A report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that an estimate of about N400 Billion is paid as bribes annually to public officials in Nigeria.
According to the report released in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) titled National Corruption Report which covered a period from June 2015 and May 2016, about 32.3 percent of Nigerian adults who had some form of contact with public officials indicated that they paid or were asked to pay some form of bribe.
The report states that on average some of the individuals paid up to six bribes to public officials within a year.
According to the report, “Roughly 400 billion Nigerian Naira is spent on bribes each year. Taking into account the fact that nine out of every ten bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria are paid in cash and the size of the payments made, it is estimated that the total amount of bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey was around 400 billion Nigerian Naira (NGN), the equivalent of $4.6 billion in purchasing power parity (PPP). This sum is equivalent to 39 per cent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016”
The report shows that Nigerians consider bribery one of the most important problems facing the country which permeates every sector of the economy.
It said “Public sector bribery is not the only form of corruption affecting Nigeria: the prevalence of bribery in relation to selected employees of private companies is 5.5 per cent, meaning that bribery is also significant in the private sector in Nigeria.
The report also identified the various categories of the public service where bribes are more prevalent – with the law enforcement and the judiciary being particular areas of great concern.
The report said, “Police officers are the type of public official to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria. Of all adult Nigerians who had direct contact with a police officer in the 12 months prior to the survey, almost half (46.4 per cent) paid that officer at least one bribe, and in many cases more than one, since police officers are also among the three types of public officials to whom bribes are paid most frequently (5.3 bribes per bribe-payer over the course of 12 months) in Nigeria. At the same time, the average bribe paid to police officers is somewhat below the average bribe size.
“Although fewer people come into contact with judiciary officials than with police officers over the course of the year, when they do, the risk of bribery is considerable: at 33 per cent, the prevalence of bribery in relation to prosecutors is the second highest, closely followed by judges and magistrates, at 31.5 per cent”