An economist, Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, says true facts, figures and statistics can be helpful in the fight against corruption and other social vices in the country.
Anyanwu, a professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, said this in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
She was speaking against the backdrop of the just released “Corruption in Nigeria: Bribery, public experience and response – 2017’’ survey report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The report estimated that the total amount of bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria in one year – June 2014 to May 2016 – amounted to N400 billion.
The survey was conducted in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as part of a technical assistance project on corruption.
It was funded by the European Union as its support to anti-corruption in Nigeria.
The don said that some advanced countries had succeeded in using statistics to fight social menace and vices.
Anyanwu, however, said that the Federal Government might not have the needed mechanisms in place to fight corruption and other social vices as other countries.
According to her, this is because statistics can be influenced by many factors, one which is corruption.
“Studies have shown that the periodic census in Nigeria have not shown the true picture of population of some states and regions.
“Let us take the head count in some public organisations in Nigeria; it can be influenced by the officers in charge of the exercise,’’ the don said.
Anyanwu stated that based on this background, the Federal Government should re-examine the statistics or data gathering mechanisms in place.
“The government should re-examine the mechanism and adopt electronic means of data capturing, which will involve finger print and biometric in order to reduce double counting.
“If this is done and the Federal Government is able to have the true statistics of Nigerians, the war against corruption is half solved,’’ she said.
She lauded the bureau for releasing the survey report.
Anyanwu said that the findings of the survey had exposed the extent of corruption in Nigeria.
She, therefore, urged the Federal Government to initiate policies that would help tackle corruption in the country.