SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION: THE WORST CANCER THAT PLAGUES NIGERIA TODAY (2019 AND BEYOND)
This research examined corruption as the worst cancer that plagues Nigeria today and beyond. It is a library research type which got its materials from newspapers, magazines, journals, textbooks, internet, expert views of economists, political scientists and the experience of the researcher. The first five sections are arranged in such a way as to answer some research questions such as: What are the meaning and dimensions of corruption in Nigeria? What empirical work has been done about corruption in Nigeria and what has been the results? What are the causes and effects of corruption? And what suggested remedies and recommendations have been made towards solving the problem?; among others. The findings point out that corruption is as old as man and endemic in Nigerians and that it is not only the worst cancer that has plagued Nigeria and that it is the single greatest cause of Nigeria’s underdevelopment and backwardness. However, all hopes are not lost for Nigeria as there are still people who have not been infested by the bug. With the current efforts made by president (Muhammedu Buhari); EFCC, ICPC and corruption-free citizens, corruption will be reduced to the barest minimum.
Keywords: Grand and petty Corruption, Abdullistic Capitalism, Poverty, Transparency International, Crowded out effect, Nigerian Drama.
Corruption refers to any act of dishonesty such as fraud, mismanagement of government and corporate resources in order to get gain from it or the act of getting an unearned income. To me personally, the term corruption can be expanded to include what St. Paul described in the Holy Bible, as the works of the flesh such as: “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies; envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling and such like. They which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19,20). This is the spiritual dimension of corruption. Hornby (2006) views corruption as either dishonest or illegal behavior, especially of people in authority; or the act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral standard of behavior.
Todaro and Smith (2011) view corruption as the appropriation of public resources for private profit and other private purposes through the use and abuse of official power or influence. Webster (1974) defines corruption as impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle. This definition has strong normative overtones as there seems to be no well-defined and universally acceptable standards of integrity, virtue or morality which can be impaired. But the definition allows us to admit a range of morally offensive and criminal behavior such as bribery, extortion, gratification, graft, negligence, smuggling and embezzlement as acts of corruption. The definition of corruption given by Umo (1986) also includes these elements. Black (2003), a British economist, defines corruption as
the use of bribery to influence politicians, civil servants, and other officials. Bribes may be in cash or in kind, almost any official action or inaction can be influenced by corruption. Officials may be bribe to do things they are legally supposed to do anyway or to do them promptly. They may be bribed to do their duties, to the advantage of the bribe giver, for example, building without planning permission and regulations. Corruption can be used to influence elections or to get laws changed. Corruption is extremely bad for efficiency and it undermines public confidence that decisions will be sensible, or that laws will be either fair or consistently enforce. Many countries make corruption inevitable by paying their civil servants and police so poorly that they cannot live without receiving bribes.
This could be one of the causes of corruption among civil servants and the police which display all sorts of money-collection tactics in order to get money from people. This is very typical of Nigeria.
As a social malaise, corruption is as old as time. Consider the Biblical narration in the Garden of Eden, when Eve was confronted by the serpent. She was undoubtedly the first human being to succumb to the corrupting influence of the serpent by eating the “forbidden fruit”. Thereafter, Adam was induced by Eve to partake of this same forbidden meal and consequently, it was corruption that led to the fall of man (Genesis 3:6,7). The magnitude and types of corruption has varied between historical epochs and across countries. In contemporary times, its frequency, variance and sophistication have reached unprecented levels, especially in Less Developed Countries (LDCs), hence, the analytical attention it has attracted from scholars in different disciplines, including psychiatry, law, sociology, psychology, and criminology, among others (attributed to Umo, 1986). It has thus been established and confirmed that corruption is fundamentally a spiritual problem and any attempt to solve it without spiritual application, is a mere palliative.
