|BY PETER NKANGA
Ogun, Abia, Nasarawa and Imo States ate the most corrupt states in Nigeria according to a National criminal victimisation and safety survey held between 2007 and 2009 involving 10,228 respondents across the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja.
The survey was conducted by CLEEN Foundation (formerly known as the Centre for Law Enforcement Education); Practical Sampling International (PSI), a field survey company; and DC Pro-Data Consult Ltd, a data management company.
The study also came up with interesting findings on Nigerians fear of cime:
“The fear of being a victim of crime is far higher than the possibility of being a victim. People who are afraid of crime are virtually incapacitated. It affects social relationships, economic activities, political stability and confidence, especially in the government and law enforcement agencies,” said Etannibi Alemika, a professor of criminology at the University of Jos.
The findings revealed that an overall national figure of 86.6 per cent of respondents expressed a “very high degree of fear”, with the most troubled respondents residing in Gombe, Abuja, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo and Sokoto. It also revealed that the dominant forms of crime in the country were theft (money, GSM handset, agricultural products, cars, etc), robbery, domestic violence, physical assault and burglary.
From the statistics provided, three-fifths (60 per cent) of all respondents said corruption has increased in the last three years, with Ogun, Abia, Nasarawa and Imo States being perceived as the most corrupt states in Nigeria.
On public officials viewed as most corrupt, Mr. Alemika said 51.7 per cent of respondents complained of having been solicited for bribe by the Police in the past 12 months. This was followed by the department of Immigration (29.8 per cent), the Federal Road Safety Corps (29.4 per cent), the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (27.6 per cent), the Custom Service (26.0 per cent) and lecturers in tertiary institutions (23.2 per cent).
“More than 50 per cent of those who report to the Police said they were dissatisfied with the police. The major source of this dissatisfaction has to do with their lack of capacity and gross ineffectiveness. Then, police treatment of complainants and their integrity or lack of it, which has to do with bribery and the Police colluding with suspects,” said Mr. Alemika.
Reason for the study
Explaining the objectives of the survey, CLEEN Foundation’s executive director, Innocent Chukwuma, said, “investment in producing reliable statistics on crime in Nigeria and promotion of their use in police planning and deployment” has been overlooked over the years, making the federal government, which controls law enforcement agencies, to appear “helpless and hopeless”.
“Our objectives include generating reliable complimentary data to official statistics on crime and assist policy makers in crime prevention and control planning. It will provide the Police with an information base that would help it in the deployment of policing resources to areas most needed and contribute in reducing the high level of fear of crime in Nigeria,” Mr. Chukwuma said.
Moses Olusola, the general manager of Practical Sampling International, said the stratified multi-stage random selection procedure was used to select female and male adult respondents aged 18 and above across the 37 states, who had lived in urban and rural households for a period of not less than six months.
The conveners of the conference said the survey’s findings will soon be published in a book and advertised in the newspapers for easy access by the public.