The Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) on Tuesday launched the National Integrity Barometer aimed at improving the image of Nigeria as well as tackling corruption.
Speaking at the CBi Regualtory Conversations (RC5.0) in Lagos, Mr Soji Apamba, its Chief Executive Director, said the barometer would help to protray the country in a positive image considering its position on the corruption index.
“Nigeria is turning a very gentle corner in its fight against corruption, meaning progress maybe slow but it is, however, steady.
“This fact is not appreciated and will probably never be fully appreciated if all you do is to follow the trend analysis of Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from Transparency International (TI).
“No other global ranking has stigmatised Nigeria and Nigerians around the issue of corruption as much as the TI CPI has done over the years,” said Apamba.
According to him, every year the index tells the world the country stinks but if fails to indicate where the stench is coming from, why it is lingering or what needs to be done to free the country of it.
“Our policy makers blow hot and cold when the new ranking is released depending on whether we have moved up or we have moved down the table.
“But truth is that it has been an excellent advocacy tool for drawing global advocacy to the issue of corruption but a lousy tool for setting out what policy makers must do to reduce corruption,” continued Apamba.
He said the national integrity barometer would enable Nigeria to “have a system that helps us to understand how well we are doing at building integrity.”
Explaining further, he said the time had come to seek more constructive, locally constructed alternatives to serve as a guide, pointer or barometer better able to reflect more effectively the changing circumstances of Nigerians.
He noted that “this barometer seeks to highlight good works, why it is working and signal policy options that could scale up the impacts and learning.”
Apamba said the barometer would allow Nigerians to see where integrity building has been weak or strong at the aggregate levels of business, government and society, among others.
He said the data could be analysed to improve integrity in different sectors of country.
Also speaking, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said Nigerians needed to build integrity to tackle corruption.
Mabogunje said building integrity was really key for the growth and development of the country.
“When you build integrity, you improve the quality of citizens that you have in a country.
“When you improve the quality of citizens you have in a country, all of your transactions, your relationships, your participation in the international community becomes much more improved,” she said.
Mabogunje stated that lack of integrity affected the profitability of any business as well as trust in the market place.
She said the LCCI would continue to support and partner CBi in its desire to change the perception of the country.
“We are glad to be part of this project, we see it as one that will produce generations of citizens who have very high integrity index, we believe it is the future of Nigeria as we increase integrity the corruption index itself diminishes,” Mabogunje.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the RC5.0 was themed National Interfrity Barometer: A Roadmap for 2020.
Edited by: Salif Atojoko