Bureaucratic Corruption In Nigeria

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Bureaucratic Corruption In Nigeria


Despite the dimension that corruption has taken in history of country Nigeria corruption is seen as an increasing cankerworm or an epidemic in Nigeria state as a whole corruption has become a household word in the Nigeria society. It pervades all strata of the society from the higher levels of the political and business elites to the ordinary person in the village. (Iyabo and Fajonyomi 2001).

This study is an investigation on the factors responsible for Bureaucratic corruption in Nigeria at all levels government establishment.

Possible solutions will be suggested in this study when is hoped would help individual and even the government overcome the difficulties and. problems of Bureaucratic corruption.

This study is divided into five chapter for easy understanding. Chapter one deals with the introduction, background of the study, statement of problems, purpose of study, the significance research questions, brief background of corruption in chapter two of this report different literature would be reviewed as related to this research work. Chapter three deals with the Methodology employed, research design, population sample size, instrument used, method of gathering data and’ method of data analysis. In chapter four, presentation and analysis of data was looked into while chapter five deals with summary of findings recommendations and suggestion for further studies.

Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Review of Empirical studies

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of the Study
  • 3.4 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.5 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.6 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.9 Validity of the Study
  • 3.10 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.11 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.3 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The issue of leadership and good governance probity, accountability remains a monumental problem to Nigerian Socio-political and economic development over the years, since independence.

This is as a result of linkage between the transparency and probity of the political leaders as, well as bureaucrats in the Nigerian state. Thus any effort aimed at accelerating the pace of development in the country must take into consideration the actors of the system.

Nigeria is a typical case of a country in Africa, whose development has been undermined and retarded by the menace of corrupt practices by its past and present leaders.

To say that corruption has eaten deep into every aspect of the Nigerian Society is to affirm the obvious.

It is concurred that bureaucratic corruption is linked with the activities of bureaucrats. The concept was used to denote the practice of buying favour from bureaucrats who formulate and implement governments economic and policies the concept however transcends the buying of favour, it refer to the violation of public duty by bureaucrat or public officials. It has become a phenomenon that is now part parcel of the larger socio-economic and political maladies that has overwhelm Nigerian State and its leadership.

It is believe that the expansion’ of government activities into various areas of societal life has brought pressure to bear on her bureaucrats, who are ill-equipped to cope with such growth in government businesses. Because the state bureaucracy has out grown its capability and its coordination becomes difficult. The result of these has been the fragrant abuse of ethical conduct by public servants who either appointed or elected into various positions.

Because bureaucracy is the most visible branch of the responsibility of formulating and implementing government policies and programmes.

As a result of fragrant abuse of office by the public servant this prompted former president Olusegun Obasanjo at resumption of office in 1999 to initiate or established different measures to tackle these problems, unlike previous administration which initiated similar anti-corrupt agencies but recorded failure. President Obasanjo establishing the economic and financial crime commission (EFCC), the independent for corrupt practices commission (ICPC).

The purpose of this research work is to cover the sources and motives of corrupt practices by top public services official. It is important to an extent to, say that these bureaucratic corruption will be limited to the then Obasanjo administration of 1999-2007 and the present president Musa Yaradua administration.

According to president former president Olusegun Obasanjo speech in May 29th 1999. “he says that there won’t be any sacred cow in rooting out corruption from the public offices in Nigeria. Obasanjo in conceptual terms meant to be a deliberate and planned charge, but unfortunately, his policies reforms in tackling these issue did not yield much dividend as far as changes is concerned.

One of the challenges faced by this administration on assuming office, had to do with the issues of how to address corrupt practices in government offices which is an aspect of the deterioration in the quality of governance in the country that had always prompted military rule.

However, it is believed that where there mediocre in the corridor of power of any institution or organization, as in the case of our leaders, the rate of failure of such institution or organization or state is high.

This was with issue of president Obasanjo anticorruption crusade of his administration, cases of sharp corrupt practices involving key political officers, including falsification of age and academic records, even major one NEPA fund involving the late Bola Ige and Agugu, Ige who is a lawyer by profession appointed as a minister for power putting a square peg in a round hole. All the foregoing shows the enormity of corrupt practices in the Nigerian state by the so called leaders and the bureaucrats.

Therefore, this research work will attempt to broader the understanding and knowledge of the bureaucrats, leaders and public servants and the society at large on the importance of good leadership and the danger of corruption which hinders development of socio-economy programme of government and infrastructural development especially on the power and energy sector which is the engine room of development of any nation, which Nigerian state is not an expectation.

The actors or the bureaucrats do not carry other stakeholders along in most policies formulated, which leads to the problem of corrupt practices by the leaders, which eventually gives room to infrastructural decay.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of leadership and corruption has become a major problem of national development in Nigeria. The practice is widespread at every level, polity, administrative, as well as the upper and lower levels of the administration. Corrupt practices occur in nearly all ministries departments and agencies. The practices is more widespread with each passing day.

Several attempts have been made in the past to identify and proffer solutions, to close loopholes that give rise to this dangerous phenomenon called corruption. The difficulties associated with administration reforms have been that of implementers who lacked the political will pursue the reforms in a persistent and courageous manner is such that when they are addressed, the problem does not come to be in existence again.

The lack of sustained campaign by the leaders against bureaucrats and corruption is at the bottom of the numerous failed attempts at solving corruption in the larger context.

