Top 10 Most Corrupt States in Nigeria (2024)

Corruption is a serious problem in Nigeria that is currently affecting every aspect of society and hindering the country’s development. The Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index ranked Nigeria as the 136th least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, with a score of 25 out of 100. This indicates a high level of corruption in the country. In this blog post, we will be highlighting the top 10 most corrupt states in Nigeria, based on data from various sources including Transparency International, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, and Centre for Democracy and Development.

corrupt nigerian states

Have you ever wondered which state in Nigeria is the most corrupt this 2024? Which states takes the most bribes? Well, we shall expose them, give statistical reasons why these corrupt states merited the list.

WHAT IS CORRUPTION?

The definition of Corruption is the abuse of power entrusted to one for private gain. It can take many forms, from bribery and embezzlement to nepotism and fraud. In Nigeria, corruption is a major issue that affects every aspect of society, from government to business to everyday life. The problem is so severe that it has been identified as one of the major obstacles to the country’s development.

In this article, we would talk about the top 10 most corrupt states in Nigeria and the impact it has on the citizens of these states.

TOP 10 MOST CORRUPT NIGERIAN STATES (2024)

Here are the states in Nigeria with the highest rate of corrupt activities this 2024.

LAGOS STATE

Lagos ranks as the most corrupt state in Nigeria with the highest rate of bribery and corrupt practices in almost every government and private establishment within the state. Although, Lagos state is known to be one of the most economically developed states in the country and it is also one of the most populous state. However, Lagos state is not immune to corruption and the state has faced its fair share of corruption scandals. Some examples of corrupt practices in Lagos include embezzlement of public funds, bribery, and nepotism.

There have been several high-profile corruption scandals in Lagos in recent years, which have involved government officials and politicians. For example, in 2018, a former governor of Lagos state, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was investigated for alleged money laundering and fraud. Additionally, there have been several cases of public officials being arrested for embezzling public funds in the state. The impact of corruption in Lagos can be seen in the state’s public services and infrastructure. Due to the mismanagement of public funds, many public services such as healthcare and education are underfunded and of poor quality.

Furthermore, infrastructure projects such as roads and housing are often delayed or not completed due to corruption. To combat corruption in Lagos seems very difficult, due to the way the state is run by an influential politician. The government must take steps to increase transparency and accountability in government. This includes implementing stricter laws and regulations, as well as enforcing existing ones. Additionally, the government must make sure that public officials are held accountable for any corrupt practices. It is also important for citizens to be active in holding their leaders accountable and reporting any corrupt practices they may witness.

BAYELSA STATE

Located in the Niger Delta region, Bayelsa is known for its high levels of corruption, with many government officials and politicians being involved in corrupt practices. The state has a long history of corruption, due to its involvement with oil wells and government contracts. This has led to a lack of trust in the government and a lack of accountability for corrupt practices.

DELTA STATE

Delta state is also known for its high levels of corruption, with many government officials and politicians making untold and untraceable wealth from corrupt activities. The state is also rich in oil and natural resources, which has led to a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals. This has created an environment where corruption is rampant, with many government officials and politicians taking advantage of their positions of power to enrich themselves.

RIVERS STATE

Rivers like many other Nigerian states, has also been plagued by corruption for many years. There have been various reports and allegations of corruption involving government officials and agencies in the state. Some of the most notable examples include:

  • In 2008, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested and charged the then Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, with money laundering and corrupt practices.
  • In 2013, the then Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, was accused of embezzling over $10 billion in state funds during his tenure as governor.
  • In 2015, the EFCC arrested and charged the then Commissioner of Finance in Rivers State, Mr. Isaac Abbot, with embezzlement of over NGN 4.5 billion of government funds.

These are some examples of the high-profile cases of corruption that have been associated with Rivers state in the past. It’s also important to note that these are just allegations and the officials may be innocent until proven guilty in court. However, it is worth noting that corruption is a complex issue that comes in different ways, and can be difficult to quantify or measure.

