Press release, July 1, 2010
EU, UNODC AND EFCC PARTNER WITH THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS IN THE CONDUCT OF THE FIRST EVER BUSINESS CRIME AND CORRUPTION SURVEY IN NIGERIA
On 1st July 2010 the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) presented the newly published "NBS/EFCC Business Crime and Corruption Survey" which was conducted in partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The survey was carried out in 2007 as part of the project "Support to EFCC and the Nigerian Judiciary" funded by the European Union with 25 million Euro.
The survey covered over 2,200 businesses across all Nigerian States and sectors of the economy and aimed at gathering the perception and experiences of businesses with regard to corruption and crime, as well as their opinions regarding the efforts of the Nigerian Government to prevent and fight these phenomena.
The survey reveals that for more than 70% of Nigerian businesses, crime and corruption constitute the most serious obstacles to conducting business in Nigeria. Indeed it turned out that on average more than 50% of Nigerian businesses become victims of crime at least once a year. At the same time more than a third of businesses seem to be forced to pay bribes when they come into contact with the public sector. In particular, the police and customs appear to be the most affected.
The event, which was attended, by large group of stakeholders, including representatives of anti-corruption agencies, public sector institutions, aca demia, civil society as well as the private sector and media, discussed the findings of the survey and reaffirmed the key importance of the data for the purpose of policy development as well as benchmarking the performance of government initiatives and institutions in the fight against crime and corruption.
Key recommendations made by the discussants in response to the findings of the survey included those of the World Bank Team Coordinator on the Investment Climate Programme Mr. Bayo Akindeinde. He emphasized the importance for the public to be granted uninhibited access to information on processes and procedures for all public sector organisations. He further advised that lengthy bureaucratic processes be reviewed to reduce opportunities of bribery. On his part, Professor Humphrey Asobie Chairman of the Nigerian Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recommended that the Nigerian anti-corruption agencies analyze the survey findings and determine joint policy recommendations. He further advocated for the creation of a common strategic framework for all anti-corruption agencies in the country.
In closing, the Senior Project Coordinator of UNODC, Mr. Oliver Stolpe called for the strengthening of national research capacities and invited the Nigerian academia to use the data for the purpose of further in-depth analysis of corruption and its root causes.