This research is divided into 6 sections. Following the introduction is section 2 which collates different author’s views on the meaning and dimensions of corruption while section 3 traces Todaro’s and Smith’s views on corruption; and empirical aspects of corruption in Nigeria; section 4 discusses the causes of corruption while section 5 deals with the effects of corruption. Lastly, section 6 deals with summary, recommendations and conclusion.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In connection with the contemporary challenges, Ewetan and Urhie (2014) state that among the deteriorating security situation in the country, Nigeria is also confronted with daunting develop mental challenges which pose serious threat to her socio-economic development. The United Nations Children’s Fund report cited in Ewetan and Urhie (op. cit) that everyday, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under five year olds, and 145 women of child-bearing age, making the country the second largest contributor to this mortality rate in the world. Babatunde (2015) remarks that apart from the broad tripod of evils plaguing the country, issues such as poor provision of power, poor business development, inequitable tax administration, non-qualitative education and poor building of local capacity, unemployment and obvious skills gap, poor foreign relations, bad management of resources, non-promotion of indigenous technology, inequitable framework for foreign investment that makes local businessmen regret their status, poor judicial system and inequitable justice delivery system, poor transportation and poor health system, inadequate infrastructure, poor agriculture and inept civil service are all the dimensions and basis of corruption. All these tend to bring Nigeria down, make her to be backward and generally underdeveloped. It is in the light of the above impact of corruption that this research has examined corruption with reference to the meaning, scope, causes and effects with reference to proffering remedies before Nigeria is brought to her knees.
1.3 Objectives and Significance of the Research
The main objective of this research is to examine the scenario of corruption – the meaning, scope, causes, effects as well as making suggestions as to how to eliminate the challenge or reduce it to the barest minimum. The work should be able to ask and answer the following research questions: (1) What are the meaning and dimensions of corruption? (2) What are the views of various authors about corruption? (3) What empirical work has been done about corruption in Nigeria and what has been the findings? (4) What are the causes and effects of corruption in Nigeria? (5) What remedies could be proffered for corruption in Nigeria?
The researcher considered the views of close to forty authors and agreed with almost all of them but postulates that since corruption had its origin in the Bible at the beginning of time, the problem is fundamentally a spiritual one. It therefore needs a spiritual solution by our going back to God individually in order to be helped to eradicate corruption from our hearts and the society will be the better for it.
1.4 Method of Study
This paper is a library research type and hence a theoretical, and not an empirical, work. The author derives his materials from newspapers, journals, magazines, textbooks, the internet and views from opinion and political leaders. Up to forty (40) such works were reviewed and the author uses Content Analysis technique to implicitly ask and answer the research questions.
DIFFERENT VIEWS ON CORRUPTION
Akpakpan (1999) considers corruption as all practices by people in position of authority that amounts to abuse of office, for examples, asking and receiving of bribes, embezzlement of public funds, inflation of contracts and dubious manipulation of procedures in order to make personal gains, among others. Odunuga (2001) writing from the angle of organized crime, is of the view that corruption has led to social conflict and violence as competing groups vie for state power, which is the source of distribution of resources and social amenities. Lamborg (2016), a Swedish economist and consultant, adds that systemic corruption is the worst cancer in Nigeria today as it enriches those who are already rich at the expense of the poor. This researcher agrees with Lamborg in totality as Nigeria, one of the most richly endowed on planet earth, has perhaps the greatest number of poor people in the world. It appears that everything most Nigerians do is motivated by corruption.
Corruption, as opined by Otite (1986), takes place when at least two parties have interacted to change the structure of processes of society or the behaviours of functionaries in order to produce dishonest, unfaithful or defiled situations. It leads to pervasion of integrity and undue favour or moral depravity. According to the authour cited above, there are two broad areas where corruption thrives – the bureaucracy and the private sector. There are also political, economic and judicial corruption, though they are also closely linked with bureaucratic corruption. Corruption of all forms exist in Nigeria especially since the era of the oil boom and an American television once styled Nigeria “Corruption Incorporated” and in the second quarter of this year (2016), the immediate past Prime Minister of Great Britain, James Cameron, remarked that Nigeria is fantastically corrupt.
Furthermore, Olopoenia (1998) points out that we should take cognizance of Khan’s definition that corruption is an act which deviates from the formal rule of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of public authority because of private motives such as wealth, power or status; that corruption can be analyzed within the paradigm of political and economic arrangements which govern the organization of society (cited in Ntoiden, Udo and Bassey, 2008). Mills (2001) maintains that corruption can be distinguished into two: grand corruption and petty corruption. Grand corruption describes cases in which massive personal wealth is acquired from the state by senior public officials in the forms of bribes and embezzlement/misappropriation of state assets. According to World Bank estimates cited in Ntoiden, Udo and Bassey (2008), as at 2008, the sum distributed worldwide each year in pay-offs or bribes totaled $80 billion. This researcher agrees with this assertion, for in Nigeria today, the current regime of president Buhari is prosecuting ex-top public functionaries for embezzling millions and even billons of government money in both local and foreign currencies.
