The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says roughly N400 billion is spent on bribes each year in Nigeria, taking into account that nine of every 10 bribes are paid in cash.
The NBS stated this in “Corruption in Nigeria, Bribery: Public Experience and Response 2017 Survey’’, posted on the bureau’s website in Abuja.
The bureau stated that it was estimated that the total amount of bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey was around N400 billion.
The survey was conducted in April/May 2016 in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.
It said that the amount was equivalent to 4.6 billion dollars in purchasing power parity (PPP); the sum is equivalent to 39 per cent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016.
The NBS said that bribe-payers in Nigeria spent an eighth of their salary on bribes.
On average, the report stated that almost one bribe was paid by every adult Nigerian per year.
It stated that by combining the total number of people who paid a bribe to a public official with the frequency of those payments, it was estimated that a total of roughly 82.3 million bribes were paid.
It added that roughly 82.3 million bribes were paid in Nigeria in the 12 months prior to the survey.
According to the report, this results in an average of 0.93 bribes paid per adult, or almost one bribe paid by every adult Nigerian per year.
The report further revealed that almost a third of Nigerian adults paid bribes when in contact with public officials.
It stated 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 bureau, however, stated that the magnitude of public sector bribery in Nigeria became even more palpable when factoring in the frequency of those payments.
It stated that it became more palpable when factoring in the frequency in 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 bureau, bribe-payers in Nigeria pay an average of some six bribes in one year, or roughly one bribe every two months.
In addition, the report revealed that Nigerians considered bribery the third most important problem facing the country.
It stated that the findings could explain why, after the high cost of living and unemployment, Nigerians considered corruption to be the third most important problem affecting the country.
The report stated that corruption was the third most important problem facing the country well ahead of the state of the country’s infrastructure and health service.
It stated that public sector bribery was not the only form of corruption affecting Nigeria, the prevalence of bribery in relation to selected employees of private companies was 5.5 per cent.
The report stated that the 5.5 per cent denoted that bribery was also significant in the private sector in Nigeria.
It, however, stated that the payment of bribes to public officials was the most familiar and widespread form of corruption directly experienced by the population and the one that most affects the lives of ordinary citizens.
The Tide source reports that the survey was based on data collected in a large-scale household survey (33,067 households) on corruption conducted in April/May 2016 in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.
The survey was conducted as part of a technical assistance project on corruption funded by the European Union (Support to Anti-Corruption in Nigeria) and was implemented by the NBS in partnership with UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
NAN, however reports that the Federal Government’s frontline anti-corruption agencies, the EFCC, ICPC, CCB and CCT, have been revitalised and made more proactive in the pursuit of perpetrators of corrupt practices, irrespective of their social status and political persuasion. This is a radical departure from the past.
The government says the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) whereby all Federal Government revenue goes into one account now makes it impossible for public officers to divert public funds to private accounts as was the practice before.
“Through the effective application of TSA and the Bank Verification Number (BVN), we have been able to remove 23,000 ghost workers from our pay roll, thereby saving billions that would have been stolen.
“We are also reviewing our anti-corruption laws and have developed a national anti-corruption strategy document that will guide our policies in the next three years, and possibly beyond, “ according to Acting president Yemi Osinbajo.
Lawmakers Want CBN To Halt Naira Devaluation
The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to urgently put in place a policy to check further devaluation of the naira to the United States dollar and other international legal tenders.
The House decried that while the Nigerian currency was losing value, others in Africa were appreciating.
At the plenary on Wednesday, the House unanimously adopted a motion moved by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Pensions, Mr Bamidele Salam, which warned the CBN of the implications of further devaluing the naira.
The motion was titled, ‘Matter of urgent public importance on the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently put in place monetary policies to stop the free fall of the naira against the dollar and other international legal tenders’.
Salam recalled that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, while addressing the Bankers’ Committee at a summit on the economy in Lagos earlier in February, informed the committee about the naira devaluation against the dollar.
The lawmaker also quoted Emefiele as saying at the summit that the official exchange rate stood at N410 to the dollar.
“That is 7.6 per cent weaker than the rate of N379 published on the central bank’s website,” Salam noted.
According to the lawmaker, while the value of the naira relative to the dollar had declined by nine per cent in the last six months, the South African rand and Ghanaian cedi had appreciated by 11.4 per cent and one per cent, respectively.
Salam also recalled that the CBN adopted multiple exchange rates in 2020, in a bid to avoid an outright devaluation.
He noted that the official rate used as a basis for budget preparation and other official transactions differed from a closely controlled exchange rate for investors and exporters known as the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing Methodology.
He stressed that the naira had traded in a tight range between N400 and N410, while the NAFEX rate was different from the parallel market, considered illegal by the CBN, where the naira closed at 502.
Salam said, “The House is concerned that devaluation is likely to cause inflation because imports will be more expensive any imported goods or raw material will increase in price; aggregate demand increases, causing demand-pull inflation. Firms/exporters have less incentive to cut costs because they can rely on the devaluation to improve competitiveness.
”The concern is that the long-term devaluation may lead to lower productivity because of the decline in incentives.
”The House is further concerned that devaluation of the naira makes it more difficult for Nigerian youths especially in the IT sector, whose businesses are online and must necessarily transact businesses in the US dollars.
“It also reduces real wages. In a period of low wage growth, a devaluation that causes rising import prices will make consumers feel worse off “.
Four West African Countries To Buy Nigeria’s Unutilised Electricity
Four West African countries, Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso, are collaborating to buy the unutilised power produced in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Sule Abdulaziz, disclosed this at the WAPP meeting on the North core project in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Abdulaziz, who is also the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said the four countries were collaborating to make the power purchase from Nigeria through the North core Power Transmission Line currently being built.
He explained, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria.
“The electricity generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So, it is unutilised power”.
He said Nigeria was expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330KV Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
Abdulaziz said, “In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them, which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact”.
The WAPP chairman noted that the project, funded by World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank, had recorded progress, adding that the energy ministers would be addressing security issues for the project at another meeting in Abuja.
He said, “Nigeria has the greatest advantage among these countries because the electricity is going to be exported from Nigerian Gencos (generation companies).
“So, from that, the revenue is going to be enhanced and a lot of people will be employed in Nigeria”.
The Secretary-General, WAPP, Siengui Appolinaire-Ki, said the cost of the project was about $570 million, adding that part of the investment in each country would be funded by that particular nation.
According to him, the countries in the partnership, including Nigeria, are also being supported by donors.
He said the funding agreement was ready as partner countries were awaiting the disbursements.
Appolinaire-Ki, however, said the donor agencies had said they needed a Power Purchase Agreement between the buying and the selling countries to be executed before releasing the fund.
Reps Probe N275bn Agric Loans Under Yar’Adua, Jonathan, Buhari
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the disbursement of loans and credit facilities by the Federal Government in the agriculture sector since 2009.
The period under review covers the administrations of the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan as well as the present President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The resolution was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Chike Okafor at the plenary last Wednesday, titled ‘Need to investigate disbursements of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security’.
Okafor said, from 2009 to date, the Federal Government had approved the disbursement of funds to farmers in various schemes to the tune of over N275billion, ranging from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security in Nigeria.
The lawmaker also noted that apart from increasing food supply, the schemes were to grant agricultural loans to large and small-scale commercial farmers to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “The House is aware that since the approval, most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers and the alleged siphoning of over N105billion meant for farmers by management of NIRSAL.
“The House is concerned that food production has not attained the expected level, despite the approval of over N275billion facilities to farmers.
“The House is worried that the projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production”.
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to “investigate disbursements and compliance of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security in the country”.
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