Corruption And The Welfare Administration In The Armed Forces Of Nigeria

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Corruption And The Welfare Administration In The Armed Forces Of Nigeria


The study examines corruption and the welfare administration in the armed forces of Nigeria (2009-2019).

The study adopted qualitative method and historical/analytical design was used in analyzing its data. Data were collected through secondary sources which include newspapers, archives, books, conference proceedings, etc.

The study revealed that; Poor service conditions/delivery have continued to weaken the institution. Persistent issues in the welfare of troops as regards their healthcare and food services especially those on the frontline in spite huge budgetary allocations for these purposes. The armed forces of Nigeria has fared badly. The problem of poor weaponry is due to corruption in procurement processes and poor maintenance of assets.

The study concluded that, armed forces whose chief aim is to provide all round protection for the nation and its citizens against internal and external enemies have been largely besieged by corruption which undermines the level of welfare for its serving men and women. Funds meant for the military are aggrandized for personal use, substandard weaponry are acquired, fake defence contracts are financed, soldiers on the frontline are poorly fed and remunerated, and lack basic medical services owing to poor maintenance culture. The study further recommends that; The Federal Government of Nigeria should, as a matter of urgency, address issues of corruption and poor administration in the nation’s military set-up;. As a matter of necessity, the welfare of the rank and file of officers should be adequately taken care of ;. The Federal Government of the Nigeria armed forces need to ensure transparency in the utilization of defence allocations, and the diligent review and monitoring of defence contracts and the performance of offsets arrangements in these contracts;. Military could generate more supplementary revenue by expanding its existing enterprises, and commercialising its services in such areas as health care, catering, etc.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

In the days before independence, people of various ethnicities in Nigeria were employed by the white man in sundry positions. They viewed their jobs with lack of personal interest. The pay was small and the work was arduous so they had little excitement in the job except to see it as a meal ticket. They were working solely and completely for the white man and indeed all the proceeds of their work were taken abroad to the white man’s country. The consequence of this was that anyone able to make extra money from his job by “cheating” the white man is hailed as a hero. Communities encouraged their sons to “cheat ” and make extra money from their job. This phenomenon became so engraved in the society that after independence, when the Nigerian government took over the finances of the nation, government jobs were not seen as a means of moving the nation forward, till date, the igbo word for government job is “ olu oyibo” meaning white man’ s job, the plundering of and encouragement of government workers to plunder government fund by the society escalated.

Today, corruption has become a front burner issue in Nigeria. Several past effort to fight it has failed. People who retire from government service without making millions, especially those who were in “ lucrative” office are looked down upon by the Nigerian society while those who stole and ensured self aggrandizement are hailed as heroes.

In time past, the military in Nigeria was considered the epitome of discipline. Corruption amongst its rank and file was a rare occurrence and wherever it was found, strict and quick sanctions were employed to stamp it out . Unfortunately, between 2009 and 2019 corruption and indiscipline has become common place wherever military issues are discussed. In the military, corruption is often carried out under cover of providing welfare service for personnel

The Nigerian armed forces comprises of the army, navy and air force comprising of over 200,000 personnel ranked as the 43rd powerful in the world. The Nigerian armed forces has over the years, acquired considerable stock of weapons of defence and offence and has also been engaged in series of military exercises aimed at boosting the combat readiness and war preparedness of its officers and men. Its primary objective is to defend the state from external aggression and internal insurrection. Since the 1960s it has contributed to several internal and external security operations, giving its assistance to the police and other civil defence agencies to restore law and order. The Nigerian military has been authorized and seen to play a major role in U.N peacekeeping operations, ECOWAS regional peace operations and African Union peace operations as a whole.

Nigeria, having to be the continent’s largest economy and in population size, with a conglomerate of several nationalities. The ethnic composition consist of the Yorubas in the south-west to the Igbos in the east and the Hausa-Fulanis in the North, to a multitude of other minorities like the Tivs, Edos, Efiks, Ibibios, Nupes, Junkuns, etc. Spread across the length and breadth of the country, it tends to be tough securing a thriving future for over 180 million people. Since the 1970s there have been numerous illicit financial outflows as a means for corrupt actors to leverage on banking loopholes and hide their unlawful assets. An estimated US $240bn was illegally transferred out of Nigeria between 1970 and 2018.

Public sector corruption has weakened the country’s capacity to address the many challenges faced like; insecurity, socioeconomic underdevelopment and unemployment. The happenings in the northeast is as a result of the failure of governance, a region that has been dirt-poor even before it was devastated by Boko Haram, whereas the crisis over there has displaced over 2.5 million people and killed as many as 50,000 since 2009. The AFN has been noted to have intensified its activities on the fight against internal insurgencies and insecurity such as Boko Haram, Militant groups and border bandits over these years (2009-2019) which have brought about inflating procurement deals, increase in recruitment programme, increase in defence budgets and welfare packages as a means of improving motivation and discipline of its members to carry out their duties to the maximum without any constraint though, what have they been able to achieve with all this factors rather, it have been noted for corruption, skimming and misdirection of the payroll, favour in appointments, fees to avoid or gain selection in conscription, and misuse of reward and discipline processes.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Corruption has been ruinous in the security and defence sector of the nation. likely setbacks have occurred in combating insurgency or conflicts arising within the country because the defence sector has however overlooked the corrupt happenings going on in the country during peace times that has brought about devastating real world consequences. These kleptocrats have decided to exploit alternative illicit revenue streams. The Nigerian defence sector is one which is of secret nature therefore making it hard for the public to know what’s going on in their internal affairs. Due to this secretive nature it has made it easy for corrupt elites to exploit the defence and security budget. Corruption has carved out the Nigerian army, the largest in West Africa, and has compromised the integrity of its Naval forces, which have been implicated in the theft of millions of oil barrels of crude oil over the recent years.

