Perception Of Undergraduates On Corruption In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Madonna University Students, Okija)
This study was carried out on the perception of undergraduates on corruption in Nigeria using Madonna university students Okija as case study. To carry out the study, four research questions were posed. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study was done in Madonna University Okija. The population of the study comprised of all the undergraduate of Madonna University. The population size of the study was 343. The instrument for data collection in this study was structured questionnaire Data collected were analyzed using frequency Table. The major findings of the study disclosed that; Inequality in the obedience to the law; Lack of transparency by top leaders; Ethnical Favouritism; Quest and Desire for power and Influence; and Fraudulent impulsion, constitute corruption according to students perceptive. Students perceive corruption as a; detrimental practice; ethnical favouritism and antagonistic factor; practice for the purpose of sustenance, promotion, accreditation, firm and influence; and an act of selfish desires. And the perception of the various students has a negative impact on them.
Based on the findings; the researcher proffered the following numerous recommendation among them include; The government should introduce a national reorientation programme to educate people on the crucial need to eradicate corruption in all sectors of Nigeria‟s economic and socio-political systems. The previous efforts in programmes such as Code of Conduct Bureau, WAI Brigade, ICPC, EFCC and NATPIP, are steps in the right direction. Stiffer sanctions must be imposed on those found guilty of corrupt practices including death sentences. This will serve as deterrent to others. Since corruption is a relationship of „give and take‟, both the giver and the receiver must be prosecuted as well. This should be enforced right from the top to the bottom. Perhaps, it is time to enact a decree for this purpose. The government must introduce an equitable wages and incentive system and improve other conditions of work so that the level of poverty can be reduced and the quality of life improved. This will inevitably reduce people‟s vulnerability and susceptibility to corruption.
1.1 Background of the Study
According to Transparency International (2014), Nigeria is ranked 136th out of 182 countries surveyed in its corruption perception index indicating the level of corruption in the country as compared to other countries. Although this came as an improvement from the previous years, it did not result from an improved system of governance; rather it was due to an increase in the number of countries that participated in the survey.
Between 2010 and 2011, Nigeria’s rank actually decreased by 9 spots, showing an increase in corruption despite the efforts of the government to rid the nation of corruption. This survey shows a lack of accountability from public officials and a lax system of governance in the country. As a result corruptible acts are not harshly penalized and easier to get away with, within the country’s public sector.
Irrespective of the sophistication of the methods adopted by criminals, the common characteristics of the crime include cheating, lying and stealing. Corruption is a menace in the public sector, although is a global malaise, the extent of its reach in the public sector was tragically stupendous. All indicators showed that the spread of this cancer had become frightening.
Speaking of corruption there is a common misperception that corruptive activities are strictly seen at pour countries, strictly seen at just certain vocations, strictly seen at certain times, but, if we analyze the synonyms for corruption: dishonesty, immorality, harm, fraud and so on, soon we are going to realize that corruption is so wide and undefined as a concept and because of that it can be seen in different layers, different intensities all around the world. There is no such place without corruption, but there is an environment where this kind of miss behavior is on its margins.
Speaking on the first one, because the corruption is almost common on everyday basics there is a whole group of generations (students & administration) that from the start of their academic carrier are getting used to see corruptive activities, and are getting used to see that nobody is trying to stop it, then they (the students & administration) join the whirlpool of corruption. Today, these people cannot make the difference between right and wrong, good or bad, corruptive or transparent. This is the field where we personally believe that we can and we are acting. The project awareness raising activities are a perfect tool to show the benefits of non-corruptive education to the community. We should act to crush the ambiance of apathy and start the reforms.
We are convinced that almost every student knows or remembers only the blunt form of corruption illustrated in the form of paying for an exam. The good thing about the awareness raising activities is that they can be used as a media which will help the students to find out more about the different types of corruption and the ways to fight against them. (Aigbokhaevbolo, 2002) .
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
According to Transparency International (2014), Nigeria is rated the 136th most corrupt nation in the world. This assertion is due to government insincerity in fighting corruption and economic crimes in the public sector, civil servants in the ministry of finance take advantage of looting the treasury. The civil servants perpetrate these act because they are connected to the top government functionary and thereby they were spared from been punished.
