country,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that there should be transparency in the petroleum subsidy process, recommending that the relevant agencies should investigate and prosecute those found wanting.
He said that there was need for relevant agencies to investigate those behind the importation of toxic fuel to Nigeria in 2022.
He added that there should be transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s security sector.
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