Petty corruption and grease payments arise when the amount of wealth transferred is limited in scope and is normally done by junior officers. A junior civil servant, a cashier, is currently standing trial in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, for possessing close to N300million in her account and it has been discovered that each time government money was paid to her, she used to lodge it in her account. It took more than three years to discover the fraud, and this is not unconnected with the act of giving wide discretion to public officials and irregular checking and auditing of governments’ financial statements, as noted by Akpakpan (1999).
Some authors like Osunyikanmi, Tolu and Ogunro (2012), Adewale (2011), Ekpo and Agiogbenebo (1985), and Ogbeide (2012) among others, have written much about corruption in Nigeria. According to Ngouo (2000) cited in Ogbeide (2012), corruption is the exploitation of public positions for private benefits. The lacks of civil spirit among all categories of civil servants leads to corruption and misappropriation of public funds. According to Akindele (2005), corruption is a behaviour which deviates from the formal rules of governing the actions of somebody in a position of authority. Osunyikanmi (2007) maintains that corruption is synonymous with fraud, bribery, embezzlement and settlement, among others. The settlement in corruption parlance became a euphemism for bribery in Nigeria during the Babangida administration in 1989.
Adewale (2011) explains that corruption is an act of diverting the resources that should have been used for developmental purposes of the society to private or personal use. This accumulation of the nation’s economic resources for personal benefits had variously contributed to the leakage of capital from Nigeria for illegal deposits abroad. He further stated that corruption has a crowding out effect on the growth and development of the country. Its contributory effects on poverty and poor infrastructural development is more worrying.
Some schools of thought have also highlighted the factors that are responsible for corruption in Nigeria. For example, in 1995, the U.S.A. Secretary of State saw corruption from the cultural perspective, that it is in the Nigerian culture to be corrupt and the statement was said to be controversial. For instance, in the former Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan, corruption is not a cultural phenomenon, but rather, a practice that supersedes culture and custom – a sort of universal phenomenon. This view was corroborated by Akindele (1990) who stated that corruption exists everywhere, which means that corruption has no racial or cultural boundary. Adewale (2011) further asserts that the most plausible argument in this area will seem to be that corruption is intractably determined by the stage of development and the type of government that exists in a society or nation. In most of the highly corrupt countries like Nigeria, government bureaucracies create conducive atmosphere for corruption.
Authors like Rose (1990) and Ogbeide (2012) have stated that governments of certain countries, for political or other reasons, create incentives for bribery and corruption and are sometimes directly involved in corrupt practices. In some cases, the government itself practices corruption in order to have its way through in the legislative arms and is quite common in Nigeria. Several authors who studied corruption have concluded that corruption has negative impacts on the growth and development of any nation, Nigeria inclusive.
According to Ekpo and Agiogbenebo (1985), and Adewale (2011), corrupt practices inherently introduce distortions in the economic system; it impairs hard work, diligence and efficiency, and yet such people want to be rich. [Okowa (2005) describes such a tendency as “abdullistic capitalism”]. It is capable of diverting resources meant for the development of the society to private use. They maintained that corruption does not give room for honest selection processes and also distorts prices. Adewale (2011) discovered a strong significant negative relationship between corruption and output growth in Nigeria: that corruption index, external debt and unemployment exhibited negative tendencies, implying that it is consistent with the fact that corruption retards growth. He concluded that corruption retards economic growth in Nigeria, that is, it has a crowding out effect on growth.
Tolo and Ogunro (2012) maintain that corruption have many dimensions and also identify four types of corruption as follows: moral corruption, economic, political and bureaucratic corruption and electoral corruption. They also identify the offshoot of corruption to include bribery, fraud, nepotism, misappropriation, extortion, favouritism and embezzlement. Ntoiden, Okposin and Udo (2015) have also experienced and encountered all these dimensims of corruption and are in agreement with the above authors. Ntoiden (2008 and 2015) in his separate writings, agrees that corruption is the bane of the Nigerian economy, the single greatest factor that has contributed significantly to the backwardness and underdevelopment of the Nigerian economy.
