The acting Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mrs. Stephanie Iyoyo, has refuted the rating of Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries of the world as claimed by the United States News Best Ranking Index.
The US News ranking index had placed Nigeria as the most corrupt country in world by perception, in its 2016 survey conducted on 60 developing nations.
However, Mrs. Iyoyo who spoke during a sensitization workshop for members of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of PPPRA, in Abuja argued that government efforts in tackling corruption over the years had put paid to the claim that Nigeria was a very corrupt country.
She maintained that even though there were tell-tale signs of corruption in the not- too-distant past, the setting up of anti-corruption agencies like Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) by the government had yielded positive results in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Her words; “I do not believe we are the most corrupt. One has to praise the efforts of the Federal Government, through the activities of the anti-graft bodies, to fight the menace of corruption.”
The acting Executive Secretary, while noting that PPPRA had come under scrutiny in recent times, also pointed out that the agency was in the forefront of the fight against corruption, being an institution that was responsible for ensuring sanity in a critical sector of the economy.
According to her, “We are aware that the price of corruption is very high; both on our image and the economy of our nation. In the recent past, we have been pummeled and battered, as our moral basis as a responsible institution of government has been questioned.
‘Thank God, we were able to able to rise up to the occasion and redeem our image as an agency with a purpose. We are committed to this new image, to continually run with our mandate of providing a profitable downstream oil sub-sector for Nigerians, in a more edifying and sustainable way, consistent with government policy.”
Earlier in his remark, PPPRA ACTU Chairman, Mr. Lanre Oladele, charged the members to embrace the fight against corruption by keeping to the stipulated guidelines of the agency in the execution of their duties.
He said, “As an agency of government, we need to do our best by following due process. Our activities are being scrutinized, that is why we cannot let down our guard. We need to put in our best so that our corruption index will be drastically reduced.”
Mr. Ebenezer Shogunle of ICPC who presented a paper titled ‘FoI Act; Potent Weapon in the Fight against Corruption in Nigeria’ called on all the staff of PPPRA to join the anti-corruption crusade, noting that every Nigerian suffers the bad effects of corruption.
“If we sit in our offices thinking that fighting corruption is for the Federal Government, ICPC and EFCC, we will end up being defeated by corruption,” he stated.