Corruption And Economic Crimes In The Public Sector Of Nigeria

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Corruption And Economic Crimes In The Public Sector Of Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out on corruption and economic crimes in the public sector of Nigeria using CBN, Asaba, Delta State as case study. To achieve this, four significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of staff of CBN Asaba, Delta State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 59 respondents while 55 were received and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage, while the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the measures by government and anti – graft agencies in curbing corruption and economic crimes aid the elimination of crimes in the public sector. And public funds are not being utilized effectively. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that the issue of accountability in the public financial management system in the public sector is very germane. Hence, proper implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) should be encouraged.. More so,ministries, departments and agencies across all levels should be encouraged to begin the use of the accrual basis of accounting, as this would make public managers accountable for recording and safeguarding of public assets, for managing public cash flows, and for disclosing and discharging public liabilities; and the Nigerian government should consider it a priority to supply adequate funding to the EFCC


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Economic crimes has been described as the manifestation of a criminal act done either solely or in an organized manner with or without associates or groups, with an intent to earn wealth through illegal means, carrying out of illicit activities which violate the laws of the land and other regulating statutory provisions governing the economic activities of the government and its administration. It can erode the confidence in the system of a country; threaten the integrity of government, its programmes and institutions, thereby undermining national security, law and order. On the whole, the overwhelming presence of economic crimes can make such a country unattractive to investors (Okolie 2006).

Irrespective of the sophistication of the methods adopted by criminals, the common characteristics of the crime include cheating, lying and stealing. Corruption is a menace in the public sector, although is a global malaise, the extent of its reach in the public sector was tragically stupendous. All indicators showed that the spread of this cancer had become frightening.

The menace of corruption leads to slow movement of files in offices, police extortion at tollgates and slow traffics on the highways, port congestion, queues at passport offices and gas stations, ghost workers syndrome, election irregularities, among others. Even the mad people on the street recognize the havoc caused by corruption – the funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air.

Corruption is endemic in all governments, and that it is not peculiar to any continent, region and ethnic group. Corruption is found in democratic and dictatorial politics; feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. Corruption practices did not begin today; the history is as old as the world. Ancient civilizations have traces of widespread illegality and corruption. (Lipset and Lenz 2000).

The price of corruption has been extremely high. The economic, political, social and moral bases of the country have been severely eroded and degraded. It has brought us near the brink and almost rendered us helpless and hopeless. It became imperative that something drastic had to be done to arrest the rot. This impelled the commitment of the president to tackle corruption head – on. (ICPC ACT 2000).


1.2 Statement of Research Problem

Due to government insincerity in fighting corruption and economic crimes in the public sector, civil servants in the ministry of finance take advantage of looting the treasury. The civil servants perpetrate these act because they are connected to the top government functionary and thereby they were spared from been punished.

Interference in the duties of the anti – graft agencies such as independent and corrupt practices commission and economic financial crimes commission in combating the scourge. The anti – graft agencies are been used to witch – hunt any civil servants that do not dance to their tune by the government in power. The independence of the anti – graft agencies to punish corrupt civil servants in the ministry has been distorted.

Inefficiency and underutilization of public funds surface as a result of corruption and economic crimes. Due to corruption and economic crimes in the public sector, the ministry have not be able to perform efficiently and proper utilization of the resources that have been assigned to their ministry.

Collusion by officials in the public sector with foreigners to perpetrate corruption and found safe refuge and acceptance abroad. The officials in the public sector have engaged in this act now. This has caused the resources provided to the public sector to be mis – spent and misplaced.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

Corruption and economic crimes have hitherto hindered the efficiency and growth of the public sector in rendering their services. It is in this stead, the study is aimed at:

  1. To evaluate measures by government in curbing corruption and economic crimes in the public sector.
  2. To determine the role-played by anti – graft agencies.
  3. To determine if public funds are utilized effectively.

1.4 Statement of Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are formulated for testing in the course of this research.

  1. H01 – The measures by government and anti – graft agencies in curbing corruption and economic crimes does not aid the elimination crimes in the public sector.
    Ha1– The measures by government and anti – graft agencies in curbing corruption and economic crimes aid elimination crimes in the public sector.
  2. H02 – Public funds are not being utilized effectively
    Ha2 – Public funds are being utilized effectively.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The research work focus on corruption and economic crimes, its possible effect in the public sector. The study will be carried out in CBN, Asaba, Delta State.


1.6 Significance of the Study

Corruption and economic crimes have eaten into the fabrics of the public sector and it has been taken as business as usual. These deadly acts had been perpetrated without any regret, since these crimes started from the top. It is in this light the study is carried out to find a means of drastically reducing the ugly menace called corruption and economic crimes.

This study will be beneficial to civil servants in the public sector, relevant to law enforcement agencies, public office holders, researchers, bankers, accountants and the general public. This will help to unfold perpetrators of such crimes and how these crimes are perpetrated.

