TI’s report a judgement on Nigerians no Buhari’s administration – Presidency
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity says Transparency International’s report was not a judgement on the Buhari administration but on Nigerians.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Garba Shehu said the government wants to be complemented for the things it is doing well. “As a government, it’s not for us to stop them from releasing reports”.
According to Garba Shehu, “ But based on the parameters used, TI’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.
“The two that they dwelt on, that caused this backsliding, are essentially Nigerian problems. When they look at the varieties of democracy, they are talking about the political culture of this country, vote-buying, thuggery. Is it Buhari that is a thug? We are not doing thuggery. And we know those who are doing it.
“And when they talk about the justice project – which is a big minus in that report – they are talking about 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.”
The report had ranked Nigeria 149 out of 180 countries surveyed, one of its worst ratings in years.
TI cited an absence of transparency, nepotism, lack of adequate anti-corruption legal frameworks, the prevalence of bribery and extortion in the Nigerian Police, corruption in the security sector, among others, as reasons for the low rating.
“If you look at the major indices they used in arriving at these conclusions, they used eight indices, six of which found Nigeria as being more or less at the same position, nothing has been lost”.
“Yes, there are issues in that sector, but wouldn’t it have been nice to note the reforms that are ongoing in that sector. So many changes are going on. Acknowledge it, so that you encourage those judicial officers that are upright and the system keeps getting better.”