Due Process As A Mechanism For Curtailing Corruption In Nigeria
This study aims to examine the role of due process as a mechanism for curtailing corruption in Nigeria. A total of 134 respondents were selected from the population figure out of which the sample size was determined. The primary source of data collected was mainly the use of a structured questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on due process as an antidote for fraudulent practices in the Nigeria public sector. The results of the study indicated that due process mechanism brings about a more transparent, efficient and effective system in place. The study also pointed out that there is a need for a realistic, efficient, and precisely formulated personnel policy in terms of staff recruitment, postings, promotion, motivation and discipline to be put in place to discourage attempts to defraud public sector organizations; ministries and parastatals as well as local governments should endeavour to identify the type of fraud they are susceptible to and mount special efforts to deal with these specially and decisively. There is need for institutionalizing, internalizing and building ownership for the multitude of reforms within the public sector so as to ensure that it sustains the changes in the anti-corruption campaign.
1.1 Background to the Study
There is no question about the existence of fraudulent practices in developing countries public sector which Nigeria is a part of. Fraudulent practice reflects a democracy, human rights and governance deficit that negatively impact on public sector development. It endangers the stability of democratic institutions, discriminates the delivery of governance services and thus results in lack of confidence by the people. UNDP (2005) points that fraudulent practice pose a major obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Thus, one of such crucial issue is to decide on the institutional arrangements for combating fraudulent practices i.e., the choice regarding the kind of framework that need to be established in order to ensure a successful fight against fraudulent practices in the public sector – ‘the due process mechanism’. Due process implies that governmental activities and businesses should be carried out openly, economically and transparently without favoritism and corruptible tendencies (Ezekwesili, 2005). Sabo (2003) opine that public demands and expectations at the grassroots for the provision of essential social and basic services using government resources have continued to be astronomically high, manifested by rising pressure on the resources with which to satisfy these. He further reiterated that the strength of any government depends on the success of its development programmes, which largely depend on an effective implementation of its policies. Thus, the government exists to serve the interest of the citizens.
Over the years, fraudulent practices in the public sector is on the increase largely due to weaknesses associated with the internal control system and other criminal temptations, which to say the least, taps the nation’s resources with its far-reaching and attendant consequences on socio-economic development. Cases of fraudulent practices in the public sector are so pronounced that everyone in every segment of the public service could seem to be involved in one way or the other in some of these nasty acts (Ekpo, 2004). This assertion is not difficult to appreciate if we accept and adopt the simple definition of fraud as “any deliberate false act aimed at deceiving or harming any party, individual or corporate body, in any manner”. Halidu (1991) observe that the bane of financial administration in Nigeria since the oil boom years a period under which the foregoing observation becomes relevant, has been the existences of structurally weak control mechanism, which create a variety of loopholes that have tended to facilitate and sustain fraudulent practices. This is coupled, of course, with the fact that there is a near total absence of due process in the conduct of public affairs.
Due process is a framework for implementation and commitment to tackling corruption, promoting transparency and accountability Oguonu (2011:1-17) Ezekwesili (2005) opined that due process or necessary process implies that governmental activities should be carried out openly and transparently without corruptible tendencies. Sabo (2003: 1-7) also pointed out, that the strength of any government depends on the success of its developmental programmes which, to some extent, depend on the transparency and effective implementation of its programmes and policies. For a fairly long time.
Due Process mechanism has made reasonable progress in Nigeria. Within years of its implementation, progress has been made especially in the promotion of fair play and competition. A lot of savings have been made especially in the area of reduction to contract sums in some cases to the tune of $500 million (Obasanjo, 2003). Obasanjo (2003) also stated that “the Due Process Mechanism has saved Nigeria over N102 billion in two years arising from various Federal Government’s over-bloated contracts”. Ezekwesili (2003) also disclosed that her office “saved N672.4 million (an equivalent of 4.1 million Euros) from a single project by the Ministry of Health meant to procure and supply equipment to tertiary health institutions”. Various contracts awarded with spending units that failed to comply with laid down competitive bid parameters have been cancelled. Inflation of contract has also reduced to a reasonable extent. There is also a general awareness of anti-corruption mechanism put in place by Government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria like several other African countries where corruption is endemic, one of the most prominent features is pervasive political and bureaucratic corruption. This has led to the absence of core social infrastructure, a near collapse educational system, dysfunctional health sector and the emergence of a traumatized and impoverished populace. Backwardness of Nigeria may be traceable to lack of due process in public sectors hence, pervasive corruption. The public sector in Nigeria is in most quarters seen to connote inefficiency, fraudulence and public officers are seen to neglect laid down procedures in the day-to- day discharge of government business. Budget estimates were not too different from mere paper work as the contents were never religiously implemented. This scenario painted a picture of outright mismanagement of government resources by civil servants and public office holders. It is expected that the public sector should be prudent in the management of the economic resources of the nation. Due process is the administration of justice, it balances the power of law of the land. Based on this backdrop, the present study tends to examine due process as a mechanism for curtailing corruption in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to know the effect of denominational practices on the growth of the church. Specifically, the study sought to;
- Determine the relationship between due process mechanism and corruption in Nigeria.