3.1 TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION
According to Todaro and Smith (2011), corruption is the abuse of public trust for private gain; it is a form of stealing. Indexes of corruption regularly rate the incidence of corruption far higher in developing countries (LDCs) than in developed countries. This is understood to reflect both cause and effect. An absence of corruption encourages investment and efforts to expend the pie rather than merely fight over its distribution and thus encourages growth; to this extent, improvement in governance in general and reduction of corruption in particular could be means to accelerate the process of development. In addition, as societies grow wealthier, good governance becomes more widely demanded by the population. This latter effect makes more simple correlations between income and good governance difficult to interpret. Poor governance practices such as bribery controls over the press and limits on civil liberties, are often found together and are clearly mutually reinforcing. There is a clear evidence that good institutions such as the rule of law and constraints on elites lead to higher growth and incomes.
The elimination of corruption is important for development for several reasons. First of all, honest governments may promote growth and sustainably high incomes. In addition, the association of eliminating corruption with public empowerment suggests that it is a direct objective of development. Finally, the effects of chttps://librarygurus.comorruption fall disproportionately on the poor and are major restraint on their ability to escape from poverty. The elimination of corruption and improvement on governance in general can thus be viewed as part of an antipoverty strategy. While the rich may pay large bribes under corrupt regimes, the poor generally pay much larger fractions of their incomes in bribes and other forms of extortion.
In other words, corruption may be viewed as a regressive tax on the absolutely poor. In addition, government for sale means government for the highest bidder. The poor find fewer services on their communities, including poor education and health facilities, when corruption is rife. This makes it more difficult to accumulate the means to escape from poverty traps. In addition, microenterprises of the poor pay a much higher fraction of their sales in bribes than large firms do, and low incomes households pay a much larger percentage of their incomes in bribes than higher income households.
Furthermore, countries that have avoided or successfully tacked corruption have tended, on average, to promote competition and entry in the economy, avoiding too much power in the hands of large monopolies such as those in the energy sector in many countries and have ensured that privatized firms faced competition; promoted civil service professionalism with improved pay and incentives for public servants; made public expenditure more transparent, with clearer rules of procurement and budgeting, reduced immunity from prosecution of executive, legislative and judicial figures; provided judicial independence established and enforced meritocratic transparent promotion policies and eliminated inefficient regulations and made needed ones more transparent.
3.2 SOME EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA
Corruption has been described as a hydra-headed monster and a twin evil that has held the Nigerian state captive. This has contributed to government failure and break down of institutional infrastructure. The state of insecurity in Nigeria is greatly a function of government failure traceable to systemic and political corruption. It has added another dimension to violent conflict which has ended national values. Corruption is bad not only because money and benefits change hands, and not only because of the motives of participants, but bypassing a process of representation, debates, and choice (Ewetan and Urhie, 2014). It has been described as a cancer militating against Nigeria’s development, because corruption deeply threatens the fabric of the Nigerian society (Nwanegbo and Odigbo, 2013). Corruption hampers economic growth, disproportionately burdens the poor and undermines the effectiveness of investment and aid (Iyare, 2008).
Table 1: Date on global peace index/rank, human development Index and corruption perception index for Nigeria
|Year||Human Development Index (HDI)||Global Peace Index (GPI)||Global Peace Rank||Corruption Perception Index (CPI)|
Sources: Human Development Report (Various Issues; Global Peace Index 2012). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Transparency International.
The data in table 1 above show that between 2007 and 2012, there has been a significant decline in peace in Nigeria in terms of the Peace Index and Rank in Global Peace Ranking. The Peace Index declined from 2.898 in 2007 to 2.80 in 2012. Also, Nigeria’s position on Global Peace Ranking dropped from 117th to 146th in position in 2012. Also the values of the corruption Perception Index between 2000 and 2012 increased from 1.2 in 2000 to 2.7 in 2012, indicating an increase in the level of corruption during this period. The implication is that since Nigeria retuned to democratic system of government in 1999, corruption has been on the increase despite the establishment of a number of anti-corruption agencies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). Thus the high level of insecurity between 2007 and 2012 was accompanied by high level of corruption, indicating a positive correlation between insecurity and corruption in the country. During this same period, data on Nigeria’s human development index (HDI), an indicator of socio-economic development is below 0.5, indicating low level of socio-economic development. Thus a high level of insecurity and corruption was accompanied by a low level of socio-economic development on one hand, and negative correlation between corruption and socio-economic development.
