An online platform, reportyourself.org, developed by BudgIT, has been launched to offer Nigerians opportunity to report instances of every day bribery and graft as well as celebrate champions of change who shun corruption and conduct business honestly.
The platform was developed with the support and guidance of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Religious Leaders Anti-Corruption Committee (RLAC), the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC).
Oluseun Onigbinde, lead partner, BudgIT, described the platform as a bribe function that allows the public to report an interaction that resulted in either being asked to pay a bribe or actually paying a bribe.
He said the reports can be anonymous or can be submitted with one’s name and contact information. “This site is only a place to gather reports about instances of bribery and is not at all connected with law enforcement. There will not be any legal ramifications for officers who have been reported on this site as it is only a platform for collecting stories about instances of corruption in Nigeria.
On why the partners took the decision to launch ‘ReportYourSelf.org, he said that retail corruption is the kind of corruption that confronts ordinary citizens in their daily lives when they're not able to avail services they are legitimately entitled to from the government.
“For example, when someone asks you to pay ‘extra’ you go to get a driver's license, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, or when you are renting property, registering purchase of property, or common interactions with law enforcement. This ‘extra’ cost is corruption and you shouldn’t be required to pay anything over the publicized fees associated with the service”, Onigbinde said, urging the public to leverage the platform, reporting cases of illegal charges.
David Young, charge d’Affaires, U.S. Mission to Nigeria, said that Report Yourself puts the power to report corruption in the hands of the Nigerian people.
“I hope that Report Yourself starts a new movement in citizen engagement and I hope every Nigerian who is affected by corruption will feel empowered to share their experiences. the tide will turn against the culture of corruption when Nigerians recognise that they must fight as one to stamp out this scourge that has hampered development and stifled prosperity,” he said.