• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

5 things learnt from UNODC report

Bribes

A survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows Nigerians paid N675 billion as bribes to public officials this year.

There are however other interesting reveals from the survey which involved 33,000 households, and 33,067 respondents across all states of the country and the FCT.

Nigerians now internalise Bribery:

Naming and shaming or whistle-blowing is an important way to eradicate corruption, but Nigerians feeling too helpless to demand change now internalise corruption.

In 2016, the biggest reason why Nigerians did not report corruption was that the majority (35%) believed it was pointless and nobody would care, while 33 percent said it was common practice.

This year, the percentage of people who believe nobody would listen dropped to 28 percent while the majority (35%) now say bribery is normal.

This shows that discouraged Nigerians are now beginning to accept a culture of corruption.

Bribery has a Regional dimension:

On a regional basis, the prevalence of bribery has declined more in the Northern Region with the North East and North West noting a decline, while the South-South and South-East have noted increases except the South-West where there was a decline.

The biggest decline was in the North-West while North-Central saw the biggest increase.

Healthcare, Security, Housing now more pressing issues than Corruption:

In 2019, less percentage of Nigerians see corruption as a concern. More importantly, they rate Health care and Housing as bigger issues affecting their lives.

Corruption moved down the list from 3rd to 5th position with 9 percent considering it an issue compared to 14 percent three years ago, meanwhile, there has been a sharp increase in the level of public concern about security and health issues while housing trumps corruption on the public concern.

Corruption is declining but Nigerians think otherwise:

Most Nigerians-except in the North East and North West-are convinced that the country is more corrupt than it used to be although the reality is different.

Citizens’ actual experience of corruption has declined by 2 percent points to 30 percent.

According to the researchers, a possible explanation of the pattern comes from the subjective evaluation of whether, first, the Government is committed in the fight against corruption and, second, whether it is effective.

“These indicators are highly correlated with each other (meaning that those who think the Government is not committed to the fight against corruption also think that it is not effective) and, unsurprisingly, they show regional polarization,” the survey noted.

Bribes are paid more for family reasons than for business favours:

Nigerians pay bribes mostly to speed up procedure but it is not for business reasons but for personal ones.

More than half of bribes (57 per cent) paid to public officials were purely for personal and family reasons, while a quarter of bribes were paid for work or business reasons, according to the report.

Nevertheless, the average bribes paid for work- or business-related reasons (N9,148) was significantly larger than the average cash bribes paid for personal or family reasons (NGN 4,818).

In addition, the average number of bribes paid per bribe-payer was roughly eight in the case of bribes paid for business reasons and five in the case of bribes paid for personal or family reasons.

These shares (private vs personal) were largely the same as in the 2016 survey with 12 percent of cases where bribes were paid simultaneously for personal and business-related reasons.

In six percent of the cases, the motivation for paying bribes was not known.