The Challenges Of Corrupt Practices In Nigeria
Corruption is a great disaster that destroys socio-economic development and political prosperity of any nation. In fact, debasement has caused developing countries to fall behind in terms of national and international development. This culminated both state actors and international organisations to wage war against corruption through multiple strategies. The Nigerian fourth republic follows the race in combating corruption and enhancing national development through anti-corruption institutions (EFCC&ICPC) so as to sanitise the political economy of the state. This article elucidates the challenges in combating corruption with aim of offering solutions. Despite the existence of anti-graft institutions, corruption is still going on due to the lack of political will by the government, political interference, lack of autonomy, paucity of funds among others. The qualitative method was duly adopted via in-depth interviews for the purpose of data collection in this study. The study recommends that there is dire need for government political will in combating corruption. Besides that, institutions must become independent with adequate funding in order to meet their target in combating debasement.
1.1. Background of the Study
Nigeria is a nation bestowed with vast human and natural resources with oil exports accounting for about 95% of foreign-exchange income and some 80% of government income, with a population of about 158 million (Gbogbo, 2011). Despite its enormous array of resources, the Nigerian economy has witnessed a period of stagnant economic growth. This has been partly blamed on corruption and gross mismanagement of the country’s vast resources. Corruption has tremendously aected the lives and provoked animosity amongst Nigerians. It has eaten so deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian government, the public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organizations and has essentially become a way of life and an important source of accumulation of private property in Nigeria (Mustapha 2008). Corruption has greatly contributed to the backwardness and failure of good governance in Nigeria. The country has not been able to implement policies which promote good governance and facilitate the development and success of the democratic process due to the prevalent existence of both high (Political corruption) and low levels (Bureaucratic corruption). There is no doubt that this canker of development threatens the moral integrity of the nation and hampers development (Mustapha 2008). Over the years especially during the military regimes, little was done to fight this malaise. According to some analysts, even the anti-corruption eorts of governments such as Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon and Olusegun Obasanjo failed to produce desired results (Agbu, 2003). Some of these policies include: decree no. 5 of 1976 for the investigation of the assets of public oicers and supported by the Code of Conduct Tribunals and the Code of Conduct Bureau as prescribed by the 1979 constitution, the Corrupt Practices Decree of 1975, the 1979-1983 Ethical Revolution of Shehu Shagari, the crusade against indiscipline undertaken by the Buhari Idiagbon government, the Corrupt practices and Economic Crimes decree of 1990 and the establishment of a national committee for the fight against corruption and Economic crimes between 1985-1993 by the Babangida regime . However the fact that corruption is still prevalent in the Nigerian society depicts the failure of some of these anti-corruption policies (Agbu, 2003). The biggest challenge for this country is not just to punish those who are involved in these corrupt practices but the education of her populace on the dangers and measures to tackle corruption (Obayelu, 2007). This word “Corruption” has become a global phenomenon and no country is completely corrupt free. However, corruption is apparent in some countries than others because those countries with less corruption have learnt to manage corruption than others by putting the necessary checks and balances in place and curbing the opportunities of corruption while others have either not figured corruption out or lack the political will to do same.
The use of public power and resources in a manner that advances individual, factional, ethnic, religious or other limited interests at the expense of more broad based social, national or global needs is corruption because power and public resources are appropriated towards private purposes and gains. The, bribery, extortion, patronage, nepotism, and other practices grouped together as corruption. Corruption is so widespread that each country has developed its own terminology to describe these practices; egunje or essu in Nigeria, mordida in Mexico, arreglo in Philippines, baksheesh in Egypt, dash in Kenya, pot-de-vin in France steepening in The Netherlands, tangente in Italy among others. All these phrases or slangs as it were, are used to refer to bribe such as money or a favor, oered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person’s views or conduct. Corruption is not a novel concern in the world today. Volumes of literature have already been written about this intriguing topic globally and tons of conferences have been and are still been organized to address this menace. It is an everyday occurrence in countries throughout the world, whether developed or under developed.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
As we all know corruption is the greatest enemy to the development of any nation. Corruption has been a major issue in the African continent but is at its alarming rate in the West African sub region especially Nigeria. That Nigeria is not too developed today and has witnessed a lot of negative happenings can be majorly attributed to corruption. Transparency has been lacking in our operations as a nation and especially her leaders and this has led to severe and alarming under performance and corruption.