- Examine the impact of due process on good governance which leads to reduction of corruption in Nigeria.
- Examines the role of due process in the prevention or reduction of corruption in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the relationship between due process mechanism and corruption in Nigeria?
- What is the impact of due process on good governance which leads to reduction of corruption in Nigeria?
- What is the role of due process in the prevention or reduction of corruption in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H01: There is no significant relationship between due process mechanism and corruption in Nigeria.
H02: Due process has no significant impact on good governance which leads to reduction of corruption in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study will contribute to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study
This study is on due process as a mechanism for curtailing corruption in Nigeria.
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.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The importance of due process mechanism cannot be overemphasized. It is a framework for implementation and it is committed to tackling fraudulent practices, promoting transparency and accountability in Nigeria polity. The results of the study indicated that due process brings about a more transparent, efficient and effective system in place. It leads to increase in government revenue base by minimizing avenues of wastages and leakages in the economy through efficient management of government resources. It should be noted that due process mechanism can produce some useful dividends in the public sector. This study examined the state of corruption in Nigeria and expressed the view that corruption and development are diametrically opposed to each other. For a fairly long time, corruption has been the bane of Nigeria’s development and the major cause of widespread poverty. The study expressed the view that the backwardness of Nigeria in the comity of nations is traceable to widespread graft and corruption particularly among political office holders. Also, anticorruption agencies established by different governments have not succeeded in combating corruption because of a number of factors particularly because of bias and the selective nature of their operations and investigations. The study also examined some of the characteristics of a society inflicted with corrupt practices and this reveals the true picture of Nigeria. The study pointed out that due process can be deployed as anti-corruption instrument in governmental organizations because as it has the ability to promote transparency and accountability. The study concludes that due process mechanism is an antidote for fraudulent practices in the Nigeria public sector.
Based on the findings and conclusion of the study, it was recommended that;
- There must be strong and functioning accounting internal control and audit systems, manned by competent and morally upright staff; the government should try to alleviate the sufferings of its general population to improve their standard of living and empower them economically; there is need to re-embark upon moral, religious, ethical and social re-orientation in the Nigeria’s society on the path of economic progress and development and not for political advantages.
- Rigorous campaigns to conscientize and re-orientate the general society on the need to refrain from fraud or abetting it are desirable; there is need for a realistic, efficient and precisely formulated personnel policy in terms of staff recruitment, postings, promotion, motivation and discipline to be put in place to discourage attempts to defraud public sector organizations; ministries and parastatals as well as local governments should endeavour to identify the type of fraud they are susceptible to and mount special efforts to deal with these specially and decisively. They can do this by being alert to the types of fraud prevent and gearing efforts to prevent it.
- There is need for institutionalizing, internalizing and building ownership for the multitude of reforms within the public sector so as to ensure that it sustains the changes in the anti-corruption campaign. Some people feel that our legislators are found wanting in this area. It is necessary that legislators should play a leading role in enthroning the principles of openness, accountability, probity and transparency.
- People of questionable integrity, self-serving leaders and mediocrity should be prevented from holding public offices.
- A course/subject on corruption and its consequences to nation building should be included in the nation’s educational curriculum just as entrepreneurial studies is included. This will go a long way in orientating people (from childhood to adulthood) and change their mindset towards the nation’s development.
- Government should fully deploy e-governance as anti-corruption tool.
- Governmental efforts at stopping or reducing corruption and achieve sustainable development should have the full participation and involvement of youths.
- Government should promote the culture of integrity which should be upheld and promoted in every sector within the society.
- There should be effective mechanisms for checking and monitoring measures to promote accountability.
- Government should endeavor to fight an all-embracing and inclusive (as opposed to the present selective and subjective) anti-corruption crusade.
- Due Process should be decentralized and adequately strengthened at all level of governmental administration, it should remain in nation’s policy for economy efficiency and effective utilization of resources and
- Individuals should imbibe the spirit of contentment through attitudinal change.
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