Corruption And Underdevelopment In Nigeria Public Service (A Study Of Anambra State 1999 To 2022)

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Corruption And Underdevelopment In Nigeria Public Service (A Study Of Anambra State 1999 To 2022)


This study focused on the corruption and underdevelopment in Nigeria public service using Anambra state 1999 to 2022 as case study. The study is was specifically focused on discovering if corruption is responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment, ascertaining if the persistence of corruption in Nigeria is linked to external factors and determine if the deregulation policy is capable of curbing the menace of corruption in Nigeria. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff civil servants in Anambra State.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

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 Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

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

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

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

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

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

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

There is arguably no doubt that corruption has permeated the fabrics and structure of the Nigerian state and has made development in a multifaceted dimension non-achievable and at worst illusive. Nigeria, despite being magnanimously endowed with vast material and human resources, is struggling at the bottom of the development ladder (Dike, 2008). The subject matter of corruption and underdevelopment no doubt has dominated the spectrum of academic discourse (Omotoye, 2003, Bala, 2001, Agbiboa, 2010, Mustapha, 2008). This is so because of the negative implication of corruption on the overall development and advancement of a nation. Suffice therefore to say that corruption is the cankerworm and cog in the wheels of Nigeria’s progress in the post-independence era especially in the fourth republic where it is waxing stronger.

Nigeria got her political independence from Great Britain in 1960 and one would have thought that with the vast material and human resources at her disposal, as well as the massive wealth accruing to her from the legendary oil boom era in the early days of independence, the country would have rapid development in all sectors. Regrettably, more than five decades after independence, over 75% of her population is wallowing in abject poverty, infrastructural decay is at its peak, unemployment is rising at a geometric progression and the country tops the list of high-ranking nations with corruption prevalence (Transparency International, 2017). This is clearly captured in Agbiboa, (2010) when he noted that between 1960 and 1999, Nigerian officials have stolen more than $440 billion. The amount according to him is six times the Marshall Plan, the sum total needed to rebuild devastated Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, this is legendary and quite monumental.

Perforce to observe from the onset that corruption is not only peculiar to Nigeria alone, it is prevalent in other climes though in varying degrees and parameters. This was corroborated by Onu, (2003) when he posited that although corruption has been attributed to the third world countries including Nigeria, it is a global phenomenon that obstructs progress and development culminating in weak institutional and/or structural advancements. In fact, corruption is directly responsible for underdevelopment of third world countries in the post-independence period.
According to Adelowo cited in Omotoye (2010), he observes that Nigeria is experiencing myriads of unstable situations including but not limited to poverty, unemployment, decayed and moribund infrastructures, ethno-religious strife, and all of the above-mentioned anomalies are variables of underdevelopment, with a direct bearing on corruption, the prevalence of corruption hinders progress and development in a multidimensional trajectory. As Smith (2007) aptly observes that of all the challenges Nigeria is facing, corruption remains the main obstacle to her development because of the increase in abject poverty and inequality. Little wonder the renowned novelist was at pains to stress that the trouble with Nigeria is that its political leaders use the instrument of power to commit and maintain corruption (Achebe, 1982).

Corruption serves as a spring board to under-development in Nigeria. Most economic, political and social problems in underdeveloped societies like Nigeria emanate from corruption which manifest in many ways such as: lack of accountability, inadequate funding of programs, diversion of public resources to private ownership, different types of discriminations, ethnicity, lack of competence, inefficiency etc.

The problem of corruption as a phenomenon is historically rooted in the country’s political economy. In the colonial period, it was attributed to colonialism.

