Nigeria has dropped five places in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), scoring 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 index, according to Transparency International (TI).
Nigeria’s current 154 ranking out of 180 countries in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index is a drop of 149 in the 2020 index.
The CPI is TI’s tool for measuring the levels of corruption in the systems of various countries around the world. The maximum points a country can score is 100 points, and the least is zero. Zero signifies the worst performing countries and 100, the best-ranked.
According to the ranking, Nigeria is the second most corrupt country in West Africa after Guinea is ranked 150 on the global index.
While the Nigerian government has consistently claimed that it is reducing corruption, the ranking may be an indicator that corruption is getting worse in Nigeria.
It is Nigeria’s second consecutive year of a downward spiral on the TI’s CPI ranking, the country’s score has dropped from 26 in 2019 to 25 in the 2020 assessment, and further to 24 in the latest 2021 record.
The CPI is one of the data that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) relied on to push its anti-corruption agenda against former governments of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during campaigns of his first election in 2014.
However, the Nigerian government has become one of the fiercest critics of the index since Buhari was elected president over unfavourable rankings to Nigeria.
Nigeria’s information and culture minister Lai Mohammed in 2021 said the index “does not reflect the great strides by the country in its fight against corruption, particularly in the public sector.”
Garba Shehu, a spokesman to Buhari accused Transparency International of releasing a “sensational and baseless rating on Nigeria and the fight against corruption.”
Instead, he said, “the Buhari administration deserves credit for diminishing corruption in the public service and will continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.”
While saying the “government is ready to learn from mistakes and make corrections”, the presidential spokesman noted that “this report is not an accurate portrayal of the facts on ground.”
But, Transparency International in the 2021 report said “despite multiple commitments, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption in the last decade.”
Transparency International in its report highlighted that “the global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of a possible 100 points.”