The Impact Of Corruption On Good Governance And Development In Nigeria (1999-2013)

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The Impact Of Corruption On Good Governance And Development In Nigeria (1999-2013)


This study is an attempt to examine the extent corruption has retarded good governance and development in Nigeria from 1999 to 2011. If focuses on the determination of the cause(s) of corruption in Nigeria; the implications and recommendations of appropriate solutions to curb the menace. Discoveries were made such ; corruption as the cause of bad governance in Nigeria; breeds bad leadership; creates room for looting of public treasury by public office holders and enhances waste of government funds as a result of ghost workers. The key recommendations were also given such as; every public office holder should be made declare his or her assets before commencement of duties and prior to their leaving of offices and have to be verified to ascertain the truth of such claims, to remove immunity clauses that protect some leaders from prosecution and arrest while in office; monetary inducement during elections to solicit for unmerited votes should be treated as criminal offences and punishment should be given to people found guilty accordingly to serve as deterrent to others. The study also recommended that corruption can be minimized in Nigeria, with good governance and development ensured, if we can collectively imbibe and promote moral values, transparency; accountability and the rule of law.

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

Majority of Nigerian believe that the seed of corruption which is now at its peak at all levels in the country, was effectively sown and nurtured to maturity during military ruler. This assertion is buttressed by the fact that many of the principal political figures in governance at the federal, state and even local levels are the same set of people who had held public offices during the different military eras and had amassed wealth illegally in the process, becoming very powerful (Aluko, 2006:8).

At present, our reputation for corruption and fraudulent practices has reached the Zenith, such that foreigners regard Nigerian, especially those wishing to do business with them as unfaithful and dishonest people. We have created such a bad image for ourselves, among ourselves and with potential foreign business partners, that genuine and honest people suffer (Aluko, 2006:9).

A prominent Nigerian, Adegbite (1991), once stated that the meaning of corruption varies, and depends on the context in which it is used. It could denote moral depravity and perversion of integrity through bribery or favour, or a conscious and well planned act by a person or group of persons to appropriate by unlawful means the wealth of another person or group of persons (Aluka 2006:1) to others, it is the act of turning power and authority, into ready cash. Another authority defines it as the diversion of resources from the betterment of the community to the gain of individuals at the expense of the community (Aluko, 2006:1).

Corruption is the act of illegally diverting resources (particularly financial resources) meant for the good of the citizenry in a defined geographical area by a privileged individual or a group for personal use presumably for self aggrandizement. In this sense, corruption means the use of public resources for the achievement of personal of personal ends. (Aluko, 2006:3). The mentality which this political class brought to governance represents the highest form of corruption and the enslavement of the popular masses of this country (Duke, 2003:24). More so, corruption has endemic, dangerous and hazardous implications. It is endemic because it spreads from one person to the other until it engulfs the whole society.

James and Sam (2006:91) vehemently opined that corruption constitutes the greatest waste of human and material resources in any society. They explained further that a good example is the distressed banks where so many Nigerians lost their money and wealth, due to diversion of public money to private hands. The other inflated contract bills and other forms of corruption have robbed the people of the basic amenities like water, electricity, good hospital, schools and roads. Such basic amenities are supposed to be in place so as to ensure a country development and good governance.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Generally, corruption has caused incalculable damage to social and political development of Nigeria. Corruption has a long pedigree and problem, it has definitely threatened the existence of any government. As a phenomenon that runs deep with all previous governments, and is even prominent in the present administration which functionaries pay on key role in the dark of the present administration (Onoja:2003). This has been among other things degenerated at theoretical, intellectual and practical levels. As a result of this, and continuous elusiveness of a universal criterion for its conceptualization, and for dealing with its perpetrators, it has become the feature of many politics in the world and particularly in Nigeria, as it continuously manifest itself and had been institutionalized by its protagonist to the department of micro and macro components of most societies. This vividly explains the problem of developing nations particularly that of Nigeria.

The problem includes inter-alia corrupt, ascendancy to political leadership through election rigging, giving and receiving of kick-back for government contracts (done or undone), son of the soil philosophy, robbery and looting of public treasury and the issue of ghost workers.