ABIA STATE

Abia ranks as the most corrupt Nigerian state in the south-eastern geo-political zone/region. While they have one of the most economical viable city in Aba, this state has been associated with corruption for many years. Government officials, private citizens and even agencies have been dully involved in bribery and corrupt practices. Some examples include:

  • In 2016, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) arrested and charged the then Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, with embezzlement of over NGN 7 billion of government funds.
  • In 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested and charged the then Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Physical Planning in Abia State, Mr. Uchechukwu Ogah, with embezzlement of over NGN 2 billion of government funds.
  • In 2018, the EFCC arrested and charged the then Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Abia State, Dr. Acho Ihim, with embezzlement of over NGN 1 billion of government funds.
  • In 2020, the EFCC arrested and charged the then Commissioner for Finance in Abia State, Obinna Oriaku, with embezzlement of over NGN 3 billion of government funds.

One thing you should be aware of is that Nigerian states are governed by different political parties, so the present state of corruption might be different from the past. Official reports from reputable anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC may provide more accurate information about the states with the most corruption cases in Nigeria.

KANO STATE

Corruption in Kano state is so bad that a video surfaced of Kano state governor allegedly receiving stacks of dollar notes from an individual in his office. Although, Kano is seen as one of the most populated states in the federation, people still live in abject poverty in this state. The high level of corruption among politicians in this state has made it difficult for this state to thrive economically, since politicians use public funds to enrich themselves.

SOKOTO STATE

Many politicians and government personnel participate in corrupt activities, and Sokoto state is notorious for having high levels of corruption. Natural resource abundance in the state has resulted in a concentration of wealth in the hands of a select few people. As a result, corruption is rife and many politicians and government employees are enriching themselves through their positions of authority.

REGIONAL CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA

When the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, James Cameron said Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt”, most people especially our leaders took it lightly. The menace of bribery and corruption has eaten deep into the Nigerian system from its economy to the government, at schools, in market places, offices, homes, sports, business and worst of all religion.

The President of the country during his inauguration promised to take the fight against corruption in Nigeria to a standstill in the country. However, corruption is so endemic that it may take years, decades even, for it to be totally eradicated or even reduced to the minimum.

Most-corrupt-states-in-Nigeria

Most Corrupt Nigerian States by Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics

According to an infographic released by the Statistician General of the Federation/CEO Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, Dr Yemi Kale, a survey was carried out called “National Corruption Survey 2023”. The infographics exposed the most corrupt states in Nigeria.

The infographic showed that the average number of bribes paid to public officials by the south-west and north-west zones were the highest in the country

CORRUPT NIGERIAN STATES ACCORDING TO THEIR REGIONS

South-west region

  • Lagos state tops the list as the most corrupt sate in the country.
  • Ogun state
  • Osun state
  • Oyo state
  • Ekiti state
  • Ondo state

North-west region

  • Kaduna state
  • Zamfara state
  • Kano state
  • Katsina state
  • Jigawa state
  • Kebbi state
  • Sokoto state

South-east region

  • Imo state
  • Abia state
  • Ebonyi state

As it stands now, corruption in the Nigerian public sector has not reduced. Just between February 2015 and February 2016 alone, the survey showed that Nigerians gave out about N82 million in bribes in the public sector. The survey also showed that the Federal Civil Service has some of Nigeria’s most corrupt individuals.

The average Nigerian will always look for easy ways to cut corners without following due process. All these amount to corrupt practices, massive looting of public funds, nepotism and other vices that occur in every governmental levels.

The remaining states not listed here are not exonerated from the list but have the menace at minimum level. The corrupt states have placed Nigeria tops as one of the most corrupt nations in the world which of course is a bad omen for our political and economical growth.

CONCLUSION

Corruption is not normal and shouldn’t be seen as a part of life. As Nigerians, we have to change our mindsets and educate the younger generation as well as our peers. There are little things we do that are tantamount to corruption but we see these things as normal and this is the mindset that some of us take to government if the opportunity comes.

We have to build the nation and join in the fight against corruption. If your state is listed here, it means you have a sanctimonious duty as a patriotic citizen to educate those in the state on the need to resist corruption at all levels. While we wait for legislation that will stiffen the punishment for corruption to be made, the onus falls on us to report corrupt practices wherever we encounter them.

It is important to remember that corruption is a problem that affects everyone and it is the responsibility of all citizens to work together to combat it. To stop corruption in Nigeria effectively, we must all take a stand against corruption and demand accountability from our leaders. Only by working together can we hope to create a more just and equitable society for all Nigerians.

With a change in orientation and a renewed sense of patriotism, we will surely defeat corruption, at least, on the personal level. From there, Nigeria’s greatness shall be made manifest!

SAY  NO TO BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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