TI’s Rating: Is it Fake or Fact?

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Canticles…

By Eddy Odivwri

Now, I can really see through the silhouette of imperialism and mischief in the conspiracy of the neo-liberal western world against developing countries, especially Nigeria. It is so loud and smelly.

What are you talking about?

Need you ask? Is it not so obvious? Did you not hear of the vexatious rating released by Transparency International (TI), claiming that Nigeria even dropped five places in the corruption perception index? That we are now 154th out of 180 countries sampled for the assessment? That we scored a measly 24 points out of 100. In 2020, Nigeria had managed to score 26 points. Nowm it just got more miserable. They even added that we are the second most corrupt country in West Africa. What kind of rating is that?

So, why are you angry? Are you the examiner? Do you know the criteria used in the assessment?

Whatever the criteria or indices are, Nigeria does not deserve to be so poorly and lopsidedly rated. You can tell, that thißs TI people are operating with a fixated mindset. They are not releasing those ratings based on realities. Otherwise, they would have heard and known how hard the Buhari administration has fought the crooks in the land. Just last week or so, the EFCC celebrated an unprecedented haul of criminals and crooks into jail when it said it secured 1,220 convictions and achieved 127.5% success in its mandate. Can you beat that? Didn’t the TI people hear of this epochal feat?

Look, these TI people must be very careful! Who even appointed them as the global monitor?

You betray too much fuss and ignorance. You talk about 1,220 convictions by EFCC as a proof of tackling corruption. Really? Mr Man, who are these 1,220 convicted persons? Is there a known name among them? How can we be celebrating the arrest and trial of Yahoo-Yahoo boys as the evidence of fighting corruption? Why do all the big men in big offices, who steal really big monies never get caught or jailed? For how many years now has Babachir Lawal, the former SGF been sacked for a dubious grass cutting business? Yet, he is still very free and even heading the presidential campaign of Bola Tinubu? And you are angry that TI said we are even more corrupt now? Don’t you see corruption everywhere you turn in this country? Which oganisation or entity is ensconced from this malaise? Not even the otherwise sacrosanct worship and religious houses. Wherever you turn in Nigeria, you’d see corruption either smiling or frowning at you.

But you know how deeply Mr President hates corruption

It is not enough hating corruption, yet hobnobbing with corrupt persons. Let Mr President use one of his close aides or appointees as an example to show that he abhors corruption the same way he claims.

Which of his aides or appointees is corrupt?

What a question? You are searching for a virgin in a maternity ward. Keep searching.

Do you know that the TI used obsolete and unrelated data to do their rating? Did you not hear that they were using the data of 2018 to assess Nigeria in 2021? Is that professional? Is that diligent? Is that fair?

You can ask all the questions you want to ask. I am telling you that we don’t even need hard and fast empirical evidences to prove that we are fantastically corrupt. Go the Nigerian Ports or the Nigerian courts, and you will see corruption dancing reggae. Why do you think the much talked-about ease of doing business does not really make things easy in Nigeria? Don’t you know that even court judgements are procured by the rich and influential? If you doubt me, go and ask NJC how many of their members have been axed because of corruption. Two weeks ago, it was revealed that the Police have lost 178,459 arms. How did this happen? Did that volume of arms suddenly disappear? Are you still wondering how the terrorists troubling the country get their arms? How many of the Police armourers have been arrested and jailed for this massive act of sabotage fed by corruption? Who says we are not corrupt?

Do you know that even the EFCC, as an anti-corruption agency is itself corrupt? Do you know that even many of the recovered funds in hard and local currencies have been re-looted? And that seized properties have been resold at ridiculous prices to their friends and cronies, sometimes as proxies?

Just before he signed the 2022 budget, Mr President lamented that a whopping sum of N186.5 billion was added to the 2022 budget. Each of the lawmakers have to insert some “projects” into the national budget. At the end of the year, go and check how many of such projects were executed, even as the money would have been gone. Did you not hear that many projects in the budget were repeated several times, just to raise the figures of the budget? Can’t you see crooks all over the place? What statistics do you need to support these acts of corruption? Do you need TI to stamp it into your consciousness?

Is it in the NDDC saga you will not find the oozing miasma of corruption? The forensic audit team submitted its report in September last year with very damning details. Till today, four months after, who has been arrested or jailed for the mindless pillaging of public funds in the NDDC?

My brother, corruption smells everywhere. Go to any ministry or even the least government agencies and corruption will hit you from all angles. There is no disinfectant that can deoderise our society. Just how do you exorcise the corruption demon from Nigeria and Nigerians?

How can agencies that are meant to check infractions and abuses are themselves heavy compromisers? How can society get better with such people? Surely, angels will not come down to run our organisations. These system infractions are well known. The government simply lacks the will power to do the right thing. QED!

Corruption is a complex phenomenon. But nobody can truly accuse President Buhari of lacking the courage to fight corruption.

Tell him that the proof of the pudding is in the eating