Although, the government has embarked upon anti-corruption measures, these are not sincerely and properly implemented such that the expected objectives and goal are not achieved. The problem is thus rather aggravated. Consequently, corruption has continued to perpetuate underdevelopment in Nigeria. Many factors seem to have combined to make the situation severe or worse than the case in the colonial era. Firstly, Achebe (1983: 1) fascinatingly explained that:

The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely, a failure of Leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigeria land and climate or water or air or anything else the Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility or to challenge of personal examples, which are hallmarks of true leadership.
There is also a common belief that poverty is one of the major causes of corruption. Here, it is argued that there exists a great deal of poverty among Nigerians in almost every segment of their social life. In Nigeria today, it is just a few families that can boast of three square meals a day, wear good clothes, or enjoy the basic necessities of life, such as water, good road network and electricity. Hence, everyone takes to corruption, no matter one’s own small capacity as a way of making up or balancing the prevalent inequalities. It is also equally true that, corruption is due to the degeneration and shaky foundations of our moral upbringing.

Corruption transcends nearly every structure of Nigerian society. The situation is so bad that corruption has been institutionalized to a point where it almost passes for official policy in both public and private sectors of our national life. The socio-economic and political system itself appears to be built on corruption and it thrives on it. Even the churches and other religious organizations are themselves not completely free of corrupt practices.
This study attempts to assess the impact of corruption in Nigeria’s development with a view to suggesting alternative approach of tackling the phenomenon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Given the complexity of the subject matter and its global prevalence, a number of studies are undertaken, yet there is no universally accepted definition. Although there exist common variables and denominators that constitute the act of corruption. This according to Omotoye (2009) is classified into four (4) groups of; corrupt acts, fraudulent acts, collusive practices and coercive practices. This classification is very evident in the definition advanced by Ikhlae in Agboa, (2009) where he sees corruption as the undertaking of corrupt practices such as offering, giving receiving or soliciting directly or indirectly anything of value to influence the action of a public official in his selection process or in contract execution.

However, the word corruption is derived from the Latin word ‘corruptus’ which means corrupted and in legal terms the abuse of a trusted position in one of the branches of power (executive, legislative and judicial) in a political or other organizations with the intention of obtaining material benefits which is not legally justified for itself or for others (Summah, 2018:1).

According to Bala (2003) corruption implies all forms of bribery, unwarranted exercise of power, intentional neglect of a recognized duty and all forms of favour done with the motive of gaining some advantages. A succinct definition is advanced by the Transparency International (2017) a global watchdog of nations with corruption perception, according to the agency corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private benefits. Algore cited in Nwabughiogu, (2016) argued that corruption is a cold, vicious, often sacrifice of citizen’s security for a narrow, greedy, private personal profit on the part of a crooked official. In his exposition Joseph, Nye (1967:419) view corruption as a behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of a private- regarding (personal, close, family, private, clique), pecuniary or status gains. He went further to state that this behavior includes bribery (use of reward to prevent judgment of a person in a position of trust), nepotism, (bestowal of patronage by reason of attachment and relationship rather than on merit) and misappropriation (illegal appropriation of public resources for private-regarding uses). However multidimensional and multi- faceted the definition of corruption appears; a common feature is discernible and apparent which is the abuse of office and failure of separating the private realms from the public realms and this keeps reverberating in all definitions.

Clearly therefore, as a working definition, corruption is the perversion, distortion and abuse of an official office and power for private or pecuniary benefits or gains at the expense of the rest of the society. It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that this paper seeks to underscore the nexus of corruption and underdevelopment, with rapt attention on its meaning given its complexities and to also explore the extent to which corruption has hindered development of the country. This will be gleaned from the historical perspective with focus on the fourth republic and the early independence period at a glance.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The major concern of this study is to investigate how the growing incidence of corruption has stunned underdevelopment in Nigeria.

However, the specific objectives are stated as follows;

  1. To discover if corruption is responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
  2. To ascertain if the persistence of corruption in Nigeria is linked to external factors.
  3. To determine if the deregulation policy is capable of curbing the menace of corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 Research question

The study will provide answers to the following research questions;

  1. Is corruption responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment?
  2. Is the persistence of corruption in Nigeria linked to external factors?
  3. Can deregulation curb the menace of corruption and engender development in Nigeria?

