The global anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International has ranked Nigeria as one of the countries in the world where bribes are paid to achieve an aim or get a service.
The Berlin based organisation stated this in the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer (a worldwide public opinion survey on corruption) released yesterday to mark the world’s International Anti-corruption day where it warned that “corruption has increased over the last three years” as one in four people report paying bribes in the last year to one of nine institutions and services, from health to education to tax authorities.
“Almost half of all respondents say they paid bribes to avoid problems with the authorities and a quarter say it was to speed up processes,” it added.
When the poll’s respondents in Nigeria were asked how the level of corruption has changed in Nigeria in the last three years, 73% of the respondents admitted that corruption has increased, 17% said it has decreased while 10% said it has not changed.
Nigeria was ranked with Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cameroon, India, Iraq, Liberia, Palestine and Senegal as nations where the highest numbers of reported bribery payments were made in 2010, one in two people affirmed to have paid bribe.
According to the survey, the institution perceived by respondents to be most affected by corruption is the Nigeria Police where the survey revealed that 56% of the respondents acknowledged to have given bribe to the police.
According to Transparency International, “Bribes to the police have almost doubled since 2006, and more people report paying bribes to the judiciary and for registry and permit services than did so five years ago.” Identifying the poor and young to be the most victimised in paying bribes, the report stated that “the demographics of bribery continue to disadvantage the poor and the young…… as lower income earners report paying more bribes than higher income earners. Poorer people are twice as likely to pay bribes for basic services, such as utilities, medical services and education, than wealthier people.” “A third of all people under the age of 30 report paying a bribe in the past 12 months, compared to less than one in five people over 51 years of age.” “Corruption is a regressive tax. This injustice must be addressed. The marginalised and poor remain the most vulnerable to extortion. Governments should do more to identify corruption risks in basic services and to protect their citizens,” the report added.
The 2010 Global Corruption Barometer surveys more than 91,000 people in 86 countries and territories focusing on petty bribery, perceptions of public institutions and views of whom people trust to combat corruption. “Despite these results, the survey also found that seven out of 10 people would be willing to report an incident of corruption” the report noted.