"Weak Public Institutions", "Poverty" & "Scramble For Resources" Identified As Key Causes Of Corruption.

Abuja, Nigeria. April 21st, 2015 – A recent poll conducted by NOIPolls in partnership with LEAP AFRICA has revealed that Nigerians generally blame ‘weak public institutions’ (24 percent), ‘poverty’ (18 percent) and ‘resource scramble’ (11 percent) for the high prevalence of corruption in Nigeria. More findings from the poll revealed that the vast majority (85 percent) of adult Nigerians believe that the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria is to a high extent. This therefore ties the perception of citizens to external ratings, where out of 174 countries; Nigeria ranked as the 15th most corrupt country according to the ‘Transparency International’s Corruption Index’, alongside Russia, Cameroon, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon in 2014.[1] Still in view of the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, Nigerians consider the ‘Nigerian Police Force’, as well as ‘Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)’ as the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria.

An assessment of the involvement of Nigerians in corruptive practices revealed that more than half of Nigerians (59 percent) claimed they would most definitely go through with procedure, in a scenario where they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, while driving without a valid driving license in a hurry to get to a meeting. On the other hand, about one third of Nigerians admitted they would rather simply pay ₦2000 to go through. Finally, while there have been several interventions by the government and international development organisations to fight corruption in Nigeria, a key success factor lies in the steady orientation of citizens on the ill effects of corruption and moral degradation on the society. This should be done alongside the strengthening of government institutions, especially anticorruption agencies. This wills in turn gradually alter the general acceptance of corruption as a norm in the society.

Brief Background

Corruption has varied meanings and could be portrayed in many diverse forms. According to Transparency International, “corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain[2]. Corruption is seen in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, while directly or indirectly rubbing off on individuals both in private and public positions. Corruption has been known to be responsible for the slow growth rate of Nigeria’s economy.[3] Several reasons have been attributed to the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, some have  been highlighted as lack of openness and transparency in public offices, weakness or absence of anti-corruption tools/mechanisms, greed, poor pay incentives or low wages, weak government institutions, ineffective political processes, etc.

The federal government in its bid to curtail corruption, created some agencies to directly fight corruption. For instance, the emergence of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was in line with reducing and eradicating corruption in Nigeria. There are also other voluntary and independent organizations working to reducing corruption. Given these interventions, Nigeria is ranked 136th with a 27% score out of 175 countries according to the Transparent International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the 2014 year’s index. Although, this has improved in relation to the previous year however corruption still remains a critical issue in Nigeria.[4]

Against this background, NOIPolls in partnership with LEAP AFRICA, conducted a special edition poll on corruption in Nigeria to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the concept of corruption and its prevalence in Nigeria. The poll also sought to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the most corrupt sectors, organisations and agencies, as well as explore the experiences and involvement of Nigerians with cases of corruption.

Key Findings

With the aim of gauging the prevalence of corruption from the perceptions of Nigerians, respondents were asked: To what extent do you think there is prevalence of corruption in Nigeria? Findings revealed that the vast majority (85 percent) of adult Nigerians believe that the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria is to a high extent. This therefore ties the perception of citizens to external rating where out of 174 countries Nigeria ranked as the 15th  most corrupt country by the ‘Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index’ alongside Russia, Cameroon, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon in 2014.[5]                       

In addition, while, 13 percent of Nigerians believe its prevalence is to some extent or to no extent at all 2 percent are negative of its existence in Nigeria.

 

Respondents were also asked: What do you think is mostly responsible for the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria? Overall, Nigerians generally blame ‘weak government institutions’ (24 percent), ‘poverty’ (18 percent) and ‘resource scramble’ (11 percent), for the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria.

Other factors responsible for the prevalence of corruption cited by Nigerians include; ‘Lack of openness and transparency in public service’ (9 percent), ‘quest for quick money’ (9 percent), ‘cultural acceptance of corruption by the populace’ (7 percent), ‘poor pay incentives’ (6 percent) and  ‘ineffective anti-corruption agencies’ (5 percent) among other factors.