1.5 Hypotheses of the Study

For the purpose of guidance and in order to achieve the statements of problems and the objectives of this study, the researcher has proposed the following hypotheses:

  1. Corruption is responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment
  2. There is a close link between external factors and the persistence of corruption in Nigeria.
  3. Deregulation is capable of curbing the menace of corruption and engendering development in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study has two basic significances. They are both practical and theoretical in nature. Practically, this research work will be a guide to policy makers, economists, political analysts, policy implementers, and researchers. In other words, it will serve as a tool for the government and private organizations on how to curb and prevent corrupt practices and engender development in Nigeria.

Theoretically, the study will close the existing gap in the literature in corruption and by so doing; add to the existing volume of knowledge on the connection between corruption and underdevelopment and how it can be curbed.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will analyze the corruption and underdevelopment in Nigeria public service (A Study Of Anambra State 1999 to 2022). The research work focus on corruption and economic crimes, its possible effect in the public sector. The study will be carried out in Anambra State covering 1999 to 2022.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

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.


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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

Budget Discipline:

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


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

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the corruption and underdevelopment in nigeria public service using Anambra state 1999 to 2022 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 on the corruption and underdevelopment in nigeria public service using Anambra state 1999 to 2022 as case study. The study is was specifically focused on discovering if corruption is responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment, ascertaining if the persistence of corruption in Nigeria is linked to external factors and determine if the deregulation policy is capable of curbing the menace of corruption in Nigeria.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff civil servants inAnambra State.

5.3 Conclusion

On the bases of the findings of this study, the researcher is then, concluding that this by drawing attention to the grievous harm that corruption has done to Nigeria and indeed, Africa. Over the year, corruption is responsible for perpetual collapse of infrastructures and institutions, it is the cause the endemic poverty in Nigeria and Africa, it is behind the underdevelopment and cyclical failure of democracy to take root in Nigeria. Corruption is worst than terrorism. It is high time we refocus and issue of corruption the attention they rightly deserve.

In conclusion, it could be observed that the several policies made by the government to curb corruption in Nigeria society has not been effective. This is because those who are empowered to implement these policies see it as an opportunity to make wealth. Projects like the universal basic education (UBE),Poverty alleviation program me, were implemented, executed and immensely exploited by these individuals.

More so, the issue of underdevelopment, according to Rodney(1972) is as result from an equal interaction between two societies. The more these unequal relationships last, the more the backwardness of the less privileged ones. Therefore, European activities undermined the development of Africa both mental and physically through the imposition of western culture. Because of Fanon (1961), Advice the underdeveloped countries not to imitate the European ways of life and not to expect anything from them but to try and fashion out new life for the entire people of the underdeveloped society and recommended socialism, if possible by violence because in his exact words: Every generation must out of relative obscurity discover it mission, fulfill it or betray it.Making corruption and underdevelopment history is the surest way of making all the problems of Nigeria a history.

5.3 Recommendation

Corruption is one the dare devils that stares humanity in the face. It is also a global problem with certain destructive tendencies in third world countries like Nigeria.
Therefore, the following recommendations will help to eradicate corruption in our nation.

  1. To curb corruption in Nigeria, the government should provide independent judiciary which will be responsible for penalizing the offenders. Even those who thought themselves “Above the law” having realized that they will be penalized by the system, they will not misbehave.
  2. The mass media should not left out of the campaign. Ordinarily, the mass media are regarded as the watchdog of the government. The co-operation of the journalist, the press, radio and television operators, should be enlisted and particular roles be design foe them especially in propagating the content of thelaw and the ideas of the campaign.
  3. The political zeal to fight corruption has to be practically demonstrated beyond mere lip service. First, political leaders have to make themselves models of transparency, honest and accountability in government. It is when political elites screw political corruption that they can have the audacity to check bureaucratic (public service), as the two go to hand. The second leg is the genuine determination to implement the provision of the law.
  4. Sycophants and praise singers in the Nigeria should be made to face the anti-corruption laws.
  5. All allegations of corruption practices of the past should be duly convert gated and affected public officers must be made to face the warrant of the law, else the average Nigerian will just think the ongoing crusade against corruption is a continuation of the rhetoric and sloganeering of the past.

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