Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, says the report of Transparency International (TI) on corruption in Nigeria is unacceptable.
Adesina spoke on the latest corruption perception index by TI in an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme on Wednesday.
He said the war against corruption under the Buhari administration does not need the validation of TI.
Nigeria currently ranks 154 out of 180 countries in the 2021 corruption perception index — a drop from 149 in the 2020 index.
According to Adesina, the report should be ignored because it is foreign statistics without much validity. He added that corruption is a global challenge and not peculiar to Nigeria alone.
“We don’t need TI’s report to authenticate or validate what government is doing. Government is working and anti-corruption is one of the key pillars of this administration,” Adesina said.
“Globally there’s no place that has eradicated corruption. It is a national issue. This administration is fighting corruption and we are getting results.
“I cannot rate the corruption of the country, rather Nigerians should rate the government.”
He said the Buhari administration has fought corruption and all anti-corruption agencies are making efforts to ensure corruption is reduced in the country.
“The EFCC reported that they had over 2,000 convictions last year alone. We have moved from a time that stealing is not corruption to now that stealing is corruption,” Adesina said.
“The government has fought corruption very well. We have statistics from all the agencies made up to fight corruption and they give reports from time to time.”
Adesina added that Nigerians should be the ones to make such accusations and not foreign sources.
“Now what would you rather believe, the information from your country or information from outside. It depends on the statistics TI is using but we know corruption is being fought in Nigeria,” he said.
“Also when such reports come, if we would believe such report, it is not an indictment of the government, rather it is rather an indictment of you and me because we constitute the country.”