Police, judiciary, and customs officials are among Nigeria’s top bribe takers, a National Corruption Survey published by the National Bureau of Statistics has shown.
The survey, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, also shows that Nigerians spent about N400bn in paying bribe between June 2015 and June 2016.
When it comes to the top bribe takers, the police, prosecutors, judges and customs officials were prominent.
“Law enforcement and the judiciary are areas of particular concern. Police officers are the type of public official to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria,” the survey said.
“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 official to whom bribes are paid most frequently (5.3 bribes per bribe-payer over the course of 12 months) in Nigeria.”
However, the average bribe paid to police officers is somewhat below the average bribe size.
The judiciary has come under attack for corruption in recent months with some members of the judiciary being tried on corruption charges.
“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,” the report read in part.
It adds that the experience of corruption in encounters with public officials whose duty it is to uphold the rule of law can lead to the erosion of trust in public authority.
As for public officials “with a high risk of bribery”, the list is a long one: car registration/driving licence officers (28.5 per cent), tax and custom officers (27.3 per cent), road traffic management officials (25.5 per cent), public utilities officers (22.4 per cent) and land registry officers (20.9 per cent).
“This shows that corruption takes place across a number of different sectors of the public administration and that certain public officials have a disproportionate impact on the daily lives of Nigerians. Recruitment of public officials in Nigeria is itself subject to abuse of the system,” the survey adds.