A national corruption survey by the National Bureau of Statistics released Wednesday has indicated that roughly N400 billion is spent by Nigerians as bribes to public officials annually and that the prevalence of bribery in the public service sector is about 32.3 percent.
The NBS said almost a third of Nigerian adults (32.3 per cent) who had contact with a public official between June 2015 and May 2016 had to pay, or were requested to pay, a bribe to that public official.
The survey findings specifically indicated that taking into account the fact that nine out of every ten 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 prior to the survey was around N400 billion, the equivalent of $4.6 billion in purchasing power parity (PPP).
“This sum is equivalent to 39 per cent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016,” according to the findings.
“The magnitude of public sector bribery in Nigeria becomes even more palpable when factoring in the frequency of those payments, as the majority of those who paid a bribe to a public official did so more than once over the course of the year,” it said.
According to the survey, bribe-payers in Nigeria pay an average of some six bribes in one year, or roughly one bribe every two months.
On average, almost one bribe is paid by every adult Nigerian yearly.
By combining the total number of people who paid a bribe to a public official with the frequency of those payments, it is estimated that a total of roughly 82.3 million bribes were paid in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey. This results in an average of 0.93 bribes paid per adult, or almost one bribe paid by every adult Nigerian per year.
The findings equally showed that bribe-payers in Nigeria spend an eighth of their salary on bribes
“The average sum paid as a cash bribe in Nigeria is approximately N5,300, which is equivalent to roughly $61 – PPP. This means that every time a Nigerian pays a cash bribe, he or she spends an average of about 28.2 percent of the average monthly salary of approximately NGN 18,900.
“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 NGN 28,200 annually on cash bribes ― equivalent to 12.5 per cent of the annual average salary.”