Lagos – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has established “toll-free Hotline” also called BRIBEline which aims to provide anonymous and confidential channel of advice and assistance to victims and witnesses of cases of corruption such as bribes solicited by officials or quasi-official bodies in the education and electricity sectors.
In the public statement on Wednesday and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale, the organization said that, “Citizens are free to call toll-free hotline 0800-CALLSERAP (0800-2255-73727) to report petty corruption and other problems they encounter in their efforts to access services for themselves, their children or family members either in the education or electricity sector SERAP will look carefully at any such report and consider appropriate interventions to address the problem.”
The statement read in part: “Millions of Nigerians continue to face challenges to accessing basic public services such as education, and electricity connections, including demands for bribes. It is the poorest who are hit the hardest by petty corruption, as demands for bribes can make education and electricity unaffordable or inaccessible and completely out of the reach of the most disadvantaged sector of the population.”
“This initiative offers free legal advice, support, and puts the tools to beat corruption in the education and electricity sectors into the hands of the public. It allows individuals to tell us in confidence when they have been asked to pay a bribe for education and electricity services, or they have been cheated in any way, shape, or form.”
“We will also carefully analyse complaints and information received that relate to soliciting bribes for pre-school education, primary education and secondary education as well as electricity bills, meter replacements, electricity connections and reconnections, and consider appropriate interventions to address them and follow-up.”
“Other cases that can be reported for immediate action by SERAP include: overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools; selling of books and supplies that are supposed to be free; forcing children out of school because their parents are unable to pay unauthorised fees; and selling of grades or paying bills for electricity not consumed.”
“Victims and witnesses will enjoy absolute anonymity and SERAP will treat with strict confidentiality any information received. Please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the hotline.”
“People should feel free to call the hotline to receive appropriate assistance and guidance. In addition to the hotline, complaints and cases of corruption in the education and electricity sectors may also be reported via SERAP contact on our website.”