This study will also serve as a basis for putting into place various procedures and policies, which will help, curb this dreaded monster (corruption and economic crimes). This development would help to bring sanctity and sanity in the public sector and re – introduce confidence in the public sector.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

As this is a relatively new era, not much has been carried out due to insincerity of purpose amongst writers and non – availability of important literature works and text. Due to the sensitive nature of the study, this would place a constraint on the method analysis available for this study.

Non – cooperation by the officers in the ministry also posed a challenge in this research works. Despite the shortcomings, this research is aimed at carrying out a comprehensive and empirical work that will meet the yearnings of people.


1.8 Historical Background of Central Bank of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria was established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced operations on July 1, 1959. The major regulatory objectives of the bank as stated in the CBN Act are to: maintain the external reserves of the country, promote monetary stability and a sound financial environment, and to act as a banker of last resort and financial adviser to the federal government. The central bank’s role as lender of last resort and adviser to the federal government has sometimes pushed it into murky regulatory waters. After the end of imperial rule the desire of the government to become pro-active in the development of the economy became visible especially after the end of the Nigerian civil war, the bank followed the government’s desire and took a determined effort to supplement any short falls in credit allocations to the real sector. The bank soon became involved in lending directly to consumers, contravening its original intention to work through commercial banks in activities involving consumer lending. However, the policy was an offspring of the indigenization policy at the time. Nevertheless, the government through the central bank has been actively involved in building the nation’s money and equity centers, forming securities regulatory board and introducing treasury instruments into the capital market.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Public Sector:

This include all organization set up by the government to satisfy human want to take care of specific want, specific needs of the public without profile purpose.

Due Process:

This refers to the mechanism, procedure and set of standards applied to public sector procurement of goods and services to ensure budget discipline.

Fraud:

This is defined as an irregularity of impropriety involving the use of deception to obtain an unjust or illegal financial advantage (Okolie 2006).

Crimes:

This can be defined as a dishonest, violent, or immoral action that can be punished by law.

Economic:

According to Longman dictionary of contemporary English, defined economic as the system by which a country’s money and goods are produced and used.

Financial:

The management of money especially money controlled by a government, company or large organization.

Transparency:

As used in the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness in every area of business or globally.

Misappropriation:

This is the misuse of public fund especially by public office holder in the ministries.

Ethical Value:

These are those qualities, which ensure that a member behaves with integrity in all professional, business and financial relationships and that he or she should strive for objectivity in all professional and business judgments.

Accountability:

This is the true openness or giving account of what has been expended by the public officer holder.

Favoritism:

This is a mechanism of power abuse implying a highly biased distribution of state resources.

Procurement:

This is the acquisition of goods and/or services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the right quantity and quality.

Treasury:

This is the keeping of accounts of government funds and investment.

Budget Discipline:

This involves strict compliance with all the variables about the budget.

Contract:

This is a project executed by persons or person normally evidenced by an agreement between two or more parties.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on corruption and economic crimes in the public sector of Nigeria using CBN, Asaba, Delta State as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was oncorruption and economic crimes in the public sector of Nigeria using CBN, Asaba, Delta State as case study.The study is was specifically set to; evaluate measures by government in curbing corruption and economic crimes in the public sector, determine the role-played by anti – graft agencies, evaluate the effectiveness and utilization of public funds by bank, and evaluate the checks and balances in bank on public funds.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff of CBN Asaba, Delta State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

The measures by government and anti – graft agencies in curbing corruption and economic crimes aid the elimination of crimes in the public sector.

Public funds are not being utilized effectively


5.4 Recommendation

In the light of the findings, the following recommendations were made;

  1. The issue of accountability in the public financial management system in the public sector is very germane. Hence, proper implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) should be encouraged.
  2. Special courts should be established to try corruption cases. This will give speed and quick judgment to corruption cases.
  3. Ministries, departments and agencies across all levels should be encouraged to begin the use of the accrual basis of accounting, as this would make public managers accountable for recording and safeguarding of public assets, for managing public cash flows, and for disclosing and discharging public liabilities.
  4. Establishment of strong penal code system to enforce laws and rules as sternly as the need for adequate punishment for offenders on corruption and related matters on fund embezzlement.
  5. The criminal and penal laws need review. This is because they were not initially designed to solve the kind of problem experienced in the contemporary society where corruption has become “systemic with the institutionalization of corrupt motivation among various bureaucratic, political and business elites” (Ayua 2001).4)
  6. Honesty and transparency should be publicly rewarded. This will serve as an encouragement to the society and the upcoming generation that it pays to be honest.
  7. The Nigerian government should consider it a priority tosupply adequate funding to the EFCC; ensure the stability of the leadership of the EFCC; employ competent personnel and provide sufficient training in fraud investigation process.
  8. The efficiency of the judiciary can be enhanced by appointing more competent judges with integrity and ensuring the speedy legal process especially those involving corruption cases.

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