Over N400 billion was paid out to public officials as bribes in Nigeria between June 2015 and May 2016, a government report disclosed, yesterday. According to the report computed by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the highest incidents of bribery occurred during encounters with the police, though the bribe received by policemen was often below the average bribe taken by public officials.
While nearly one out of every two encounters with the police led to one form of bribe or the other, the report further puts bribe-taking to be more prevalent among judicial and law-enforcement agencies. The rate of bribe-taking spread with prosecutors at 33 per cent, closely followed by judges and magistrates, at 31.5 per cent; car registration/driving licence officers (28.5 per cent); tax and Customs 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). The report immediately received strong reactions from some strong public commentators, including Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, former Commissioner of Police and Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who said it was indicative of the fact that corruption was still pervasive, despite the change in administration.