Egunje (Nigeria)

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Nigeria map.png
Location: Nigeria
Author: Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju
Affiliation: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Original Text: Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Egunje is a form of involuntary giving. Colloquially, the extorted ‘gifts’ are ‘cursed’ by the donor, who does not want the recipient, most commonly a predatory official, to enjoy them. Egunje is a pejorative term that refers to the fact that the given ‘gifts’ are not really gifts under certain circumstances. It conveys popular displeasure, particularly because the ‘gift’ has to be given despite the entitlement of a citizen to receive a public service from an official. Officials who receive egunje can include security personnel, medical personnel, judicial staff, petrol station attendants, school teachers, marriage registry officials, public servants in charge of core services such as import licenses, planning approval, allocation of agricultural inputs and other resources, and other types of bureaucrats.