The biggest problem about the perception of corruption is the unwillingness of the institutions to admit the existence of it. The civil sector and the Medias must fight against this blindfolded policy. We should try to change the educational system to a better and transparent one and hopefully corruption free. Universities sooner or later must face with the fact of corruption and start reforms in this field. There is a certain denial or not readiness to solve the problem. We believe that in this time the academic life and spirit are in great danger (Okolie, 2006).
1.3 Research Questions
In-order to guide the study and achieve the research objectives of the study, the following research questions was formulated:
- What constitutes corruption from the students’ perspective?
- How do students perceive corruption in Nigeria?
- What factors influence students’ perception about corruption in Nigeria?
- How does corruption perception affect the moral status of students?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main aim of the study is to examine the perception of Madonna students on corruption in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
- To find out what constitutes corruption from the students’ perspective.
- To examine students’ perception on corruption in Nigeria.
- To find out factors that influence students’ perception about corruption in Nigeria.
- To examine the effect of students’ perception on corruption on moral status of the student.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Nigeria has a rich political background from colonization to post independence democratic governance. The country gained its independence in 1960 and had democracy only for less than a decade before a military takeover; nonetheless, this takeover was very chaotic because it was followed by a series of a coup d’états of one military regime after another.
Although the nation finally gained full democracy in 1999, it still suffers from the remnants of the military regimes because some top officials in the present government once held leadership positions in the military.
It is important to highlight the public sector in Nigeria because it is an essential part of the government and it plays a key role in the implementation of services that are vital to the economic growth of the country. It coordinates the federal ministries, advises political officials, formulates and implements government’s policies, gathers and supplies data for policy makers, ensures continuity of services and public relations services. These roles are important in running an efficient administration, because the public sector can either make or mar any administration.
In analyzing the public sector, it is necessary to look at its genesis and the significant reforms that were adopted. This will provide a better understanding of the struggles being encountered and possible recommendations to overcome them. Moreover, there is a need to examine the perception on corruption and whether it can stall the sector’s ability to be efficient in the delivery of services to the citizens. Furthermore, it is critical to look at the origins of corruption in the public sector, to analyze these issues and shed some light on why some government officials engage in corrupt practices against the basic objectives of their jobs.
By examining all these factors, the study provides a better understanding of the Nigerian public sector, its level of corruption and calls for the implementation of policies that will reduce corruption.
1.6 Definition of Terms
Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment
Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain
This include all organization set up by the government to satisfy human want to take care of specific want, specific needs of the public without profile purpose.
This refers to the mechanism, procedure and set of standards applied to public sector procurement of goods and services to ensure budget discipline.
This is defined as an irregularity of impropriety involving the use of deception to obtain an unjust or illegal financial advantage (Okolie 2006).
This can be defined as a dishonest, violent, or immoral action that can be punished by law.
According to Longman dictionary of contemporary English, defined economic as the system by which a country’s money and goods are produced and used.
The management of money especially money controlled by a government, company or large organization.
As used in the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness in every area of business or globally.
This is the misuse of public fund especially by public office holder in the ministries.
These are those qualities, which ensure that a member behaves with integrity in all professional, business and financial relationships and that he or she should strive for objectivity in all professional and business judgments.
This is the true openness or giving account of what has been expended by the public officer holder.
This is a mechanism of power abuse implying a highly biased distribution of state resources.
This is the acquisition of goods and/or services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the right quantity and quality.
This is the keeping of accounts of government funds and investment.
This involves strict compliance with all the variables about the budget.
This is a project executed by persons or person normally evidenced by an agreement between two or more parties.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings into the perception of undergraduates on corruption in Nigeria using Madonna university students Okija as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine the perception of undergraduates on corruption in Nigeria using Madonna university students Okija as case study. The study specifically was aimed at finding out what constitutes corruption from the students’ perspective; To examine students’ perception on corruption in Nigeria; To find out factors that influence students’ perception about corruption in Nigeria; To examine the effect of students’ perception on corruption on moral status of the student
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 200 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are active of Madonna University Okija.
The following findings were made;
- From students perspective, the following constitute corruption; Inequality in the obedience to the law; Lack of transparency by top leaders; Ethnical Favouritism; Quest and Desire for power and Influence; and Fraudulent impulsion.
