The Irony Of Nigeria’s Fight Against Corruption: An Appraisal Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s First Eight Months In Office

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The Irony Of Nigeria’s Fight Against Corruption: An Appraisal Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s First Eight Months In Office


Abstract


Nigeria as a country is not only popular for its economic and man power potentials but also, for monumental corruption ‘manifestations’ that plagues its government

and institutions. The country, in the past decades has been ‘decorated’ with top ten position among the league of corrupt nations by Transparency International and other international watchdog organizations. With anti-graft in his campaign manifesto, it was an ‘easy’ task for Muhammadu Buhari to succeed the government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which was famous for corruption ‘manifestations’ and impunity in the 2015 presidential elections .This work appraises Nigeria’s strategy in the fight against corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s first eight months in office.

The work argues that Buhari’s anti-graft strategy in its first eight months is misguided and misconceived. A theoretical framework is adopted for clear focus and distinction between the blurred edges of corruption and its manifestation. Primary evidences in the form of interviews and official reports are complemented with secondary and tertiary evidences gathered from Newspaper reports, textbooks, publications from journals aswell as internet sources in the course of carrying out this research.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Nigeria is blessed with abundant material and human resources, Nigeria should have been a safe haven for its teeming citizens and ought to have achieved the highest standards of living for its citizens in the world Yet, poverty, penury and illiteracy remain pervasive in the country and these socio-economic woes persist due to the prevalence of hydra-headed and endemic corruption perpetuated since the country’s independence in 1960. This has continued in geometrical progression till date. This ugly monster called corruption has marred every significant step taken to better the life of Nigerians. A release on October 21, 2006 by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) puts the cost of corruption in Nigeria since independence in 1960 at 220 billion pounds (N85000 billion).

According to Daedulus , “that is to say that the money the past leaders of Nigeria have stolen in a 40 years’ time could have recreated the beauty and glory of Western Europe six times all over in the country. Majuk observed that the nature and character of corruption in Nigeria is endemic, cancerous and has defied all solutions. Burke’s words state thus: corruption “manifestations” and influence have been the “perennial spring of all prodigality and all disorder; it has loaded Nigeria with more than trillions of debt; taken away rigour from its arms, wisdom from its councils and every shallow of authority and credit from the most vulnerable parts of its constitution. Contributing to this, Nwaobi argues that “corruption has undermined good governance, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to misallocation of public resources, harms the private sector and particularly hurts the poor”. Igbuzor sums it up that “in short, corruption cost lives”. We argue that corruption has persisted due to the wrong strategies and approaches adopted by various administration to tackle the menace. This study aims at appraising the EFCC strategies in combating corruption under Buhari’s led administration.

However, the reverse has been the case. Every meaningful step taken to better the life of Nigerians is marred by corruption. To borrow from the words of Burke, Corruption ‘manifestations’ and influence has been the ‘perennial spring of all prodigality’ and of all disorder; it has loaded Nigeria with more than trillions of dept; taken away vigour from its arms, wisdom from its councils, and every shallow of authority and credit from the most vulnerable parts of its constitution (Burke cited in Edwards, 1977). Corruption has undermined good government, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to the misallocation of public resources, harms the private sector and particularly, hurts the poor (Nwaobi, 2006). The problem of corruption as observed by Majuk (2004) has defied all solutions. This perhaps, has been so because of the wrong strategies and approaches employed by various administrations to tackle the menace. This work aims at appraising Buhari’s strategy in combating corruption in his first eight months in office. For better appreciation, an epochal synopsis of corruption manifestation shall be examined.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Majuk observed that the nature and character of corruption in Nigeria is endemic, cancerous and has defied all solutions. Burke’s words state thus: corruption “manifestations” and influence have been the “perennial spring of all prodigality and all disorder; it has loaded Nigeria with more than trillions of debt; taken away rigour from its arms, wisdom from its councils and every shallow of authority and credit from the most vulnerable parts of its constitution. This make the researcher wants to investigate the irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption: an appraisal of president mohammadu Buhari’s first eight months in office


