This story broke earlier this week and since it did not quite make the headlines (It was safely tucked away in page 7 or so of the paper I saw it in) I figured there’s no harm bringing it up all over again.
Now, finding the Police on that list was not a shock. However, finding the Nigeria Police the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and that of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, named as 2 of the top 5 corrupt agencies in Nigeria left me just a little disappointed. “A little?,” you ask and I say yes a little. You see, I have had my suspicions and yes we have heard stories of former charimen , especially of the EFCC allegedly accepting huge bribes and so on, but you never imagine that the agency whose primary mandate is to fight corruption would also rank amongst the most corrupt.
Do we still have any hope then? Can we really all afford to relax and go with the flow or is it time to get very worried and start asking some really loud questions? Is it not time to get very angry?
A recent survey has shown that the Nigeria police Force, NPF, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, are the most corrupt of federal government agencies in the country.
The survey by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the McArthur Foundation, a copy of which was given to journalists at a media briefing Monday in Abuja, said the government agencies topped the list of the ranking in a 2013 National Crime Victimisation and Safety survey conducted by the body.
The report also identified a weak and corrupt judiciary as some of the constraints militating against the fight against corruption.
According to the report, some of the states leading in the corruption index include Rivers, Borno, Cross River, Niger, Gombe, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Anambra and Kwara, while the lowest incidences of corruption were recorded in Katsina, Ogun and Akwa Ibom States.
Speaking at the public presentation of the survey findings, Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mrs. Kemi Okenyodo, said the survey was aimed at tracking patterns of crime in the country and finding solutions to them.
According to Okenyodo, the survey, which was conducted with 11,518 respondents drawn from all the states of the country, shed light on the experience of victims of r*pe, domestic violence, robbery, kidnap and murder, among others.
Some of the federal government agencies listed and their rate of propensity to bribery include the police – 33%, Nigerian Immigration Service – 26%, ICPC – 25%, Nigerian Customs Service – 24%, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) – 23%, EFCC – 23%, Federal Roads Safety Commission – 20%, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps – 19%.
Others are tax/revenue officials – 18%, municipal/local government councillors – 18%, State Security Service (SSS) – 18%, National Assembly members – 17%, local government officials – 16%, lower court officials – 15%, higher courts officials – 14%, and lecturers and professors of tertiary institutions – 10%.
Organisations, officials and agencies that scored below 10% on the index include post office, gas/petrol attendants, prison warden/officers, primary and secondary school teachers, and doctors and nurses.
“The findings of the survey showed that bribery and corruption among government officials in Nigeria remains high. Nearly one out of every four respondents admitted having paid a bribe or having been asked to pay bribes by government officials before services could be rendered to them.
“The 2013 survey also showed that bribery and corruption among public officials such as the police, customs officers, court personnel, tax officials, anti-corruption agencies and PHCN employees were higher in Rivers, Borno, Cross River, Niger, Gombe, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Anambra and Kwara States.
“The lowest incidences were recorded in Katsina, Ogun and Akwa Ibom States,” the survey presentation read in part.