The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has stated that over N400 billion was paid out to public officials as bribes in Nigeria between June 2015 and May 2016.
According to the report computed by NBS on average, almost one bribe is paid by every adult Nigerian per year. 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.
In naira, it is believed that roughly 400 billion naira is spent on bribes each year. The survey took 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 400 billion Nigerian naira
(NGN), 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.
NBS stated further 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 NGN 5,300, 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 per cent 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.
Who Takes Bribe
Police officers are the type of public official to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria.
Of all adult Nigerians who had direct contact with a police officer in the 12 months prior to the survey, almost half (46.4 per cent) paid that officer at least one bribe, and in many cases more than one since police officers are also among the three types of public official to whom bribes are paid most frequently (5.3 bribes per bribe-payer over the course of 12 months) 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 per cent, the prevalence of bribery in relation to prosecutors is the second highest, closely followed by judges and magistrates, at 31.5 per cent.
The experience of corruption in encounters with public officials whose duty it is to uphold the rule of law can lead to the erosion of trust in public authority.
Other public officials with a high risk of bribery include car registration/driving licence officers (28.5 per cent), tax and custom officers (27.3 per cent), road traffic management officials (25.5 per cent), public utilities officers (22.4 per cent) and land registry officers (20.9 per cent).
This shows that corruption takes place across a number of different sectors of the public administration and that certain public officials have a disproportionate impact on the daily lives of Nigerians.