The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has lamented that Transparency International, TI, and other non-governmental organisations, NGOs, in Nigeria have constituted themselves as an opposition party against the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government.
TI recently identified security votes as one of the most durable forms of corruption in Nigeria, revealing that government in the build-up to elections expanded the use of opaque $670 million-a-year funds that fuel corruption.
Mohammed maintained that many civil society organisations in the country fail to appreciate the fight against corruption by the current administration.
He said this in Abuja while playing host to the Chair of TI, Delia Ferreria Rubio, and the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, the local chapter of TI, Auwal Rafsanjani.
Mohammed was quoted in a statement issued by CISLAC on Wednesday as saying, “TI and CISLAC fail to see and appreciate the sociological dynamics of fighting corruption.
“They do not look at the picture but condemn the efforts of the government, like in the case of the Corruption Perception Index. NGOs have constituted themselves as an opposition party. There should be constant interaction with the government instead.”
The minister, however, welcomed the TI chair to Nigeria and thanked her for making Nigeria her first point of call in Africa.
Mohammed also told his guests that there was no government that has been as transparent as the current administration.
Earlier in her remarks, Rubio told the minister that although rules were necessary, they were not enough.
She said TI, through its local chapter in Nigeria, CISLAC, was willing to cooperate with the ministry in the fight against corruption.
Rubio requested that the fight against corruption be institutionalised so that the same issues do not arise when another government assumes power.
Reacting to the minister’s claims against NGOs, Auwal pointed out that the TI only collates the report of the perception of corruption from various institutions like the World Bank and analyses it.
He said NGOs support the government whenever it is doing well and raise red flags in areas where government is not doing well.
Auwal argued that CISLAC had in various capacities interacted with government and had assisted in capacity building in so many areas, an indication that the organisation is interested in the success of the country.