Corruption And Legislative Oversight In Nigeria From 1999- 2007

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Corruption And Legislative Oversight In Nigeria From 1999- 2007

Chapter One


1.0 Background of the Study

Corruption seems to have become a household name in Nigeria; that even a pupil in the primary school knows what it is to be ‘corrupt’. It has so eaten into various sectors of the economy that it is found even in the least insignificant part of the country.

Corruption is when a person accumulates much wealth meant for the public in his own personal interest (Lipset and Lenz 2000:113).

Corruption did not just start in the 21st century; it has been right from Nigeria’s history (Wilson, 1999; Usman 2001; Muhammed 2003). The governance of Nigeria is much affected with corruption; our leaders and even the citizenry are not accountable and honest in their dealings (Ogbonna, 2004).

However, one of the reasons why Nigeria’s economy seems to be getting worse is because of corruption as it affects the social, economic, and political realm of the country. If corruption is not curbed in Nigeria by 2030, the GDP will be close to 38%.

Corruption committees are set up from time to time to tackle corruption cases; the question is, how many of this corruption cases are tracked to a successful end?-If not just to waste finances.

Nigeria has been rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This has denied Nigerians many privileges in other parts of the world- cases like Nigerians being refused entry into some countries and those granted entry are kept under close surveillance.

However, it is disheartening that the main thrust of curbing corruption is also corrupt; they are the law breakers rather than law makers. We have clear cut instances of legislatures who were corrupt in their practices. Examples include: Patricia Etteh who misappropriated funds, her immediate successor- Dimeji Bankole who extravagantly bought cars that made the country lose about N2.4billion, the recent false declaration of asset by the current senate leader- Bukola Saraki, and even the United States of America sex scandal of three members of the senate; and the list continues. The truth is that the legislature is expected to carry out checks and balances on the government, as well as act as an intermediary between the government and the people (Muhammed, 1999).

Away from the points addressed above, how about the inordinate allowances allocated to each member of the senate; when an average Nigerian is struggling to have a square meal on his table (Chris, 2011).

Conclusively, the legislators are not doing what is expected of them in curbing corruption; rather they serve as bad examples to Nigerians. This study is aimed at checking the lapses caused by the legislatures and seek ways to ameliorate these lapses.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria judiciary system is one that cannot be relied on for effective administration of justice; and that is why the elites keep embezzling funds meant for the public and walk away with it. When such cases are brought before the judges; in no distant time it will be swept under the carpet and the numbers of corrupt cases keep accumulating without fair judgment. This has equally made Nigerians not to believe in the judgments of the judges; even when their judgment is fair.

Greed is another problem that stirs up corruption. People not being satisfied with what they have; always wanting more that they still funds meant for the development of the country.

Similarly, we have greedy legislatures who are not satisfied with their allowances; they still go as far as diverting public funds allocated for projects. Also, we have people without integrity being voted into the legislature; people who cannot defend the cause of the people.

Meanwhile, our reputation in the global economy is embarrassing. Nigerians are not trusted in any part of the world; their freedom of movement is trampled on.

However, corruption has permeated into smaller sectors of the economy that even a gateman collects bribe; it is that pathetic and needs to be looked into.

1.2 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of this research is to review the level of corruption and legislative oversight in Nigeria from 1999- 2007.

Specifically, the study sought to;

  1. To discover the extent at which corruption has permeated into Nigeria.
  2. To determine if setting up bodies whose responsibility is to combat crime will reduce corruption.
  3. To discover if the legislatures are tackling corruption.
  4. To determine the effect of corruption on the Nigeria economy.
  5. To determine if corruption affects the legislative system.
  6. To discover ways corruption can be tackled in Nigeria.
  7. To determine if corruption scares investors from Nigeria.
  8. To determine if job creation reduces corruption.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. How effective is the Nigeria legislature in curbing corruption?
  2. Is corruption affecting the Nigeria economy?
  3. Are there ways corruption can be tackled in Nigeria?
  4. What is the level at which corruption increases in Nigeria?
  5. Can job creation reduce corruption in Nigeria?

1.4 Research Hypotheses

  1. Ho: The Nigeria legislature is not effective in curbing corruption.
    Hi: The Nigeria legislature is effective in curbing corruption.
  2. Ho: Job creation cannot reduce corruption in Nigeria.
    Hi: Job creation can reduce corruption in Nigeria.

1.5 Significance of the Study / Justification of the study

This study is meant to draw the attention of the legislators to the fact that Nigerians are looking up to them to fight corruption; therefore they ought to set good examples.

However, the government should take serious measures in ensuring that corruption is, if not eradicated reduced in Nigeria because it is affecting the social, political, and economic development of Nigeria.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a bench mark or guide for other work or study.

1.6 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study is on corruption and legislative oversight in Nigeria from 1999-2007with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem.

Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2. Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries. Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.


A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.


It is an unintentional failure to notice or do something. It is also the action of overseeing something.

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