ActionAid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation working to combat poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria has called on the Nigerian government to intensify its fight against corruption through stiffer punishment for looters and inclusion of citizens in the fight against corruption.
In a statement issued by the communication coordinator ActionAid Nigeria Lola Ayanda and made available to newsmen in Lokoja Friday, the Country Director of the antipoverty organisation, Ene Obi lamented that released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 has contradicted the assumption that the country is excelling in the fight against corruption.
“While it appears that the Nigerian Government is doing so much in fighting corruption, the just released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 has contradicted the assumption that we are excelling in the fight against corruption.
“We do agree that the CPI report annually is based on perception, however, perception also help to validate the gaps that exist in the way’s government relates with its citizenry” she said.
Obi pointed out that the report which ActionAid Nigeria considers to be revealing, shows how Nigeria has retrogressively slipped down in the hierarchy of 180 countries measured, lamenting that “in the last two years Nigeria has slipped from 148 in 2017, made a slight progress in 2018 and now slipped down by 2 position to 146 among 180 Countries. Nigeria’s score has placed her between 3 top scorers and bottom scorers in sub-Sahara Africa”.
She called on the federal government to be more deliberate on citizen inclusion and engagements in the anti-corruption fight through sensitisation to mobilise a critical mass of citizens against corruption, saying such effort would eliminate the distrust and negative perceptions gaining momentum in citizens’ space.
“There should be more support in strengthening institutions with credible visionary leadership with the capacity to mould both the narrative and direction of the anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria.
“There should be no political interference in execution of legislations and there should be clear-cut roles and responsibilities among relevant agencies in the fight against corruption” she said.