The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has described as false and misleading, a National Crime Victimization and Safety Survey report which indicted it as one of the highly corrupt government agencies in the country.
The commission referred to a news publication in Thisday and Leadership newspapers of October 22, 2013 that lumps the among agencies of government touted as highly corrupt, citing a 2013 survey carried out CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the agency had toiled relentlessly to sustain its integrity and reputation as an effective law enforcement organisation with zero tolerance for corruption and therefore will not allow “arm chair researchers desperate to justify a grant use the result of a spurious survey to cast aspersion on its integrity”.
Uwujaren also challenged the authors of the survey to publish the parameters used in conducting the survey and arriving at the conclusion and stigmatisation of an agency as corrupt.
“For a country with a population of over 160million, it is the height of irresponsibility for some NGO to sit in their cosy offices, design survey questionnaires and administer to their friends and cronies only to publish the result as a national aggregate of opinion,” the EFCC said.
“How many people in Borno, Ekiti , or Cross River states have come in contact with operatives of the EFCC to be able to make informed opinion as to whether they are corrupt or not? Which towns, local governments and wards did the survey cover? What questions were asked; what response evaluation methods were used?” it further questioned.
The EFCC said it is proud of its record when it comes to integrity, as operatives of the Commission cannot easily be induced, explaining why cases of impersonation of operatives of the Commission by fraudsters are rampant.
Uwujaren said matters of discipline and integrity of its officers are not treated with levity, adding that there is a full-fledged directorate of the agency, the Department of Internal Affairs, saddled with the responsibility for ensuring that staff of the agency abide by it code of ethics.
He also asked members of the public who encounters any officer of the commission who requests for gratification to report such matters to its director, Internal Affairs Department at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja or call any of these numbers: 097831798, 097831799, 08036076316, 08191534236 and 09-4604628 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
They could as well send a message through the EFCC facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Official-EFCC/509762239046271”.
“It is no longer sufficient for any faceless person to claim they have come in contact with some bribe-seeking operatives of the Commission, such claims must be justified by naming the operatives in question and the circumstance under which the gratifications were demanded and received, the objective being to clean up the system, if it requires cleaning,” Uwujaren stated.
Other agencies that made it to the top of the corruption list of the survey are the police and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.
According to the report, some of the states leading in the corruption index include Rivers, Borno, Cross River, Niger, Gombe, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Anambra and Kwara, while the lowest incidents of corruption were recorded in Katsina, Ogun and Akwa Ibom States.
Some federal government agencies listed and their rate of propensity to bribery include the police – 33%; Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS – 26%; ICPC – 25%; Nigerian Customs Service, NCS – 24%; Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN – 23%; EFCC – 23%; Federal Roads Safety Commission, FRSC – 20% and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC – 19%.
Others are tax/revenue officials – 18%; municipal/local government councillors – 18%; State Security Service, SSS – 18%; National Assembly members – 17%; local government officials – 16%; lower court officials – 15%; higher courts officials – 14%; and lecturers and professors of tertiary institutions – 10%.
The report also identified a weak and corrupt judiciary as one of the constraints militating against the fight against corruption.
Organisations, officials and agencies that scored below 10% on the index include post office, gas/petrol attendants, prison warden/officers, primary and secondary school teachers, and doctors and nurses.
The Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo, said the survey was conducted with 11,518 respondents drawn from all the states of the country and was aimed at tracking patterns of crime in the country and finding solutions to them.
Okenyodo said findings of the survey showed that bribery and corruption among government officials in Nigeria remains high.
“Nearly one out of every four respondents admitted having paid a bribe or having been asked to pay bribes by government officials before services could be rendered to them,” she said.
The 2013 survey also showed that bribery and corruption among public officials such as the police, customs officers, court personnel, tax officials, anti-corruption agencies and PHCN employees were higher in Rivers, Borno, Cross River, Niger, Gombe, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Anambra and Kwara states.
The lowest incidents were recorded in Katsina, Ogun and Akwa Ibom states