Corruption is not new to an average Nigerian. We are faced with the decision of to be or not to be every single day. Corrupt practices has become so frequent experienced that we no longer see it as an anomaly but a natural phenomenon. If you are tipping a policeman even if for doing his job, you are corrupting him. If you offer a tip to someone who is doing his duty in order to gain fair advantage over someone else or to speed up/ overlook or skip standard procedures then you are aiding corruption.
You may find it hard to believe but over 400 Billion Naira exchange hands in form of bribe in Nigeria every single year and that figure is just between civil servants and politicians alone since there is no index for getting accurate statistics from the general public.
In the light of this ‘The Village Parrot’ carried out a discreet survey/research in which we determined the top 10 Most Corrupt States in Nigeria. Our findings are not limited to the government but also how people perceive and deal with cases of corruption happening around them.
The corruption index is 100% and you will be surprised what state ranks highest and lowest on the index.
We are going to start from the least corrupt to the most corrupt.
NUMBER 10: KANO STATE
Kano is a central Northern State. Kano state is one of the oldest states in Nigeria and arguably one of the most beautiful states if you judge by the concentration of development in a few districts. For an old state one would expect speed of development close to that of Lagos but what is obtainable is a far cry from even development. The state is replete with drugs and drug related violence, religious extremism, neglect and total rule of law and due process. If you are trying to buy gold jewelries from the popular market in Kano, you just need to get ready to be swindled or shortchanged.
Although it is not uncommon for the average Nigerian to induce a public officer if caught breaking the law, trying to get favour or trying to circumvent due process. The bad leadership cannot be unconnected to the 25% of the 300 people who answered our questionnaires to have or are willing to exchange their votes for as low as N500 and a few cups of rice on election date. That is at least 1 in 3 people confessing to have accepted either accepted or would likely take bribe. That is why Kano state has earned the slot number 10 on Nigeria’s most corrupt State.
NUMBER 9: OGUN STATE
Ogun state, the state which was created forty one years ago is not new to corruption either. Even though Ogun State was just created in four decades ago, Ogun state is one of the oldest places in Nigeria. Early civilization can be seen in Ogun state however in recent years development has ground to a halt. Almost everyone in Ogun state has experienced some form of corruption. At least 56% of those who filled our questionnaire said they have at one point or another paid a bribe, surprisingly, 22% of those were students. This singular reason as well as others qualified Ondo state to be listed as number 9 most corrupt states in Nigeria.
NUMBER 8: EDO STATE
Edo State the great formerly known as Bendel state is undoubtedly the oldest state in Nigeria. That being said, Edo State has no evidence of being one of the pillars of civilization and why? Corruption! Let’s back it up some two hundred years back. The Oba’s of Benin use to collect taxes from neighbouring kingdoms in order to protect them from invasion and to develop them but guess what they didn’t. History huh? Well, that is one of the first corrupt practices and everything else followed suite. Imagine buying a parcel of land in Edo state that is when you will realise you are in a very corrupt state.
Skip to the present Edo state is still struggling with corruption and 50% of the people who filled our questionnaire claimed to have bribed a public official be it the police, road safety, university staff/lecturer or for a simple supply contract. 50% can equal 36% of the entire population of Edo state. That’s way too high which is a good thing because they will appear number 8 on our Most Corrupt States in Nigeria.
NUMBER 7: LAGOS STATE
Eko akete as it is fondly called. Home of 16 million people even though the number is disputed by the National Census of 2006 but still, 16 million people densely packed in a 3,577 kilometres which is mainly occupied by water, a lot can happen without most people noticing it. However, corruption is not hidden in Lagos. One could say that it is expected for every Lagosian to be corruptible or corrupted at least once in their lifetime. Most residence of Lagos are faced with the decision every single day as it is clearly revealed in our questionnaire. 40 to 42 % of the 300 people claimed that they have at one point engaged in corrupt practices such as given or taken a bribe, induced an officer, inflated invoice amounts, taken kickbacks, extorted or been extorted etc. Our findings reveals that often than not Lagosians are often victims of corruption and 30% of them see it as a necessary evil associated with living and surviving in Lagos. But whatever that means it wouldn’t excuse Lagos from taking a spot on the top 10 Most Corrupt State in Nigeria.
NUMBER 6: OYO STATE
Oyo is one of the oldest states in Nigeria. It also houses the largest city in West Africa and the first of literarily everything in Nigeria however, that is not the only thing it caught on early in life. Oyo state also joined the bandwagon on corruption. Being one of the most populous South Western states in Nigeria, it has its own share of oversights.
Corruption in Oyo state is more common than the residents would like to admit as one in every 5 admitted to willingness to exchange their votes for money. We can blame that on the poverty level of the state but still it is a disheartening find. As if that was not enough, 14% of student 80 students who filled the questionnaire claimed that they have bribed a staff or lecturer and a whopping 54% said that they would rather bribe a lecturer for marks instead of failing the course. That of course would earn Oyo state a golden number 5 on the Top 10 Most Corrupt States In Nigeria.
NUMBER 5: BAYELSA STATE
The curse of the oil producing state hasn’t left Bayelsa out. In fact, Bayelsa is one of the top most corrupt states in Nigeria. Ever since the discovery of Nigeria’s black gold and its exploration most leaders and youths of Bayelsa have developed a sense of entitlement, while it might be reasonable considering the environmental hazard gas flaring and oil spills causes to their environment but corruption, now that’s a whole different story.
