Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a probe into the inaccuracy contained in his 52nd independence anniversary speech Monday, the local Punch newspaper reported Wednesday.
A claim by the President, that the global anti-corruption agency Transparency International (TI) has rated Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption, has been denied by the Berlin-based organisation.
“Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption,'' Chantal Uwimana, Director of Africa Department at TI, had told PANA in an emailed response to the new agency's inquiry on the issue Tuesday.
The online Premium Times newspaper broke the story Tuesday, saying the President 'lied' in his claim on his Administration's anti-graft efforts..
Since then, several newspapers have latched on to the report, while the political opposition has asked President Jonathan to apologise to Nigerians for misleading them.
The main opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) party said in addition to apologising to all Nigerians for the bogus claim, ''the President must immediately kick-start an investigation into the source of a claim that has exposed his Administration and the entire country to global ridicule.''
In a response posted to the website of the Federal Ministry of Information, an apparent presidential aide, who simply signed as 'Reno', blamed the gaffe on a local newspaper, BusinessDay.
According to Reno, the paper published 12 Sept. 2012 that “The survey on global corruption perceptions for 2011 versus 2001 show that the third best improvement in the world was in Nigeria, with its score improving by 1.5 points.”
The presidential aide said the reports quoted above ''were believed to be the true facts from dependable sources and used by the President in good faith which has not been disputed by the sources''.
-0- PANA SEG 3Oct2012