Sociology And Bribery And Corruption In Nigerian Society
Bribery an corruption has affected many countries all over the world especially the developing countries. It has various implications for both the developed and developing economies. Corruption hampers development and thus raises the level of poverty in any economy that finds itself entrenched in corrupt practices. Corruption creates uncertainty and risk in the growth and development potential of any country. The study investigated the impact of corruption on economic development in Nigeria.
Secondary data were sourced from World Bank reports on Nigeria and corruption reports from transparency international on Nigeria. The data were analysed using the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression technique. Hypothesis tested with respect to Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was not accepted implying that the tests were statistically significant, meaning that Corruption Perception Index (CPI), a proxy for corruption in this research negatively affects economic development. On the other hand, the hypothesis tested on the Corruption Rank (CR) of Nigeria and Relative Corruption Ranking (RCR) of Nigeria among countries under review was not accepted meaning that the relative position of Nigeria among countries under review and Nigeria’s rank on corruption cadre is also statistically significant.
The findings show that corruption has a significant negative effect on economic growth and development. It is recommended that the Nigerian government should employ the strict application of anti-corruption codes as stipulated in the legislations that created the anti- corruption agency without prejudice or double standard irrespective of the culprit’s stature or position in the society. Transparency, accountability and the application of the rule of law in dealing with corrupt government officials and politicians can lead to improved CPI ranking, induce investment, and foster economic growth and development.
1.1 Background of Study
Corruption has been identified as one major obstacle militating against rapid growth and development of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural and human resources to the extent that some of these natural resources have never been extracted or tapped by the government e.g gold, some natural resources are neglected by the government since the discovery of oil well, such as cocoa, timber, etc, while only crude oil is enjoying the biggest attention and has been the largest source of revenue to the government for over forty years. Since 1996 when Nigeria first featured in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), a research carried out by Transparency International (TI), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) that assesses the level of corruption in countries around the world. Nigeria have always been languishing in the bottom of the ranking among countries evaluated and have more than once ranked as the most corrupt country in the world. Despite having the world’s seventh largest reserve of crude oil coupled with other resources in Nigeria, poverty and underdevelopment still ravage the country, this can be seen from all indexes of development over the years. The major reason advanced for this is the prevalence of corruption in governance, public and private places. Nigerian government officials are well known for their self servicing style of governance.
Ogbeidi (2012), examined political leadership and corruption in Nigeria since 1960, he opined that it is an incontrovertible fact that corruption has been the bane of Nigeria’s development. Thus, without mincing words the phenomenon has ravaged the country and destroyed most of what is held as cherished national values.
Unfortunately, the political class saddled with the responsibility of directing the affairs of the country have been the major culprit in perpetrating this act. Also Usman (1980) stated that pervasive corruption has remained a serious obstacle to economic development in Nigeria. Corruption inhibits human and social development. Public institutions are only public in name, because they are run, infact, for the purpose of private accumulation of wealth.
It is in the backdrop of the above assertions that this study has examined corruptions in Nigerian context and how corruption has hindered development in the country and provides some recommendations in order to accelerate growth and development of Nigerian economy.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The state of corruption in Nigeria has been categorized as endemic. Corruption has also been identified as one major obstacle to national growth and development of the Nigerian economy. Research has shown that corrupt practices have been perpetrated in governance, public and private places since the pre-colonial era to the colonial period and through independence to present. Achebe (1984) wrote that “the Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership”. In the same vein, Storey (1953) wrote that “before independence, there have been cases of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment”.
Ogbeidi (2012) opined that “widespread corruption, where government officials looted public fund with impunity and flaunt their wealth with reckless abandon provided the pretext for a group of young middle-rank army officers to sack the Nigerian First Republican politicians from power through a coup d’état on 15th Jan. 1966. He further stated that the next thirteen years after Buhari’s regime saw no serious attempt to stop corruption, that corruption reached an alarming rate and became institutionalized during Babangida regime, leaders found guilty by tribunals under Muritala Muhammed and Mohammadu Buhari regimes found their way back to public life and recovered their seized properties. The magnitude of corruption has been increasing over the years and this has led to retarded growth and development in Nigeria. Though there has been lots of anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria over the years targeted to stem the spread of corruption in the country.
Despite the establishment of anti-graft agencies, such as Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in 2000, and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2003 after the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) named Nigeria amongst the twenty three non-cooperative countries frustrating the effort of international community to fight money laundering (EFCC(Establishment) Act, 2002), corruption has continued to weaken institutions, discourages investment and retards economic development. Corruption has also led to diversion of developmental resources of the society to private or personal use. This has contributed to the leakage of capital from Nigeria for illegal deposits abroad.
Given the above problems, the main objective of the study is to examine the impact of corruption on the Nigerian economic growth and development. The study will provide answers to the following questions: (i) What is the magnitude of the impact of corruption on growth and development of the Nigerian economy? (ii) How can corruption be curbed in the Nigerian society?
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: section 2 is literature review, section 3 is the methodology adopted for this paper, section 4 is the presentation of findings and section 5 summarizes the findings, draw conclusions and also make some policy recommendations.
