A new survey released by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday exposed high levels of sleaze in public institutions nationwide in the last five years with the police emerging the most corrupt.
According to the document, entitled, "Nigeria: Corruption Perception Survey", of the five major public establishments surveyed, the power sector came second.
Others indicted of the bug by the 70 per cent of Nigerians sampled are the judiciary, education and health ministries.
Unveiled in Lagos by the group's deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the report noted: "A bribe is paid in 54 per cent of interactions with the police.
In fact, there is a 63 per cent probability that an average Nigerian would be asked to pay a bribe each time he or she interacted with the police. That is almost two out of three."
The chairman of the event, Professor Akin Oyebode, submitted: "Nigeria is looked upon as a giant of Africa. Yet Nigeria could not conduct free, fair and credible elections. It is a smear on the image of the country. If we do away with selective enforcement and condonation of corruption, we will build and live in a better society.
"Corruption is a refined form of stealing. The politicians are stealing our common patrimony. Development of the people is almost inversely proportional to the level of corruption."
The report read in part: "Corruption remains a significant impediment to law enforcement, access to justice and basic public services such as affordable healthcare, education, and electricity supply. Several Nigerians have to pay a bribe to access police, judiciary, power, education and health services. Corruption is still a key concern in the country with 70 per cent of Nigerians describing the level of corruption as high and in the same measure in the last five years."
The national survey carried out between September and December 2018, covered the police, judiciary, power, education and health sectors to assess the state of corruption in law enforcement and public service provision.
The document advised the Federal Government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to conduct a transparent, comprehensive and impartial investigation into systemic graft in the affected institutions.