The Fight Against Corruption In APC / Buhari Government And Its Effect On Nigerians
Nigeria corruption has emanated from historical, economic, political, geographical, cultural and social factors. In all of these, corruption, and in particular official corruption remains a controversial issue in all typologies of governments since her amalgamation in 1914. Therefore, there exist unresolved approach in the policies of past governments to fight and minimize corruption both in the public and private sectors. The fact that section 15(5) of the extant constitution of 1960 mandated the Head of State to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of powers while the 1999 constitution, in section 23, itemized “national ethics” that are antithetical to corruption and section 88 and 89, empowered the national assembly to expose corruption, inefficiency and waste in government through probe and investigations while Buhari’s partyAPC constitution in item No.4 takes clear position on strict enforcement of anti-corruption laws. It is disheartening to note that corruption hasn’t been killed or minimized. Thus, this paper attempts to analyze “Buhari’s anti-corruption policy” and his vow to combat corruption in Nigeria no matter whose ox is gored-if it’s a reality or an illusion. The theoretical framework that underpins this study is Moral development, which states that morality refers to the goodness of people as it is reflected in their behavior and beliefs. The major finding among others is that Buhari’s fight against corruption should be holistic and transparent while the recommendation including others is that the Nigerian populace and indeed the electorates that voted for change of Buhari’s government must assist the government and challenge it if need be, to fight corruption as promised during his electioneering campaign and his inaugural speech.
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the major problems confronting the world is corruption. It has become one of the symbols of popular discontent across the globe. Corruption is not in any way a new development. In fact, it is tempting to say that corruption is simply a part of the human condition. Stories of corruption dominate the media in both developed and developing countries. It has also become the focus of policymakers, watchdog groups, and scholars, most of whom share a more or less explicit assumption that corruption is inimical to good governance and economic productivity (Daniel, 2007, p.54). Corruption has been described as one of the most dangerous social ills of any society, which like a deadly virus, attacks the vital structures and obstructs society’s progressive functioning, thus putting its very existence into serious peril (Gire, 1999, p.1). The effect of corruption varies, depending on a country conditions. Although its spread and depth vary across the world, the effect of corruption is most obvious in developing countries in that limited but valuable funds and resources that are initially earmarked for industries, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructures are either out rightly embezzled, misappropriated, or otherwise severely depleted through kickbacks and over-invoicing by agents of government (Ibid.). As the former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan puts it, this evil phenomenon (corruption) is found in all countries —big and small, rich and poor—but it is in the developing world that its effects are most destructive. Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately—by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid. Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance, and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development. In other words, no country is immune from corruption. The difference is that it is more evident in some countries than others because those countries with less obvious corruption have put the necessary checks and balances in place to prevent or prosecute, while the others most likely lack the political will to put it under check.
Like many countries, Nigeria has a serious problem of corruption. It is very widespread and it manifests itself in virtually all aspects of national life. Practically every government since the 1960s came into power with a promise to address corruption. In its Annual Report for 2012, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) observed that corruption in the public sector remains a sore spot in Nigeria’s quest to instill transparency and accountability in the polity. The failure to deliver social services, the endemic problem of the power supply and the collapse of infrastructure are all linked with corruption. It is a pointer to the fact that the citizenry’s quality of life is negatively impacted on by the high rate of corruption in Nigeria. A report by Amundsen (2010), observed that “corruption pervades all levels of government in Nigeria, and the country is infamous for its high levels of corruption, and for the international effects of organized financial crime originating in the country” (Amundsen, 2010). Also, at a public lecture, former President Olusegun Obasanjo summed the state of corruption in Nigeria thus: The story of my country Nigeria is fairly well known. Until 1999, the country had practically institutionalized corruption as the foundation of governance. Hence institutions of society easily decayed to unprecedented proportions as opportunities were privatized by the powerful. This process was accompanied, as to be expected, by the intimidation of the judiciary, the subversion of due process, the manipulation of existing laws and regulations, the suffocation of civil society, and the containment of democratic values and institutions. Power became nothing but a means of accumulation and subversion as productive initiatives were abandoned for purely administrative and transactional activities. The legitimacy and stability of the state became compromised as citizens began to devise extra-legal and informal ways of survival. All this made room for corruption. (Obasanjo, 2003) Heilman and Ndumbaro (2002, p.2), in their study on Tanzania, noted that corruption can occur within two different types of social, political and economic milieu. According to them, the first is a situation where individuals misuse public office for personal gain. This type of corruption takes place in a modern, rational, Weberian bureaucratic system, where there is a clear division between public and private life. Societal norms support bureaucratic procedures that emphasize equal treatment based on the unbiased application of laws. For example, merit criteria are used for hiring, promotion, and dispersing service. In such a system, corrupt behavior violates bureaucratic procedures, organizational norms, laws, and larger societal expectations for the appropriate behavior of its public officials. With the second situation the problem is not rogue individuals but, rather, a system where corruption is embedded in society. In this situation, corruption is institutionalized and becomes the norm rather than the exception. The extensive literature on “patronage” and “big man” politics stands as testimony that, for many observers of Africa, corruption is a core element of the state and society. In short, the patronage networks—to which public officials belong-uphold the value of appropriating resources from the state to further the collective interests of the family, clan, ethnic group, region, or religion.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
