Sunday, 22 November 2009

News Release: We Condemn Nigeria’s Further Slip In The Ranking Of Corruption Index

                                          [Nigerian Flag]

The Movement Against Corruption in Nigeria (MAC), a not-for-profit independent conglomeration of civil society organizations, trade unions, faith-based organizations, community based organisations, the media, businesses (farmers, and artisans cooperative societies), human rights activists, academics, women, students, and youth groups from across Nigeria berates Nigeria’s further drop from the ladder of the global anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International, ranking. The report released on November 17th, 2009 ranked Nigeria 130 out of 180 countries in the 2009 Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

This latest ranking, like the previous one, is an indictment on Nigerian government’s half- hearted war against corruption in the country. The haphazard approach of the government in the fight against corruption; the fire-brigade approaches utilized by the anti-corruption agencies; the limitless immunity enjoyed by our public office holders; and the undue connivance of the judiciary in granting perpetual injunction prohibiting investigation into graft matters particularly involving former governors contributed in no small measure to the decline recorded. In 2008 Nigeria ranked 121st with a CPI score of 2.7 and confidence range of between 2.3 and 3.0 while it presently ranked 130 with a lowly score of 2.5 out of possible ten obtainable especially if Cape Verde, a tiny West African nation emerged with a score of 5.1

It is indeed regrettable and condemnable that Nigeria has reached a threshold of rewarding corruption, dishonesty and indolence. No country ever achieved development without tackling the war against corruption seriously. The recent report of Transparency International made a mockery of President Yar’Adua’s 7-point agenda and his commitment to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

The Movement Against Corruption in Nigeria (MAC) hereby reiterate that for the war against corruption to be successful, government at all levels must demonstrate strong political will to adequately tackle the scourge of corruption that has smitten our economic, social and political life. Until there is a holistic general reform programme cutting across all strata of our socio-economic and political systems, no real progress can be made in the fight against graft, electoral reform, constitutional review, economic reform, power generation and attainment of Millennium Development Goal.

MAC therefore calls for the government’s action in the:

• Removal of the Immunity Clause from the nation’s Constitution;

• Strengthening of anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary for effective and decisive war against corruption in the country;

• Immediate passage of Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill; and

• Passage of Justice Uwais Panel’s recommendation on Electoral Reform.

Imam Abdurahman Ahmad

20, Mojidi Street, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja – Lagos, Nigeria
Tel: 07033690566, 08085897682 Fax: 01-3451096