Several measures have been taken by each government ranging from the first republic, second republic and military regimes towards advocating various strategies, programs and measures against corruption. Indeed, each administration is affected by a certain degree of corruption and also possesses a number of strategies for combating it. In the fourth republic, the civilian administration has introduced anti-graft institutions (Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC); Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (ICPC); and their components such as, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms (TUGAR). In fact, these institutions were established in order to strengthen public accountability, probity, transparency and to combat the gravity of corruption in both public service and private sector management (Waziri, 2010; Enweremadu, 2012; Justine & Okoye, 2014).
Above all, these institutions face some critical challenges in combating corrupt practices in Nigeria. These agencies suffer some bottlenecks such as absence of autonomy, paucity of funds, unequal treatment, institutional factors, lack of judicial power, inadequate database, and lack of political will towards combating the menace of corruption (Waziri, 2010). These challenges have hindered the attainment of goals of the anti-corruption crusade from bringing future development and prospects to the Nigerian democratic system. This study is an attempt to ascertain the challenges in combating corruption and its possible solutions.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the Challenges Of Corrupt Practices In Nigeria. It will attempt to ascertain the challenges in combating corruption and its possible solutions.
Specifically, the study aims to
- Determine the challenges of the strategies in combating corruption
- Determine if lack of autonomy has hindered the strategies in combating corruption
- Determine if lack of funds threaten the effectiveness of the strategies
- Profile the possible solutions to combat corruption
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study has the following significance:
- The findings of the study will be useful to policy makers, students of political science and public administration, policy administrative studies, future researchers as well as the immediate beneficiary of this study which is the the whole nigeria.
- The study is significant because it reveals the various types and causes as well as negative impact of corruption as it affects socio-economic development
- The study is significant because it acts as a reference for future researchers in the area of corruption in local government in Nigeria.
- It helps to increase the scope of our knowledge and extant literature on the related issues under investigation.
- The study is significant as its findings will help to identify the appropriate measures of curbing this social problem in the administration of local government System in Nigeria.
1.5 Research Questions
- What are the challenges of the strategies in combating corruption?
- Do you think that the lack of autonomy has hindered the strategies in combating corruption?
- Does the lack of funds threaten the effectiveness of the strategies?
- What are the possible solutions to combat corruption?
1.6 Scope of the Study / Limitation
The scope of this study is focused on The Challenges Of Corrupt Practices In Nigeria, Nigeria.
Also, the delimitations of the study are as follows :
The researcher had no money to source for qualitative adequate data required for the study, as it fell at a time when the price of fuel was at all time high which made mobility, typing, printing and connecting to the Internet very expensive
Time Factor was another problem faced by the researcher of this study. The researcher was running between the lecture halls and libraries to source for materials for the completion of the study on time for submission.
However, the study was successfully done because of the mettle which the researcher had, to go the extra mile in getting as much support both in moral and material.
This study is in agreement with exploratory research that seeks the position of the respondents or informants on the known situation of the phenomenon in order to generate comprehensive data on the phenomenon in order to develop a viable theoretical framework (Sekeran & Bougie, 2013). This could be done through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions as required by qualitative research. The researchers duly analysed the data through manual analysis after transcribing the data provided by the informants. The data were collected from 12 informants who represent the public officials of anti-corruption agencies, politicians, civil societies and members of the academia.
1.8 Definition of Terms
In this study, the following concepts will be defined for conceptual clarifications:
Corruption or corrupt is a kind of behavior that involves the violation of established rules for personal gain and profit. Put differently, it is an effort to secure wealth or power through illegal means – private gain at public expense or misuse of public power or funds for private benefits (lipset, 2000). In this study, corruption is the diverting or stealing of local government funds whether it is internally generated revenues or statutory allocations which is meant for the provision of social amenities and infrastructural facilities for socio-economic development of the rural areas.
Socio-economic development in this, means the provision (availability) of basic social amenities and infrastructural facilities such as pipe-borne water, electricity, good roads, health care services, education, recreational centers etc at the rural areas as Ikwuano community for the purpose of stimulating socio-economic development of the areas.
Impact as it relates to the study simply means the effect or how the negative impact of corruption affects socio-economic development of Ikwuano local government area of Abia state, Nigeria.
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List of Related Works
This paper explores the issues in combating corrupt practices. In this regard, there were some strategies which were initiated by the fourth democratic dispensation thus involving anti- grafts institutions (EFCC, ICPC and their Components) with some veritable mandate in fighting corrupt practices in the Nigerian democratic dispensation. However, they are facing some challenges which prevent them from executing their duties effectively. These impediments include political interference, lack of autonomy, and paucity of funds among others. The researchers contend that when these challenges are addressed properly, accountability and good governance can be achieved.