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Government officials receive N400 billion bribe in one year



-Averagely, each adult Nigerian pays bribe once a year.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released a report which reveals that a total amount of N400bn was paid in bribes to public officials in Nigeria within a period of one year.

This was contained in the National Corruption Report, prepared by the NBS in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, released on Wednesday.

According to the report, 32.3 per cent of Nigerian adults who had contact with public officials between June 2015 and May 2016 had to pay bribes to government workers.

The report said the majority of those who paid bribes to public officials did so more than once over the course of the year adding that bribe payers in Nigeria pay an average of six bribes in one year, or one bribe every two months.

NBS estimated that a total of 82.3 million bribes were paid in the 12-month period resulting in an average of almost one bribe paid by every adult Nigerian per year.

“Taking into account the fact that nine out of every 10 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 was around N400bn, the equivalent of $4.6bn in purchasing power parity,” the report read.

“This sum is equivalent to 39 per cent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016.

“The average sum paid as a cash bribe in Nigeria is approximately N5,300, which is equivalent to $61.

“This means that every time a Nigerian pays a cash bribe, he or she spends an average of 28.2 per cent of the average monthly salary of N18,900.

“Since bribe payers in Nigeria pay an average of 5.8 bribes over the course of one year, 92 per cent of which are paid in cash, they spend an average of N28,200 annually on cash bribes – equivalent to 12.5 per cent of the annual average salary.

“With such a large portion of public officials initiating bribes, which are paid upfront, it seems that many public officials show little hesitation in asking for a kickback to carry out their duty and that bribery is an established part of the administrative procedure in Nigeria,” it added.

“While money is the most important form of bribe payment, other forms such as the provision of food and drink, the handing over of valuables or the exchange of another service or favour also existed.”

The report stated that law enforcement agents such as the police and judiciary workers such as judges and magistrates were the highest takers of bribe in Nigeria.

Police officers are the type of public officials to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria.

“Of all adult Nigerians who had direct contact with police officers in the 12 months prior to the survey, almost half paid the officers 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 in Nigeria.

“At the same time, the average bribe paid to police officers is somewhat below the average bribe size.”

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