Statistics from a World Bank report indicate that 80% of Nigerian businesses offer bribes to government officials. The bank recently said Nigeria was the most attractive investment destination in Africa. However the investment assessment report also singled out the love affair the country has with corruption. The World Bank report said, “One-third of micro-enterprises reported that informal payments/gifts to government officials were commonplace, suggesting that registered firms confront more requests for such bribes.” It added: “Only 20 per cent of microenterprise firms reported having advance knowledge of the amount of the payment required to ‘get things done’.” It added that corruption adds to “the challenge posed by informal payments, since the amount to be set aside cannot even be planned for. Informal payments/gifts represented approximately 1.2 per cent of annual sales for all micro-enterprises.”
The report also cited the kickbacks government contractors have to pay in order to win and maintain contracts. “Micro-enterprises dealing in government contracts are expected to pay approximately 4.3 per cent of the contract value in order to secure it. The bribes required to obtain contracts appear much smaller for services (3.9 per cent) than for manufactured goods (6.7 per cent),” the report said. “Formal sector firms pay more for corruption: 47 per cent of formal firms claimed that informal gifts/payments were commonplace, compared to 33 per cent of micro-enterprises.” The report covered business activities and investments in 26 states, namely, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta and Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.