A survey conducted by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), revealed that an estimated N675 billion was paid in cash as bribes to Nigerian public officials in 2019.
The report, which was released on Friday, December 6, 2019, also revealed that an estimated 117 million bribes are paid in Nigeria on a yearly basis.
The survey carried out by both agencies, found that persons either paid bribes without a demand or public officials actually made the demand.
Healthcare professionals – namely doctors, nurses and midwives – and public utility officials are the two types of public officials with whom the largest share (31 percent each) of Nigerians had at least one contact in the 12 months prior to the 2019 survey.
Police officers came a close third, with 30 percent of people who paid a bribe, or were asked to pay a bribe.
An excerpt from the report published by Punch on Friday, says Nigerians pay bribes equivalent to six percent of their yearly income.
The average cash bribe paid by a Nigerian is N5,754. Also, about 57 percent of the cash bribes that were paid are below N1,500 while more than 93 percent of all bribes paid in 2019 were paid in cash.
“More than 93 percent of all bribes paid in 2019 was paid in cash, a slightly larger share than in 2016. According to the 2019 survey, the average cash bribe paid is N5,754, a sum equivalent to roughly $52 in purchasing power parity.
“Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N675bn was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2019, corresponding to 0.52 per cent of the entire Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.”
The report showed that corruption has moved from 3rd to 5th position, as there had been a sharp increase in the level of public concern about security and health issues.
“Around nine per cent of Nigerians considered corruption to be the most important problem facing their country, a significant decrease from the 14 per cent recorded in the 2016 survey.” it added.
The survey found that although a smaller percentage of Nigerians that had contact with public officials paid bribes, or were asked to pay bribes, those who did pay bribes continued to do so quite frequently, which is why the value of the bribes paid in 2019 amounts to N675bn the research claimed.
“In 2019, Nigerian bribe-payers paid an average of six bribes in the 12 months prior to the survey, or one bribe every two months, which is virtually the same as the average of 5.8 bribes paid per bribe-payer in 2016.
“As a result, it is estimated that some 117 million bribes are paid in Nigeria on a yearly basis, the equivalent of 1.1 bribes per adult.”
The Anti-Corruption Index also showed that an average Nigerian paid six bribes in the 12 months, or one bribe every two months, which was virtually the same as in 2016.