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CPI Report: ActionAid advocates tougher penalties for looters

Isola Moses

Working to combat poverty, inequality, and all forms of injustice in the country, ActionAid Nigeria, a social justice non-governmental organisation, has called on the Nigerian Government to intensify its fight against corruption through stiffer punishment for treasury looters and inclusion of citizens in the fight against corruption.

Ene Obi, Country Director of the anti-poverty organisation, in a recent statement to journalists, in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, said: “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 ways government relates with its citizenry”

In the statement, ActionAid Nigeria stresses it considers the latest CPI report to be revealing.

It shows “how Nigeria has retrogressively slipped down in the hierarchy of 180 countries measured,” the organisation said.

It maintains that in the last two years Nigeria has slipped from 148 in 2017, made a slight progress in 2018, and now slipped down by two positions to 146 among 180 countries.

The country’s score has placed her between three top scorers and bottom scorers in sub-Sahara Africa.”

The Country Director said “the recommendations were valid as we have seen in recent times that the civic space is shrinking, journalists are indiscriminately arrested and detained with frivolous charges.

“Access to information is still very weak and social contract between government and citizens is still not effectively executed.”

Obi, however, advocated that government at all levels should be more deliberate on citizen inclusion and engagements in the anti-corruption fight through sensitisation to mobilise a critical mass of citizens against corruption.

This will eliminate the distrust and negative perceptions gaining momentum in citizens’ space.

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 solicited.

She advised that Nigerians should uphold values of honesty, integrity and transparency and should strongly take ownership of the fight against corruption in the country.

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