We can vividly see how such corruption has affected the men and women fighting on the battlefield putting their lives in danger irrespective of not having such adequate and effective equipment and facilities to combat such insurgencies especially in the northeast, sometimes leaving them with no alternative other than to flee when attacked. With multiple reports of front line operations held back by equipment, materials and pay shortage particularly in 2013 and 2014, these shortages undoubtedly has cost lives and has demoralized these soldiers which is as a result of an increase in corruption among these military leaders.

Corruption In the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is perpetrated in different forms and under various guises. One of this is under pretext of providing welfare for personnel. At a lower level, welfare is money given To a subordinate officer by a superior for no specific reason. Officers who give good and regular welfare are hailed for their generosity while those who don’t give are regarded as stingy. Of course the money used for the welfare is not from the officer s’ salaries but from the largesse of office.

At a higher level, Unit Commanders carry out sundry projects to enhance the welfare of their personnel. While this is a good means of motivating personnel, the means of carrying out these projects leave room for corruption to thrive in the AFN. This research will examine the relationship between corruption and welfare delivery in the military. It will also investigate how improved welfare can be used as a deterrent of corruption in the AFN..

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary focus of this study is to examine the nexus between corruption and welfare in the AFN. However, to build up the study, the following objectives will be addressed:

  1. The study identifies the current state of welfare delivery in the AFN
  2. The study assesses the current level of corruption, motivation (morale) of members of the AFN.
  3. The study examines the effectiveness of welfare packages in the motivation on members of AFN to increase their level of discipline and hard work. 
  4. The research to the study identifies the challenges to effective welfare delivery in AFN and examine their effect on corruption in AFN,

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the current state of welfare delivery in the AFN?.
  2. What is the current level of corruption, motivation and moral of members of the AFN?.
  3. What is the effectiveness of welfare package to reduce corruption, increase, motivation and discipline in the AFN?.
  4. How has the AFN been affected with corruption whilst promoting effective welfare delivery?.

1.5 Significance of the Research

Welfare and corruption are two very important factors in the economic security of Nigeria. While welfare is a motivator that will move the work force to optimum performance, corruption if left unchecked will kill the economy. This research is aimed to examine the effect of military welfare on corruption and vice versa. The significance of the study is that it will help to improve the quality and quantity of welfare delivery in the AFN. It is also believed that an understanding of the relationship between welfare and corruption will help to reduce the rate of corruption in the military .

This research aims to identify the corrupt practices played out in our armed forces and to understand the role of the armed forces, looking into the welfare and alleviating the problems, difficulties, and cries of our men and women of our armed forces who have dedicated their lives in fighting and protecting the lives and territorial integrity of Nigeria. Furthermore, this research will look into the treatment of armed forces personnel and their chronic pay shortfalls, inadequate training, and dilapidated equipment and facilities and how it has hindered the efforts to combat rising insurgencies within the nation. Nevertheless corruption in this research will be scrutinized bringing into scene the major actors who have played a major role in perverting the defence sector which has led to political and internal unrest.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The research study is on the corruption and welfare administration of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, a study of the relationship between corruption and welfare delivery in the AFN. The geographical coverage of the study covers The Federal Republic of Nigeria where the Armed Forces (Army, Air force and Navy) solely operates. The study covers the time period of 2009-2019, under the three consecutive governments of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.

The problem confronting the researcher is not the scarcity of materials but the availability of some of which are bias in their presentation moreover this research work is politically and contemporary sensitive, the study is limited to both secondary and primary data, internet sources, articles and books. The broad nature, funding, time frame may serve as a limitation to an in-depth study of corruption and welfare administration of the AFN. Nevertheless, these limitations will greatly be managed to make this research work more objective in its presentation.

1.7 Chapter Organization

The first chapter introduces the topic of the research which is corruption and the welfare administration of the Armed Forces in Nigeria. It gives a brief background of the study, the aims and objectives, the research questions, limitation and scope statement of the problem and definition of terms. The second chapter presents the findings of related research on the subject matter along with related definitions of major concepts from a review of different kinds of literature. In this section past research works regarding the Corruption and Welfare Administration in the Armed Forces of Nigeria will be discussed. The third chapter of research study will present the different tools and technologies used for undertaking investigations on the subject matter. This chapter will also present the methods used for collecting primary and secondary data and the different techniques used for analyzing the data collected. The fourth chapter presentation of data collected from different sources and the in depth analysis of result obtained are the objectives of this fourth chapter. The fifth chapter is the conclusion of the research will be described in this chapter. This chapter highlights the actual results obtained through carrying out the research study. Also it will make recommendations that will provide an effective solution to corruption and challenges to effective welfare delivery within the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

1.8 Definition of Terms


Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit, or, abuse of entrusted power for one’s private gain.

Armed Forces:

Armed Forces is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force.


Welfare is the statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need Availability of resources and presence of conditions required for reasonably comfortable, healthy and secure living.


The state of being in danger or threat; lack of protection.


A usually violent attempt to take control of a government: a rebellion or uprising.


Bribery and other corrupt practices used to secure illicit advantages or gains in politics or business.


The use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a wayu of trying to achieve a political goal


The action of defending from or resisting attack, military measures or resources for protecting a country.


Is the freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm or other unwanted coercive change caused by others.


The action or occupation of acquiring military equipment and supplies.

Military Budget:

It is the amount of financial resources dedicated by a state to raising and maintaining an armed forces or other methods essential for defence purposes

Military Institutions:

It is the establishment of the state that oversees the armed services. The Military is the force authorized to use lethal or deadly force and weapons to support the interest of the state and some or all of its citizens.

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