Fighting Corruption In Nigeria (A Case Study Of EFCC)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Fighting Corruption In Nigeria (A Case Study Of EFCC)


Writing on a project topic like ‘combating corruption in Nigeria; case study of the EFCC has presented numerous challenges, bearing in mind that not very many people are aware of the scope of responsibility being handled by the ant -graft body. The journey takes one through in the first instance the creating of an overview of the fact that corruption really has Nigerian in its stragle hold, the recognition of the harm the corruption endemic has wrought on the Nigerian psyche and the need for fighting this human created cancer. The need for the creation of an anti-graft body becomes very apparent when one look at the presidents set by other matters of corruption (huge as it were) swept under the carpet for lack of gats to deal with same.The response of Nigerian as to whether the aims, objectives for the setting up of the EFCC have been met is also dealt with therein. How much can the EFCC achieve, and the question of whether Nigeria can in the end say ‘Uhuru is tackled therein.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria became an independent nation on the 1st of October 1960. A country richly endowed with monumental geographical and diverse natural resources ranging from crude oil to gas (natural), coal al, et. Nigeria possesses potential market ability for rapid economic development. However, inspite of these obvious resources and its advantage, Nigeria remains a poor and underdeveloped country. Scholars have achieved and advanced several reasons to explain this parlous and depleting state. One of the major and prominent factors advanced is corruption. Corruption has been a major problem in Nigeria since independence. Perhaps, it may be that we even inherited ‘the problem’ from our colonial masters.Numerous state institutions have become dysfunctional because of large-scale corrupt practices.Projects are routinely abandoned, and no one is brought to book, public goods and resources are diverted to private ends. Corruption endangers the good governance and the democracy we see today. Corruption was cited as one of the more prominent reasons for Nigeria’s first military coup by the coupists of January 15, 1966 military putsch.Massive corruption and resource brigandage also were cited as reasons for the military takes over by the regime of Buharil Tunde Idiagbon on December 31st 1983.This is in-spite of the fact that even the military elite cannot be called saints on the one side. Due to the pervasive nature of corruption in Nigeria, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his inaugural speech on May 29 1999 affirmed that corruption, the single greatest bane of our society today would be tackled head- on, at all levels. No society can achieve its full potentials if it allows corruption to become a full blown cancer as its has become in our nation.According to the World Bank (1997:5), “corruption thrives when economic policies are poorly designed, education levels or standards are low, civil society participation is weak, public sector management is poor, and accountability of public institutions are weak” Corruption has become the order of the day in our public institution, and because Government business is nobody’s business, the country continues to suffer (Nzemeke and Erhagbe: 2002:131).Corruption has been cited as the major reason why developmental prescription, aids and policies imposed on Nigeria by international financial organizations have inexplicably failed.Thus, corruption is indeed, to the society and the polity what HW/AIDS is to the human body. While manifestation of the “acquired immune deficiency syndrome” caused by a bio-virus, corruption is an expression of the “Deficiency of integrity syndrome” caused by a socio-virus (corruption). ‘As HW/AIDS breaks down our immune system thereby making it susceptible to ills and sicknesses, so also corruption breaks down the law and order, structure of the economy, thereby making it easy for the nation to be infested with all sorts of deficiencies and crimes. Sam Adesua (1987: 8-9) noted that “in Nigeria, …corruption is a well organized and well entrenched social malady bestriding the nation, but which tends to have the tacit approval of almost every Nigerian in the social ladders” This is an opposite description of the corruption status in the Nigerian nation. Corruption is no doubt pervasive in the country. It permeates all strata of both public and private li. It is not peculiar to any regime or government, in the country. Honesty seems to have taken flight, and corruption has in the meanwhile tremendously gained ground and become very rampant. According to Familoni (2005:51), becoming corrupt in Nigeria is almost avoidable, as morality is lax because to survive, people have to make money. The 1996 study of corruption by Transparency International (TI) and Goettingen University ranked Nigeria as the most corrupt nation, among the fifty-four (54) counties listed in the study with Pakistan as the second most corrupt country.Also in the 1998 transparency international corruption perception index (CPI), the image of Nigeria dipped further as she was ranked ninety (90) out of the ninety one (91) countries pooled – Bangladesh came first in the ranking. The country remained or rather retained its position in 2003.In 2006, the transparency international perception index ranked Nigeria one hundred and forty-two (142) out of one hundred and sixty-three (163) countries pooled, with Haiti as the most corrupt country in the world

1.2 Statement of the Problem

One of the pertinent issues in Nigeria today is the focus on one of the greatest impediment to good governance and sustainable development corruption. In recent times, corruption has as an issue taken the front burner in development discourse worldwide. Since 1996, the World Bank has supported more than six hundred (600) anti–corruption programmes and governance initiative developed by its member countries. Especially in 1999, the World Bank institute budgeted a whopping $7.5million to fight corruption (Polzer, 200:2; Tesh, 1991:1). Ironically, the global financial body was embroiled in scandalous dealings that led to the removal of its chairman. This goes to show the obvious relevance corruption has to sustainable growth and development. The world’s major religions in their holy books are concerned with the evil of corruption amongst the rich and powerful, and prescribed rules for punishing perpetrators and the wiping out of corrupt acts.The Qu’ran chapter 83, warmed believers against the fraudulent and corrupt practices of the Arabian society in the pre-Islamic era (Olurode, 2003:3). The Holy Bible in proverbs (22:8, 11:20 and 13:11) (Olurode 2005:3) admonished the people about corruption and its consequences, promising perpetrators that they would be losers on judgment day. Accountability is typically weak in Nigeria because the county is ripe for corruption and rife with it.The motivation to earn extra income is extremely strong, worsened by poverty and low and declining civil services salaries. Thus, corruption has become a cankerworm in the political system, stifling it of its potential sustainable growth.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The aim of the research is to appraise Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade with special focus on the EFCC

