The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said government officials under President Muhamamdu Buhari, received an estimated N400 billion in bribes, within a year.
The Bureau made this known in its National Corruption Report, released on Wednesday. This, as was observed by Post-Nigeria, runs contrary to the anti-corruption stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
A survey carried out in collaboration with the United Nation Office, on Drugs and Crime, showed that 32.3 percent of Nigerian adults, paid bribes to public officials between June 2015 and May 2016.
This was the period that Buhari wrestled power from former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
“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 percent of the combined Federal and State education budgets in 2016. This means that every time a Nigerian pays a cash bribe, he or she spends an average of 28.2 percent 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 percent of which are paid in cash, they spend an average of N28,200 annually on cash bribes – equivalent to 12.5 percent of the annual average salary.”
85.3 percent of bribery cases in Nigeria, the report said, were initiated either directly or indirectly by public officials.
“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 said.
According to the report, Police Officers, Judges, and Prosecutors, are the highest recipients of bribes among government officials in Nigeria.
Police Officers have however, adjudged the highest takers of bribes.
The report further read: “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.
“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 percent, the prevalence of bribery in relation to Prosecutors, is the second highest, closely followed by Judges and Magistrates.”
Taking the frequency of bribe payments and a number of people offering bribes into cognizance, the report estimated that a total of 82.3 million bribes were paid in one year.