- Students perceive corruption as a; detrimental practice; ethnical favouritism and antagonistic factor; practice for the purpose of sustenance, promotion, accreditation, firm and influence; and an act of selfish desires.
- Base on the responses of the students, the following factors influenced their perception, Socioeconomic Status of Parents, Political Status of Parents, Political Enlightenment, Experience on practices of corruption, and Consequences suffered as a result of corruption.
- The perception of the various students has a negative impact on them.
The practice of corruption is not a crime as delinquencies. This is because it has the ability to jeopardize the moral standard and norms of a society or nation. The devastating immensity of corruption practices in religious sectors, educational sectors, predictably all sectors of Nigeria nation is overwhelming and its consequences are mostly suffered by innocent and poor masses. It is discovered that corruption as a problem to Nigeria is characterized by economic sabotage, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, human trafficking, prostitution, and the like which are responsible for ethnicity, religious extremism and under development in Nigeria. Corruption is both a culture and retrogressive factor in Nigeria.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations.
- The government should introduce a national reorientation programme to educate people on the crucial need to eradicate corruption in all sectors of Nigeria‟s economic and socio-political systems. The previous efforts in programmes such as Code of Conduct Bureau, WAI Brigade, ICPC, EFCC and NATPIP, are steps in the right direction.
- Stiffer sanctions must be imposed on those found guilty of corrupt practices including death sentences. This will serve as deterrent to others. Since corruption is a relationship of „give and take‟, both the giver and the receiver must be prosecuted as well. This should be enforced right from the top to the bottom. Perhaps, it is time to enact a decree for this purpose.
- The government must introduce an equitable wages and incentive system and improve other conditions of work so that the level of poverty can be reduced and the quality of life improved. This will inevitably reduce people‟s vulnerability and susceptibility to corruption.
- The government must introduce transparency devices, technological know-how and electronic strategies that can detect and prevent corruption in all areas. The use of cameras in public places and electronic voting system will work in this direction. Prevention is better than cure.
- The government in power should develop the political will to prosecute anyone irrespective of tribe, religion or party affiliation found guilty to serve as deterrent to others. There is the need to entrench good governance in every sphere of government activity which is a sine-qua-non for poverty reduction in every Nigerian society. It is not enough for political office holders and other government functionaries to preach that the government has zero tolerance for corruption.
- They should visibly exhibit accountability, transparency, fiscal responsibility and respect for the rule of law while carrying out their official responsibilities. It is important to note that instituting good governance entails replacing the existing weak institutions in the country with strong ones. Positive transformation of Nigeria can only occur through addressing the root causes of corruption and through effectively implementing the legal mechanisms already in place.
- Every country has to determine its own priorities on the war against corruption. To tame the surge of corruption in Nigeria as Dike 1999 and 2002 pointed out, the general population should be re-orientated to a better value system. This is because Nigerians have for long been living on the survival of the fittest and grab-whatever-comes-your-way mentality. The re-orientation of the youth in Nigeria to a good value system could help in the war against corruption. There is the need for enlightenment in discouraging excessive materialism and the culture of ‘get rich quick’, employment for the teeming youths and incorporation of human rights and development perspectives into anti-corruption work.
- In order for Nigeria to successfully combat corruption, there is the need for a mechanism that will transform dramatically the culture and legacy of corruption. Positive transformation of Nigeria can only occur through addressing the root causes of corruption and through effectively implementing the legal mechanisms already in place. Nigeria has introduced economic reforms through privatization, deregulation, removal of market restrictions, and civil service reform with the aim at promoting the integrity of public service. These measures are all very important in the fight against corruption, but the key factor to galvanize and orchestrate these measures is having honest leaders with the political will to tackle corruption.
- There is the need for enlightenment in discouraging excessive materialism and the culture of ‘get rich quick’, employment for the teeming youths and incorporation of human rights and development perspectives into anti-corruption work. Provision of appropriate punishment for corruption in and of itself is not sufficient to eliminate Corruption. The phenomenon of corruption has multiple causes, and is determined by more than just seeing people go unpunished for engaging in corrupt behavior.
- It is recommended that in addition to other measures being taken to reduce corruption, the leadership must demonstrate the willingness to track and punish corrupt officials and citizens as well as create a conducive economic climate that would raise the standard of living of the citizenry.
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