Succinctly, with the above problem mentioned, in Nigeria this will change government as an instrument of the ‘’state’’ to and instrument of corruption and personal leadership. As a result of this, there is high level of disenchantment on the part of the people in governmental affairs, turning the citizens into hardened cynics with no concern for problem good, no faith in morality. In addition, to the above, poverty seems to be a major factor that has continued to promote corruption and other unethical behaviour in Nigeria.

1.3 Aims And Objectives Of The Study

The aims of the study is to examine the corruption and the crisis of governance and development in Nigeria between 1999-2013.

The specific objectives of this study are as follows:

  1. To see whether poverty is the root of corruption in Nigeria;
  2. To determine the causes of corruption in Nigeria
  3. To examine the implications of corruption in Nigeria
  4. To recommend an appropriate solution to corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

The study is centred on corruption and impact of governance and development of Nigeria, from 1999-2013. The study is restricted to this period because of the broad nature of the topic. This period marked the unrepresented stage in the manifestation of corruption in Nigeria which requires urgent response to curb this trend of corruption and its practices among public officials.

On the other hand, this study has also been narrowed to the above period due to inadequate finance, time factor, transport and other logistical constraints.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study on corruption and the impact of governance and development will be of great benefit to policy/decision makers, politicians and the non governmental organizations (NGO’s) etc on how best to curb this unethical behaviour and phenomenon of corruption from Nigerian state.

This study on corruption and its impact on governance and development will also serves as a yardstick to researchers in the course of their findings.

It also broadens the knowledge of renders on the administrative governance in the country;

It also serves as contribution to already existing literatures on the impact of corruption on governance and development in Nigeria.

1.6 Research Questions

The major research questions employed in this study on corruption are as follows:

  1. What are the indicators of corruption and corrupt practice in Nigeria?
  2. What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria?
  3. And what are the implications of corruption in the governance and development of Nigeria government since 1999-2013.

1.7 Definition Of Terms

The basic concept used in the research work are; corruption, governance and development in Nigeria.


According to Dike (2001:147) corruption is a perversion or change from good to bad, which involves the violation of established rules for personal gain and profit, which also include securing wealth or power through illegal means. According to Hormby (1995) corruption is a dishonest or wicked behaviour in high place or position by leaders for their private advantage.


Governance can be defined as the activities of governing a country or controlling a company or an organization, the way in which a country is governed or a company or institution is controlled.


The concept of development is multi-dimensional in nature which has led to the emergence of different definition put forward by scholars.

According to Rodney (1972:1) ‘’development in human society is a many-sided process. At the level of the individual it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well being’’. According to Seers (1961), ‘’development involves in the fulfilment of the necessary condition for the achievement or realization of universally acceptable aims and potentials of human personality’’. He accepts the economic view points of development to the extent that it is man centered or it is instrumental to addressing basic problem of unemployment, poverty and inequality in development as put by Seers, (1969) three important questions need to be asked about a country’s development. Thus;

  1. What has been happening to unemployment?
  2. What has been happening to poverty?
  3. What has been happening to in-equality?

If all these have declined from high to low levels, then beyond doubt there have been developments for that period they decline from high to low. But if these problems have been growing from bad to worst than there is no development. Even if there is an increase in GNP and GDP, increase per capital in come without necessary having a positive impact on poverty unemployment and social justice, then there is no development, because development should be human centred, (Kamal, 2005:107).

1.8 Organization Of The Study

This study contains five chapters.

  • Chapter one contain background to the study, statement of the problem, aim and objective of the study, significance of the study, research question, research hypothesis, scope and limitations of the study, definition of terms and organization of the study.
  • Chapter two examines the literature review, the concept and form of corruption, causes of corruption, effect of corruption, the concept of good governance, the development, and the nexus between corruption, governance and development.
  • Chapter three research methodology: the research design, sampling techniques, population of the study, sample size and data analysis method of data collection.
  • Chapter four focuses on data presentation, discussion of result, findings of the study.
  • Finally, chapter five focuses on summary of findings, conclusion, recommendations and bibliography.

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