The Nigerian police ‘may be your friend’, but a new public survey released by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has adjudged them as the most corrupt institution in the country.
In the SERAP report entitled “Nigeria: Corruption Perception Survey”, the police emerged as the most corrupt of the five major institutions studied, with officials of the power sector identified as the second most corrupt in the country.
Other public institutions identified as corrupt were the judiciary, education and health ministries.
According to the survey, the level of corruption has not changed in the last five years, TheCable writes.
“A bribe is paid in 54 percent of interactions with the police. In fact, there is a 63% probability that an average Nigerian would be asked to pay a bribe each time he or she interacted with the police. That is almost two out of three,” read a statement Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP deputy director, issued on the report.
Akin Oyebode, chairman of the panel, which released the report, said the development of a people is almost “inversely proportional to the level of corruption”.
“Nigeria is looked upon as a giant of Africa. Yet Nigeria could not conduct free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
“It is a smear on the image of Nigeria. If we do away with selective enforcement and condonation of corruption, we will build and live in a better society. Corruption is a refined form of stealing. The politicians are stealing our common patrimony.
“From the analysis of the anti-corruption legal and institutional framework in Nigeria, the following cross-cutting issues emerged: there is lack of political goodwill to consistently enforce the different anti-corruption laws; inadequate funding for the various anti-corruption agencies; weak public support and/or ownership of anti-corruption initiatives; poor clarity of roles between various anti-corruption agencies; and public perceptions of politicisation of corruption arrests and prosecutions,” the report read.
“Bribery experiences were interrogated and recorded in the key sectors of education, health, the police, judiciary and power. Data analysis was conducted under five different and interrelated variables. There was a 63% probability that an average Nigerian would be asked to pay a bribe each time he/she interacted with the police. The likelihood of bribery in the power sector stood at 49%. With the chances of encountering bribery at the judiciary, education and health services standing at 27%, 25% and 20% respectively.”
According to the survey, for every 100 police interactions reported by the respondents, there was a bribe paid in 54 interactions. The prevalence levels stood at 37% in the power sector and 18% in education,17.7% in the judiciary and 14% in the health sector.
Many won’t be surprised by the report seeing as in 2017, the World Internal and Police Security Index rated Nigeria Police force as the worst in the world.