 

With the aim of gauging the perception of Nigerians on the most corrupt organisation/agency respondents were asked: Which organisation/agency do you consider the most corrupt in Nigeria? Findings revealed that the ‘Nigerian Police Force’, as well as ‘Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)’ topped the list as the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria. This perception is shared by Nigerians across all geopolitical zones, although it is mostly true for the North-West zone where almost half of the respondents indicated the Nigerian Police Force and 30 percent indicated MDAs.

These findings further supports findings from a survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the McArthur Foundation, which revealed the Nigeria police Force, NPF, alongside the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, as the most corrupt of federal government agencies in the country in 2013.[6]

In addition, 11 percent of the respondents, especially from the South-South zone (26 percent) indicated ‘Politicians/political parties’; while 10 percent of the respondents, especially from the North-East zone (28 percent) mentioned ‘Armed forces/security agencies’.

Further analysis by gender revealed that while more males (36 percent) than females (24 percent) have their perception geared towards the police as the most corrupt institution; more female (30 percent) than male (23 percent) respondents believe the MDAs are the most corrupt institutions.

Finally respondents were asked: When stopped by a law enforcement officer while driving without a valid driving license in a hurry to get to a meeting, will you go through with procedure or simply ‘pay’ N 2, 000 to go through? This scenario was used to gain insight on people’s involvement with corrupt practices, though findings from this may not be conclusive in determining the extent of corruption in Nigeria, as there are several other facets of corruption which have not been explored by the poll.

Responses to this question revealed that more than half of Nigerians (59 percent) claimed they would most definitely go through with the procedure. The stance was regardless of gender, age-group and geo-political zones. On the other hand about one third (32 percent) of Nigerians admitted they would not go through with the procedure, but would rather simply pay ₦2000 to go through. While this finding suggest that some Nigerians would willingly bribe their way through when faced with such situation, several indications from previous charts indicate that some Nigerians may be coerced by law enforcement officers in to giving bribe.

Further analysis by geo-political zones revealed that Nigerians in the North-West (38 percent) and South-West (36 percent) zones are most likely to pay ₦2000 given the scenario. 

 

In conclusion, the vast majority of adult Nigerians (85 percent) believe that the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria is to a high extent. To this effect, Nigerians generally blame ‘weak government institutions’ (24 percent), ‘poverty’ (18 percent) and ‘resource scramble’ (11 percent) for the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria among other factors

Furthermore, the ‘Nigerian Police Force’, as well as ‘Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs)’ topped the list as the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria. When respondents were asked if they would go through with procedure or simply ‘pay’ N 2, 000 to go through, when stopped by a law enforcement officer while driving without a valid driving license in a hurry to get to a meeting; more than half of Nigerians claimed they would most definitely go through with the procedure. Although about one third (32 percent) of Nigerians admitted they would not go through with the procedure, but would rather simply pay ₦2000 to go through; thus further highlighting the involvement of individuals in corruptive practices in Nigeria.

Full comprehensive report would be published on the website on Friday, April 24th 2015

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of April 13th 2015.  It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA). We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited in partnership with LEAP AFRICA to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document.

LEAP Africa is a non-profit organization. Since its inception in May 2002, LEAP has successfully launched programmes for entrepreneurs and youth in twenty six cities including the FCT in collaboration with non-profit organizations and leading financial institutions.

Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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[1] http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/172348-nigeria-worlds-15th-corrupt-nation-transparency-international.html

[2] http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo?gclid=CMqGm4ew-sQCFYw8gQodJkEAIA

[3] http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/online_documentary_african_voices_against_corruption

[4] http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/12/corrupt-nigeria/

[5] http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/172348-nigeria-worlds-15th-corrupt-nation-transparency-international.html

[6] http://www.informationng.com/2013/10/police-efcc-icpc-most-corrupt-government-agencies-in-nigeria-survey.html