The Challenges Of Corrupt Practices In Nigeria

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Chapter One


Introduction

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


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