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain whether the administration of president Buhari really fighting corruption
  2. To ascertain the causes of corruption in Nigeria
  3. To ascertain the relationship between Buhari’s administration and fight against corruption
  4. To ascertain whether president Buhari was fighting corruption in the first eight months

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 relationship between Buhari’s administration and fight against corruption
    H1: there is relationship between Buhari’s administration and fight against corruption.
  2. H02: president Buhari was not fighting corruption in the first eight months
    H2: president Buhari was fighting corruption in the first eight months

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study, which is primarily aimed at explaining the irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption: an appraisal of President Mohamadu Buhari’s first eight months in office, will provide an insight into the problems associated with fight against corruption in Buhari’s administration. This report would be of great benefit for Buhari’s administration, to expose them to the fight against corruption. The findings will be useful for researchers to further generate knowledge in the field


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption: an appraisal of president mohamadu Buhari’s fight eight months in office. 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

Irony:

The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

Corruption:

Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit.

Office:

An office is generally a room or other area where administrative work is done, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it; the latter is in fact an earlier

Appraisal:

The main purpose of appraisal is to give the appraise the opportunity to reflect on their work and learning needs in order to improve their performance. This can be achieved through discussing their development and feedback on their job performance in a way that is constructive and motivational.


1.8 Organization of the Study

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

  • 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.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • 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 on the irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption: an appraisal of president mohammadu Buhari’s first eight months in office. 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 challenges of the challenges of irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption


5.2 Summary

This study was on the irony of Nigeria’s fight against corruption: an appraisal of president mohammadu Buhari’s first eight months in office. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain whether the administration of president Buhari really fighting corruption, to ascertain the causes of corruption in Nigeria, to ascertain the relationship between Buhari’s administration and fight against corruption, to ascertain whether president Buhari was fighting corruption in the first eight months. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of EFCC in 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 detective assistants, detective inspectors, senior staffs and junior staffs were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

Manifestation of corruption has remained the most notorious social menace threatening the general growth and development of Nigeria. Exhibition of corrupt tendencies by public officials have bastardized the pace of growth and development in all facets. Nigeria has lost an estimated fifty percent (50%) of what it has generated since independence to public office looters. The most frustrating reality is that these looted funds are not invested in Nigeria but are dumped in foreign accounts to the betterment of the economies of those states. Manifestation of corruption has broadened the gap between the rich and the poor. While the rich keeps living in affluence, the poor suffocate in abject poverty and illiteracy. The ‘praetorian guard’ who intervened in Nigerian politics had destroyed all forms of transparency and accountability and as a matter of fact, institutionalized corruption manifestations. The aforementioned culminated in ‘lip actions’ and vendetta ranging from the military hypocritical initiatives such as the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) to civilian witch-hunt through the apparatus of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) and other related agencies. The irony remains that these institutions and agencies as well as policy programmes were never designed to prevent, tame, deter or kill the traits of corruption but to fight its manifestations. Even the so called ‘anti-corruption’ agencies were formed on corrupt foundation with vague legislations and structures devoid of transparency and accountability. Moreso, Muhammadu Buhari envisaging the persistent escalation of corruption traits in public offices won the 2015 presidential election pools owing to his firm anti-corruption stands and inclinations to fight it to a standstill. However, he, in his first eight months just like every other Nigerian leader has failed to tackle the issue of corruption but its manifestation. It is more ironic and comic that to him, fighting corruption means “recovery looted funds”. Even in fighting the manifestation of corruption, he has failed to rid the Criminal Act and other anticorruption legislations of their loopholes which looters use to avert justice. President Muhammadu Buhari in his first eight months in office is yet to tackle corruption but is however, doing well in fighting its manifestation


5.4 Recommendation

It is pertinent to note and understand that corruption is an aspect of that inherent and congenital greed and selfishness of man aimed at self-preservation and glory. It can neither be killed nor fought but can be successfully suppressed, tamed, controlled and deterred. Manifestations of corruption can therefore be reduced to its barest minimum if modalities are put in place to prevent and deter the manifestations of corruption rather than fight it. We therefore categorize our recommendations into two: prevention and deterrence.


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