The Presidency has said the Transparency International, TI’s report that ranked Nigeria low was an indictment of Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari or his administration.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, said this on Monday while answering questions on the TI report.
Vanguard reported that Nigeria dropped to 149 on the 2020 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) to become the second most corrupt country in West Africa, scoring 25 out of 100 points, the worst in two years.
Reacting, the Federal Government had said Nigeria’s low rating does not truly reflect the great strides by the country in its fight against corruption.
However, speaking on Channels TV on Monday, Garba Shehu said the report was a judgement on Nigerians, reiterating that the said report was blind to the areas where the Federal Government had “done extremely well”.
According to Garba Shehu, “We want to be complemented for the things we are doing well. As a government, it’s not for us to stop them from releasing reports.
“But based on the parameters used, Transparency International’s report is not a judgement on (President) Buhari or his administration. It is a judgement on Nigerians.
“The two (parameters) they dwelled on are essentially Nigerian problems. They are talking about the political culture of this country.
“Is it Buhari that is a thug? We are not doing thuggery. And then they talked about the justice project; perceived corruption in the judiciary. These perceptions are essentially not correct.”
Shehu agreed that there were issues, but that so many things were ongoing, such as judicial reforms.
It was then pointed out to him that the report did not capture the private sector, informal economies/market, but civil service, appointments, prosecution of corrupt officials among other issues.
Then, asked why the Federal Government responded to the Transparency International’s report if it indicted Nigerians and not the Presidency, Garba Shehu said: “We responded because the report turned a blind eye on where we did extremely well.”
He noted that “Before we came corruption was part of daily life and it was never denounced.
“But now, with increasing education and awareness, Nigerians are coming to accept that corruption is wrong and not the way to go.”