President Buhari’s much-advertised fight against corruption has degenerated into a demolition derby. As happened with many previous efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria, different outposts of power and influence in the president’s coterie appear determined to use anti-corruption as a cover to settle intra-palace scores. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by an acting Chairman, is pursuing the prosecution of the President of the Senate before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). While those proceedings pend, the Senate, whose President is accused of corruption by the EFCC, has declined confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC citing a report by the State Security Service (SSS), which accused the nominee of abuse of power and of human rights. These allegations of human rights abuse against the EFCC’s acting Chairman are made without any hint of irony by an SSS that has earned a dismal reputation for respecting only court orders that it likes or in favor of only those it approves of. Meanwhile, the judiciary, many of whose senior-most officers have become objects of ridicule at the instance of the EFCC and the SSS, must somehow bring itself to arbitrate with a straight face the winners and losers in this squalid mess.1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is find out the effect of APC/Buhari Administration corruption fighting on Nigerians, specifically the study seeks to;
- Find out the causes of corruption in Nigeria
- Find out if the fight against corruption has any effect on the wellbeing of Nigerians
- Find out if the fight against corruption by the presents government truly counts of just a show off.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria
- Does the fight against corruption has any effect on the wellbeing of Nigerians
- Is the fight against corruption by the presents government truly counts of just a show off.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will expose the general public to the problem of corruption in Nigeria, corruption is what has effected all the parts of the country, in every sector of the country, corruption has eaten up the mind of our leaders, almost all the heads of different organizations both in the public and private sector are corrupt, so this research will proffer some reasonable solution to the problem of corruption in Nigeria economy. Also this research work will vividly examine if the present government are truly fighting corruption like they claim to, and if their fight against corruption has any effect on the Nigerians.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research work covers everything about corruption in Nigeria. The study will review the effect of corruption Nigeria, the causes and the solution to corruption will be reviewed in this research.
1.7 Research Methodology
This study is basically on the problem of corruption in Nigeria. The study therefore adopts one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The challenge of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study.
However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
Conclusions and Recommendations
President Buhari’s fight against corruption in Nigeria should not be a mere rhetoric as corruption is a cankerworm that has eating deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society and endemic, ravaging the nation’s economy. The causes of corruption are from various institutional and political factors stemming from the flowed structure and monopoly of the economy by the federal government. Its effects on the nations socio-political and economic development are numerous and devastating. It has damaged the image of the country abroad to the extent that Nigeria is tagged as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This has discouraged foreign investors and caused inflation and the depreciation of our currency. On a final note, the fight against corruption in Nigeria by the Buhari administration is being encouraging indeed; but it should be holistic and transparent, not targeting only a section of the country, a particular political party members and or his passive enemies if he wants Nigerians to believe and have faith in his war against corruption.
- The war against corruption should be holistic and transparent. Nigeria requires good and virtuous leaders who are men of proven integrity. Leaders who are disciplined, honest and trustworthy.
- The agencies of the anti-graft should ensure the immediate prosecution of people who are involved in corrupt practices. There should be no sacred cows and prosecution should not be on “one rule for all and another for the privileged few”.
- The government should fund the agencies adequately so that they can carry out the processes of prosecuting culprits without hindrances.
- The income of every public official should be thoroughly scrutinized by the code of conduct Bureau before and after office to avoid falsification of claims.
- There should be a special court for prosecuting people involved in corruption charges. This will reduce the cumbersome and delayed processes of the conventional court.
- Capital punishment should be clearly spelt out for offenders as it is obtained in other developed countries. Possibly death or life imprisonment should be meted as in the case of China and most Asian countries.
- The anti-graft staffs and the Nigerian police officers should be trained and equipped to carry out investigations without compromise.
- The public servants should be well remunerated and motivated with improved staff welfare packages to have job satisfaction.
- The Federal Government should endeavour to create employment opportunities to reduce the rate of unemployment and crime in the society.
- The Federal Government should jail past corrupt leaders to serve as deterrence to others. This will infuse fear in the system and reduce the act and science of corruption in Nigerian government and politics.
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