The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says there is a high level of corruption across various sectors in the three arms of government and private sector.
The Provost of the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Tunde Babawale, a professor, said this at the validation meeting of the Nigeria Corruption Index (NCI) Survey in Abuja
Mr Babawale said that the findings put corruption level within the legislative, judicial, and executive arms of government and private sector at 42 per cent between 2022 and 2023.
”All the sectors have been found culpable and found to be highly corrupt, the legislature, the judiciary and the executive, all of them have been found to be corrupt
”Although at the level of the state, the score differs from one state to the other, but the bottom line is that there is an overall score that we found is that over 42 per cent in our own scale is highly corrupt for the entire country.”
According to him, it is observed that corruption has become so pervasive that Nigerians need to embark on a change of attitude, change of mindset and change of behaviour.
“Meaning that people must begin to develop a high intolerance level for corruption as we are now, there is a high level of tolerance for corruption in the country.
“And, they don’t see it as a very scandalous and shocking development as it used to be in the past. We should begin to train the youth and even the old on how to develop this anti-corruption antigen,” he said.
He explained that the validation meeting was for a national survey that was carried out in 2022 which was called the Nigerian Corruption Index (NCI).
According to him, the NCI is to survey the extent of grand corruption in Nigeria, to look at the various sectors that are mostly affected by corruption as well as overall Nigerian thought in corruption.
He said the NCI focused on corruption in high places, especially the three arms of government as well as the private sector.
He noted that there had been other surveys on corruption by the National Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime which were largely based on perception devoted to identifying the problem relating to petty corruption.
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He said: “The difference in what we are doing is that we are surveying the impact of the effect of grand corruption and we are also looking at it from the perspective of different sectors of society, the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, as well as the sub-national government.
“So, the thinking that it is better for us to talk about grand corruption because of the greatest impact on living conditions of Nigerians when policemen collect bribes on the roadside – that has effects, but not as much as somebody stealing N109 billion.
”So, we want to weigh the impact of such on society, how it differs from one sector to the other, and the ultimate objective is also to ensure that we are able to advise the government on policies that should be put in place in order to develop anti-corruption initiatives and interventions.”
Roles of private sector
He expressed concerns on the findings of the NCI which discovered that people had trivialised corruption, and that the private sector fuelled corrupt practices in the public sector.
“One of the things we found out is that people have built the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility fraudulently, they have used it to disguise corruption to also disguise the perpetration of corruption between the private and public sector.
“What I mean by that, private companies sometimes bring out the concept of corporate social responsibility as real corporate social responsibility, when what it is, is actually perpetuating corruption by giving officials bribes and even equipment.
“Some get cars bought for them and all of it we found out in the course of our survey. So, the government has to take a look at that. And purge it of all those impunity.”
He said there was the need for the government to look to legislative oversights sometimes used as a tool and channel for corruption.
“There is need for the government to purge the legislate oversight of a tendency by some people to also use it to take money from both the private and public sector.
“Some in the survey claimed that they sponsored trips for legislative oversights, which should not be, because the government made provision for that. Tjat has to be addressed.
“And lastly, the overall thing that was observed is that corruption has become so pervasive that we need to embark on a change of attitude, change of mindset and change of behavior,” he said.
The NCI project
Elijah Okebukola, a.profrssor and Lead researcher on the project Nigeria Corruption Index (NCI), noted that what the index did was that it measured corruption at different levels.
He said that their findings revealed that there was a high level of corruption at virtually every sphere of the sectors across Nigeria’s three arms of government.
“We have found that there is a high level of corruption at virtually every sphere of sectors in the country, in every level of government in all the spheres what index does is that it measures corruption at different levels,” he said.
The Secretary of the commission, Mr Clifford Oparaodu, represented by the Director of Legal, Henry Emorie, said that NCI was a tool aimed at helping the commission to better understand the fight grand corruption in the country.
Mr Oparaodu noted that everybody was experiencing the pervasive impact of corruption, which described corruption as a cankerworm that had insidiously woven its way into the fabric of the society, causing immeasurable damage to the nation.
While noting that the meeting would help to shed light on the area of concern as highlighted in the NCI data, he called for collective efforts to fight corruption in government and in the private sector.