1.3 Objectives of Study
- To identify the various bribery and corruption practices in Nigeria.
- Identify the causes of corruption in Nigeria.
- To identify the effect of corruption in the Nigerian economic development.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H1: Corruption do not hamper economic growth and development
N0: Corruption hampers economic growth and development is accepted
1.5 Significance of Research
Research regarding the impact of corruption on social welfare in Nigeria is significant primarily for three reasons. First, existing literature tends to focus on the causes of corruption rather than the effects. Although it is common practice to find solutions to problems by locating their origins, focusing too heavily on the causes of corruption in Nigeria can overshadow the real tragedy, which is its impact on the social welfare of Nigerians. Despite a brief overview of the causes of corruption, the focus of this study is on the consequences, for several reasons. Emphasizing the consequences of corruption helps circumvent, to some extent, disputes regarding causes of corruption, which often lose sight of the purpose of corruption research, which is to swiftly find solutions. The longer the crisis is allowed to persist, the more victims it claims. Existing studies also do not seem to differentiate between corruption and other forms of corruption. Some forms of corruption may have more harmful effects on society than others. Corruption involves far greater sums of money and is limited to high level officials, so focusing on this form of corruption first may be less challenging and provide greater benefits in the short term. Reducing corruption first may also create more economic opportunities in society, reducing the overall need for corruption at lower levels. Some of the extant research on corruption does study its negative effect on economic development, but has yet to specifically relate corruption with exceedingly deficient social welfare, which is the purpose of this study. Thus, this study supplements the existing literature.
Addressing the link between corruption and social welfare is also a necessary and critical first step to resolving one of the many causes of global poverty, given that a key measure of social welfare is level of poverty. Despite the awareness of the previous associations between corruption and economic development, the ubiquitous studies of it over decades, the creation of international and domestic anti-corruption laws, and powerful international organizations to combat it, corruption in Nigeria not only persists, but is perceived to be increasing according to Transparency International’s most recent corruption data (Transparency.org 2011). Thus, the existing research on corruption and economic development has failed to be a sufficient deterrent of corruption. By accentuating the connection between corruption and its dire consequences for social welfare, this study hopes to encourage a more urgent response to corruption, both in Nigeria and the international community, foremost among political leaders, but also by Nigerian citizens, who often have more political power than they realize.
Summary and Conclusions.
This study has established the fact that corruption has seriously affected the polity of Nigeria and it is seriously affecting the potential growth ability of the country to the extent that over $100Billion in GDP is lost. This study has perused various literatures and all the literatures pointed to the fact that corruption abound in governance, public and private business and corporate environment in Nigeria. Despite the presence of abundant resources in the country, corruption has made it impossible for the government to translate the presence of the abundant resources to improved standard of living in Nigeria which has lead to increasing poverty level in Nigeria. The study examined the magnitude of the impact of corruption on Nigeria economy and found that Corruption Perception Index the proxy for corruption has been hampering development proxy by the Nigeria’s GDP to the tune of over $116billion reduction in GDP on average, also the rank of Nigeria on the corruption cadre has also negatively affected growth and development in Nigeria to the tune of more than $1billion reduction in GDP on the average.
It is thereby concluded that corruption has negatively affected economic growth and development in Nigeria. Corruption of many folds such as bribery, fraudulent acts, embezzlement of public and private funds and property, election rigging and ballot stuffing, money laundering, examination malpractices in schools of privately and publicly owned, are some forms of corrupt practices perpetrated in Nigeria. Corruption have caused lack of public infrastructures, it has increased the level of poverty in the country despite the nation’s enormous resources, less respect for fundamental human right, and it shows that no matter the efforts of government to improve the economy and the presence of other developmental indices, when corruption is not reduced to its bearable minimum, economic growth and development will be very difficult to sustain in Nigeria.
Based on the findings of the study, the following policy recommendations are considered appropriate:
The first step is for the government to strengthen the ability of the anti-graft agencies and at best make them independent from the influence of political elites and the government so that these agencies will be able to perform their functions without the influence of government and will not be seen as a witch hunting agencies of th government anymore.
The public should be educated about the problems that corrupt practices create for the economy and the society at large, and be discouraged from participating in corrupt practices. The media and civil society groups have an important role to play here, the government should encourage full freedom of press and information and not do this by simply signing laws but put it into practice.
The anti-graft agencies should be equipped technologically with the data base information of Nigerians which can always be updated in order to encourage accountability of earnings and spending of Nigerians.
The government should be ready to take a bold step to serve as an example by practicing good governance, transparency, accountability with economic issues so that Nigerians will begin to believe in the system of government. Unnecessary government spending on duplications of offices, and bureaucracies should be reduced to its bearable minimum. The fund should be used for developmental purposes to foster equal distribution of incomes, and the execution of developmental capital projects, etc.
New law that specifically deals with corrupt practices in all its facets should be enacted to stem the tide of judgment that were perceived too lenient, and be followed strictly when prosecuting corrupt offenders irrespective of their caliber or position in the society, double standard should be discouraged when dealing with the rich or the poor.
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