A report released in Abuja, yesterday, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the estimated amount of bribe paid to public officials in Nigeria was about N400 billion, equivalent of $4.6 billion.
This sum was equivalent to 39 percent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016.
The report put the average sum paid as cash bribe in the country at approximately N5,300, about $61.
The NBS explained: “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 N18,900.”
It observed that since the quantum of paid in Nigeria is an average of 5.8 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 bribe – equivalent to 12.5 per cent of the annual average salary.”
The report titled: “Corruption in Nigeria, Bribery: Public Experience and Response 2017,” said: “Taking into account the fact that nine out of every 10 bribe 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 bribe paid to public officials in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey was about N400 billion, the equivalent of $4.6 billion in purchasing power parity (PPP).”
It explained that 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 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.”
According to the survey, bribe-payers in Nigeria pay an average of six bribe in one year, or roughly one bribe every two months.
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 bribe was paid in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey.
“This results in an average of 0.93 bribe paid per adult, or almost one bribe paid by every adult Nigerian per year,” said the survey.
The survey stated that Nigerians considered bribery the third most important problem facing the country after the high cost of living and unemployment.
Also, it said public officials in Nigeria showed little hesitation in asking for bribe as the vast majority of bribery episodes in the country were initiated either directly or indirectly by public officials.