Egunje: Using Technology to monitor corruption in Nigeria

Mapping bribery in Nigeria. Source: egunjedotinfo
Mapping bribery in Nigeria. Source: egunjedotinfo

By Idris Akinbajo

In a country where bribery and corruption seems to be the norm, an advocacy group has decided to use technology to not only track cases of bribery involving citizens, but also collect enough data to help solve the menace.

INTEGRITY, which describes itself as “an anti-corruption, research and advocacy organization with a vision of reducing the tolerance to corruption in Nigeria,” uses egunjedotinfo to collect data from Nigerians on bribery cases they are involved in.

The name of the platform, ‘egunje’ is a common terminology used in local parlance to mean bribe.

On its platform, integrity allows visitors to anonymously provide details of institutions and officials that demand bribe from them, as well as when and where the bribe was demanded.

The users also indicate if they paid the bribe or not.

Using data collected from its visitors, the organisation is able to use infographics to map out various statistics such as institutions in Nigeria most likely to demand bribe, as well as the areas of the country where bribery is most common.

Abuja is bribe capital. Source: egunjedotinfo
Abuja is bribe capital. Source: egunjedotinfo

Its latest data for example shows that Abuja, the Nigerian capital, is the city where bribery is most likely to occur while over 75 per cent of the reported bribery cases occurred in the public sector.

 

Motivating users

While Integrity does not give financial gratifications to those who report corruption cases, it uses a points based system to give prizes to highest point earners. Users can earn points by performing various acts such as inviting friends to register on the website, submitting stories or poems related to the anti-corruption campaign and submitting artwork and relevant cartoons.

“The more points you get grants you access to exclusive features which you can trade your points in for, such as training programs, all-expense paid trips to attend seminars and events, and even an opportunity to attend International Anti-Corruption training outside the country,” the organisation says.

Users can also watch short videos, listen to audios and watch short documentaries about corruption and the rot it has caused the Nigerian society.

 

Bribery in Education Sector. Source: egunjedotinfo
Bribery in Education. Source: egunjedotinfo

Solving corruption

INTEGRITY is not a prosecuting or investigating authority and so lacks powers to investigate submitted corruption cases. But that does not deter the organisation from working with relevant authorities to pursue specific corruption cases.

“In some instances, we would take up an individual case where we find incontrovertible evidence and the person reporting is willing and able to provide all the information needed,” the organisation says.

With funding and assistance from local and international partners such as Open Society and Premium Times, INTEGRITY hopes to contribute to efforts to reduce corruption in Nigeria, ranked among the most corrupt in the world by Transparency International.