It has been said that you have to know someone to get a job in Nigeria well, it gets worse when it is if you live in Bayelsa. Let’s not even talk about getting a contract in Bayelsa, you will pay someone at every stage and that includes moving your proposal 20 feet to the director’s table. That’s not all, according to our findings a whopping 58.5% of the people who filled our questionnaire says that they have actually bribed, induced or received bribe in their capacity. 30% of them claim that they have and would exchange their votes for money. Whatever their reasons for that, they have just been awarded a number 5 on the Most Corrupt States in Nigeria.
NUMBER 4: BORNO STATE
Although our information collection efforts was hindered by major security concern, our research came to an abrupt end but not until we were able to determine that Born State, a major foothold of the Boko Haram insurgence is in fact one of the most corrupt states in Nigeria. Yes and that was even before the attacks became more frequent.
Politicians in Borno employ the service of youths to engage in all forms of pre and post-election violence and atrocities. They have been known to equip youths with guns, pay them well enough to feed for the moment, promise them all manner of goodies and ask them to go to war with their political rivals but as soon as the election is concluded and the results or appeal in court, they refuse to recover the weapons. Now that there is insurgence all over the state, the same set of politicians have turned the unfortunate situation into a money churning opportunity.
According to our polls, over 40% of the people admit to having accepted and or given bribe. Shockingly, 60% of our research population happened to be youths and 70% percent of them admit to having been forced to give bribe. Painfully, 30% of our research populations are presently in the IDP camps.
Outside our normal duty of carrying out the research, people in the IDP camps begged us to appeal to the government for more direct intervention as sometimes they have to do extra work to get food and sometimes they have to know or pay bribe to get basic survival kits being donated to them. That bad! That is why Borno will be gracefully make it to the top four of the Most Corrupt States in Nigeria.
NUMBER 3: ANAMBRA STATE
Home of one of the largest markets in Nigeria and West Africa, Anambra is known as a place where you can get the best of everything and certainly the worst. Onitsha is replete with all forms of extortion, robbery and all other forms of criminal activities. What is worst is outstanding is the number of people who claimed to have been extorted, a terrifying 63.2% of 300 people who filled our survey but don’t let that fool you, a wholesome lot of the people claimed that they have received bribe or some form of kickback from short changing people. What many might see as trade profit is actually proceeds of a scam.
Onitsha is full of substandard products and the marketers or dealers are aware that they are corrupting the state but they do not care and as long as they have enough money to buy the law, they are absolutely free to do whatever they want without fear of being reprimanded. It is not uncommon for police to take bribe to free a suspect or to look the other way in Anambra state. Another shocking fact is that 58% percent of the 300 people said they have and would collect money in exchange for their votes. How bad is that, well not as bad as the next state but Anambra has already reserved its spot as third most corrupt state in Nigeria.
NUMBER 2: RIVERS STATE
Home of the second most popular sea port in Nigeria and home of the popular Bonny light crude oil. Speaking of crude oil, most Nigerian states have developed an unhealthy reliance on oil like a narcotic substance. The reliance on oil proceeds by some oil producing states have seen them shutdown other viable sectors which the state were previous known for and focus fully on oil and River State is no exception. However, where there is oil in Nigeria, there is corruption.
One can easily say that corruption reeks in River State, even though the state is trying to catch up to the rest of the world, crime and corruption still hold sway as 51% percent of the 300 people who answered the questionnaires claim to have experienced or participated in some form of corruption. 67% percent confessed to having received or given bribe. Half of this number is the youths and an equal half were women. It wouldn’t be unheard that an community elders whom were entrusted with financial settlement for environmental damages by Oil firms which ought to be disbursed to the affected persons corner the money for themselves leaving the poor people to cry to the government and possibly take up arms and form a sleeper cell of militants. This has launched Rivers State to the second most corrupt State in Nigeria.
NUMBER 1: DELTA STATE
The state with the biggest heart, politicians with sweet tooth, hungry lot of civil servants and residents with empty stomachs. Delta state remains top 3 richest state in Nigeria considering its resources and its share of the federal allocation however, Delta State has not experienced meaningful development that could justify the amount of money pumped into the state by the Federal Government. Delta State has the most underdeveloped state capital in Nigeria. A drive into Asaba would clarify that there is massive looting going on judging by the number of abandoned and poorly constructed infrastructures which is not limited to roads alone.
Studies shows that 78.7% of the beautiful houses built in Delta State are owned by politicians and their cronies and that is why they are closely packed in the same vicinity so as to maintain the status quo. With 80% of the state’s contracts are awarded to politicians through people acting as fronts, Delta state has become a state owned by the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians. Let’s view the excellent performance that explicitly qualifies Delta State as the winner of the most corrupt State in Nigeria. 72.9% of the 300 people who filled our survey agreed to giving or received a form of bribe. Another shocking discovery is that 51.3 of the youths who filled our survey are open to exchanging votes for money. As if that is not enough, 48.8% of the participants in this survey deny being corrupt. Doesn’t that tell you something? Well, that is how Delta State became the champion of corruption in Nigeria.
NB: Over 4,000 petitions regarding corruption has been received by the EFCC which originated from Delta State alone in the last 4 years. Over 4 trillion naira has been received as federal allocation by Delta State in the last 8 years. The picture above shows what the capital of Delta State looks like.
The fact that some states are on the lowest or not on the list does not necessarily mean they are devoid of corruption. If you see corruption, report it to the appropriate authorities. If you feel the appropriate authorities are not responsive. You can contact The Village Parrot at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you report it. Steer clear of corruption and make Nigeria proud again.