Officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force have retained their position as the leading corrupt public officials in Nigeria, according to the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The report titled, ‘The 2nd Corruption Survey Report in Nigeria’, was released in Abuja on Friday.
The NBS conducted the survey with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other partner international organs.
The highlights of the report were presented at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, by the Statistician General, NBS, Dr Yemi Kale, and the Country Representative of UNODC in Nigeria, Mr Oliver Stople. Kale was represented by Mr Yemi Adeleran.
The first corruption survey report on Nigeria was presented in 2016, where the police was identified as the most corrupt public agency.
In the latest 2019 report, after a three-year gap, police officers still top the charts with 33 per cent, though it’s a drop from the 46 per cent record they held in 2016.
Next to police officers are land registry officers (26 per cent); and revenue officers (25 per cent). The least corrupt officials in 2019 are health workers with five per cent.
The report indicated a slight reduction in corruption cases, particularly bribery, nationwide. While the prevalence of bribery was 32.3 per cent in 2016; in 2019, it dropped to 30.2 per cent.
The report noted that while the drop might not be “substantial”, it’s an indication that Nigerians were rejecting bribery somehow.
The NBS, which described the 2019 report as “home-grown”, said data was collected from a total of 33,067 persons in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory through interviews.
It also gave a state-by-state record of corruption prevalence with Kogi State leading as the most corrupt state (48 per cent), followed by Gombe (45 per cent); Rivers (43 per cent); and Adamawa (41 per cent).
Imo is the least corrupt state in Nigeria with 17.6 per cent prevalence, followed closely by Jigawa, Kano and Plateau states.
On a zonal basis, the most corrupt geopolitical zone is the North-Central, while the North-West recorded the least corruption cases.
The NBS official stated, “The survey contains home-grown data collected from Nigerians by Nigerians and for Nigerians.
“The scope of the survey is on petty corruption, not on grand corruption.
“This 2nd survey result is useful in assessing the impact of the measures put in place by ministries, departments and agencies in fighting corruption after the 1st report of 2016. It also gives Nigerians the opportunity to assess and evaluate the impact of the measures.”
Giving the highlights of the characteristics of the survey, Stople said cash remained the most used medium of bribery in Nigeria, accounting for “93 per cent” of all cases.
“We have seen that 67 per cent of bribes are demanded and given before the public official provides the service, as was the case in 2016”, the UNODC country representative stated.
In all, Nigerians identified “unemployment”, “insecurity” and “corruption” as the biggest problems of the country, noting that up to 32 per cent of jobseekers got engaged by paying a bribe.
The report, which also covered bribery during elections, said the prevalence was 20 per cent, representing one out of five Nigerians taking bribe or a gift to vote.
“This is an area that should interest the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“All the zones are involved; South-West (19 per cent); South-South (24 per cent); South-East (19 per cent); North-West (23 per cent); North-East (18 per cent); and North-Central (21 per cent),” it read.
He added, “While there is a slight drop, it is important that officials and Nigerians should reduce the prevalence of bribery.
“The institutions within the criminal justice system remain comparatively most affected by corruption.
“Those institutions should improve on the efforts to prevent and counter corruption.”