Therefore, there are numerous problems facing good leadership in Nigerian public service or sectors.

However, suffice for the purpose of this study, a few of them will be suffice.

  1. Delay in implementation of policies
  2. Falsification of documents
  3. Indiscipline / Bribery
  4. Gross abuses / Misconduct
  5. Indiscriminate awards of contracts
  6. Greed and selfish interest
  7. Violation of ethnics and code of conducts

With the above revealed problems, the leadership and bureaucrats of the state faces enormous challenges, which if not address quickly and urgently would snow ball into major economic and political crises in the nearest future. The emergence of former president Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999-2007, formulated different policies and establishing two anti-graft agencies to tackle and deal with these hydra- headed monster, and have little or no effect in solving the problem, in every public sectors of the economic especially the power sector which houses former National electric power authority (NEPA) now power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN) which is an engine room for economic development of Nigeria, which is been sabotage by the leaders, from functioning to contribute meanifully to socio-economic development of Nigeria though he try to bring in some reformation including the anti-graft agencies which was a colassal failure as result of witch hunting of passive enemies through these agencies, instead of focusing on the purpose it was established for.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine how bureaucratic corruption has affected the performance of public leaders in the effective management of various public offices or’ sectors of the Nigerian economy especially the power sector which plays vital role in economy which has been bastardized, that sector had made to be in comatose.

This is as a result of abuse of ethnical code conduct by the leaders of top public offices and also abuse of policies. Other specific objectives to be investigated includes:

  1. To investigate the relationship that exists between bureaucracy and government.
  2. To discuss the role of Bureaucrats and leaders in corrupt practices.
  3. To look at corruption, implications in socio-economic development
  4. To understand the importance of good leadership in Nation-building through early implementation of policies.

1.4 Research Questions

For the purpose of the study attempt will be made in the study provide answers to the following questions in the area of corruption, bureaucrats, leadership and development.

  1. What is the relationship between Bureaucrats and corruption?
  2. Is there any relationship between leadership and development
  3. What are the roles Bureaucrats plays in enhancing economy development
  4. How does bureaucratic corruption affect efficiency and development?
  5. How does corruption effect good leadership?

1.5 Statement of Hypothesis

This research will be geared towards testing the following hypothesis

  1. That corruption and bad leadership leads to under development,
  2. That there is a direct linkage between bureaucratic corruption and leadership and underdevelopment.
  3. That the more effective the bureaucrats or the actors are, the better the leadership in bringing the needed change in the energy sector.

They are (a) rational comprehensive model, (b) disjointed incrementalist/muddling through model, (c) mixed scanning, (d) behavioral model, (e) political system model and (f)bureaucratic model (ighodalo, 2003). But for the purpose of this study the bureaucratic model as promoted by R. Dibie in 2000 was used to the underpin the topic under review.

For purpose of this research topic which is “bureaucratic corruption in Nigeria and public leadership”, the bureaucratic through model was used in explaining this theoretical framework. This is because Dibie bureaucratic model ensure that decisions are made in a bureaucratic setting by individuals and groups who struggle and compete for prominence in the allocation of resources.

However, this goal is eventually accomplished through bargaining and compromise among bureaucratic stakeholder (R. Didie 2000) citied by Ighodolo, 2003p 128.

The bureaucratic model was postulated by R. Dibie. I considered it not to be the best approach in bureaucratic setting, because it will continue to encourage corruption and poor or bad leaderships in the highest order which eventually hindered socioeconomic development, which brings about under development. He agreed that as a result of accomplished bargaining and compromise among bureaucratic stakeholder who complete for allocation of resource the people and economic activities of this sector suffers. A lack of cohesion or uneven dispersal of power does not imply chaos, instead, it means that while bureaucrats or policy maker may proceed in a planned direction the pace or final outcome may not be what first envisioned or achieved by the original actor. This as a result of a governmental decision process which is an over simplification and overstates the power of government and understates the number of bureaucratic, it has in its cabinet which, has the final say, bestowing legitimacy on leaders in practices, government agencies must make administrative decisions about reforms and allocation of resources, and may maintain or expand it programmes without cabinet review.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine bureaucratic corruption in Nigeria using PHCN as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at highlighting the relationship that exists between bureaucracy and government. discuss the role of Bureaucrats and leaders in corrupt practices. look at corruption, implications in socio-economic development. understand the importance of good leadership in Nation-building through early implementation of policies. A total of 30 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from staff of PHCN

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Powerful bureaucracies face lower constraints in terms of rent seeking.
  2. Large size of the bureaucracy should be negatively correlated with growth
  3. Facilitating economic growth
  4. Corruption erodes the trust we have in the public sector to act in our best interests
  5. Corruption also wastes our taxes or rates that have been earmarked for important community projects
  6. It will reduce the trust the people have in a leader

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Encourage a free press and electronic media to forcefully report to the public on corrupt practices in the society, via freedom of information act recently passed by the Nigeria’s National Assembly.
  2. The organize civil society to address the problems of corruption by the process of transparency
  3. Introduce into government watch-dog agencies- anti-corruption bureaus, inspectors general and auditors general who will identify corrupt practices and bring them to public attention.
  4. Minimize and simplify government regulations particularly those involving the insurance of licenses permits and preferential positions, thereby restricting opportunities for rent seeking by corrupt means.
  5. Introduce similar anti-bribery clauses into contracts relating to privatizations of government enterprises and the development of natural resources.

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