  1. Identify the inherent nature of corruption in Nigerian since independence.
  2. Assess the effect of corruption on Nigeria’s development.
  3. Appraise the activities of the EFCC.
  4. To ascertain if the EFCC has succeeded or failed in its quest to wipe out corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there is no effect of corruption on Nigeria’s development
    H1: there is effect of corruption on Nigeria’s development
  2. H02: EFCC has succeeded in its quest to wipe out corruption in Nigeria.
    H2: EFCC has failed in its quest to wipe out corruption in Nigeria.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The administration of Obasanjo was the first to show the commitment of fight corruption with the appropriate mechanisms and where obvious (even if sometimes selected results have been seen towards the fight against corruption

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This research therefore focuses on the two term tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo, and former president Yar’Adua’s short tenure, from 1999 till date with a view to the appraisal of the efforts of the EFCC at fighting corruption in Nigerian during the already mentioned time frame.The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Combat is a purposeful violent conflict meant to weaken, establish dominance over, or kill the opposition, or to drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed.


Corruption is a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit.

1.8 Organization of the Study

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

  1. 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.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain fighting corruption in Nigeria. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challengesof fighting corruption in Nigeria

5.2 Summary

This study was on fighting corruption in Nigeria. Four objectives were raised which included:- Identify the inherent nature of corruption in Nigerian since independence, assess the effect of corruption on Nigeria’s development, appraise the activities of the EFCC, to ascertain if the EFCC has succeeded or failed in its quest to wipe out corruption in Nigeria. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staffof EFCC, Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made of detective inspectors, detective assistants, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

In the dark days of Sani Abacha, American general, Collin Powell declared corruption as a virtue in Nigeria. He said this despite Abacha’s seemingly campaign against corruption with the celebrated arrests and detentions of some leading bankers on alleged fraudulent practices. Not many people in that regime treated Collin Powel’s comment with the degree of seriousness it deserved. After Abacha’s death, it became obvious why the Americans and the west were not convinced about this sincerity to fight corruption. So now that the developed world says we should do more on the current corruption war, definitely know what they are talking about. Corruption has become more sophisticated with each successive regime over the years that those alleged to be fraudulent in the past now consider themselves saints. In this work, the research has tried to review critically how the selfish decision always taken by the elites encourage corruption in Nigeria. At this point in our national life, no one can say that there is lack of political will to deal with the problem. But the problem of fighting corruption goes beyond the will of the man at the top. It is the failure of leadership as it is the criminal negligence and the unwillingness to do the right thing and to help in building formidable institutions to fight the source. Corruption is a battle to be prosecuted not only by EFCC and ICPC, but also an entire Nigerians. I sincerely believe that with the commitment of all Nigerians and the sustenance of current efforts, a new Nigeria which is devoid of corruption, bribery, negligence of duty, nepotism and tribalism shall be built. No nation can make any meaningful progress under a corrupt system. This realization has occasioned a global re-awakening of interest on how to eradicate menace of unethical corrupt practices in Nigeria.

5.4 Recommendation

In view of the research findings, the following recommendations are made as a measure to curtail corruption in the Nigeria system and as well as enhancing the efficiency of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Improved publicity will certainly lead to a decline in corruption because the behaviour and action of politicians will constantly be focused and disclosed to the public. In England during the later 18th century, the activities of political journal like The Rambler, The Spectator and the Tatle did a lot to put politicians on the alert, and this in turn, helped to reduce the incidence of corruption in public life (Adebayo, 2004:28). This informed why the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill should be passed by the National Assembly to enable access to information without problem. The most urgent task in order to secure the independence of he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and avoid the violation of the right of equal protection under the law is to amend section 3 (2) of the Commission Act and any other necessary provision so that members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Can discharge their duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will. The overwhelming majority of the staff of the commission if not all, should be recruited from the pool of fresh graduates and by the commission itself instead of mass transfers and secondments from other government. This mass transfers and secondments would only transform the new organization into where they are transferred from. Thus, fresh graduates should be trained from the scratch towards an appreciation of the importance and objectives of the commission. There should be a systematic and continuous research into the structure and process of corrupt practice as well as periodic evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the work of the commission. On a very serious note, the commission independence with regard to funds, human and material resources should also be guaranteed. Anti- corruption agency should immediately work to repeal the IMMUNITY CLAUSE in the 1999 constitution. The clause tends to encourage corruption, both at the federal and state levels. Public officials, especially representatives and state governors have been openly corrupt because they know that they cannot be prosecuted while they are still in office. As can be seen, state governors, local government chairpersons and high level civil servants have deprived their citizens the right to economic development, health care, effective mass transportation, sound education, affordable housing, and drinkable water due to excessive embezzlement as a result of the clause. EFCC should probe the financial affairs of educational institutions. Previously in the past, the university and educational management authorities make sure that some structures and infrastructure are maintained, leaking roofs are patched, worn out paints are restored and the sanitary condition of the institution are managed well, but these days, although more funds are sunk into the educational sector, yet the already existing infrastructures are not properly managed or maintained, let alone providing new ones.

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