Table 2: Companion of five basic development indices among 10 selected African countries.
|No||Country||GDP per person purchasing power parity (in &)||Government effectiveness||Political stability||Anti-corruption||Rule of law|
|Sub-Saharan Africa average 27.2%||Sub-Saharan Africa average 35.6%||Sub-Saharan Africa average 30.3%||Sub-Saharan Africa average 28.8%|
Source: Wind felt book and World Bank in: TELL (special edition) 2008:99, February 18.
From the above table, of the 10 African countries ranked in terms of five indicators of development shown as the headings for the columns, Nigeria ranked 7th below Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Senegal and Rwanda. She managed to rank above only Kenya, Liberia and DR Congo and was not anything near Sub-Saharan Africa average in any of the indicators. Indeed, Nigeria has a lot to learn from her peers who have deployed their oil wealth to improve the welfare of both the present and future generations, like in other countries richly endowed with oil resources, so much is expected from the government. However, the Nigerian governments, past and present, have consistently let down its citizens (Atojoko, 2008).
Since 1996 when Nigeria first featured in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), a research carried out by Transparency International (TI), a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) that assess the level of corruption all over the world, Nigeria has always been staying at the bottom of the ranking and has more than once ranked as the most corrupt in the world. Despite having the world’s seventh largest reserve of crude oil coupled with other resources, poverty, social inequality, deprivation, unemployment and underdevelopment still ravage the country. This scenario is described as the Nigerian Drama (Okowa, 2005). The major reason advanced for this is the prevalence of corruption in governance as Nigerian government officials are well known for their self-serving style of governance. Ogbeide (2012) examined political leadership and corruption in Nigeria since 1960, and opined that it is an incontrovertible fact that corruption has been the bone of Nigeria’s development. Pervasive corruption has remained a serious obstacle to economic development in Nigeria as it inhibits human and social development. According to Ogbeide (2012), public institutions are only public in name because they are there for the purpose of private accumulation of wealth.
CAUSES OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA
- Agabi (2001) cited in Ntoiden, Udo and Bassey (2008) maintains that corruption in our country can be traced to a number of factors. Many public servants lay more emphasis on their private affairs and use public offices to make money. The colonialists introduced new laws which were inconsistent with the experiences of our people. The undue emphasis on paper qualification has ensured that people engage in examination malpractice in order to passes examinations. The military which ruled the country for thirty years engaged in systemic destruction of the judiciary and their will prevailed over the rule of law.
- Garba (2001) regrets a system of governance which allows individuals in key positions to illegally accumulate benefits at the expense of the state and ordinary citizens. The strongest, best-organized crime syndicates resident abroad constitute part of the strong vested interests, which render the problem of corruption intractable.
- Akpakpan (1999) attributes the causes of corruption to: wide discretion and little accountability in the management of public affairs; emphasis on wealth as a measure of success; and inadequate mechanism for exposing and punishing offenders.
- Umo (1986) attributes the causes of corruption to: income inequality which causes absolute poverty; impact of uneven distribution of wealth; low level of education in some instances; excessive probability of apprehension and punishment; and societal value where “miraculous” and “instant” wealth is accepted as normal.
- Olopoenia (1998) attributes the growth of corruption to the state of social disintegration caused by instability, availability of resources at the disposal of the state, and governments’ inability to control their agents.
- This researcher personally believes that corruption is caused by moral decadence, spiritual insensibility (the works of the flesh) and the influence of the spirit of the last days.
- Nigeria is a rentier state which spends much on security and the military and relies on rent collection and payment more than on real production.
5.1 THE EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION
The following factors cited in Ntoiden, Udo and Bassey (2008) and Ntoiden (2015) and in various literatures are said to be the effects of corruption.
- The United Nation’s view of corruption is that it increases poverty in many ways; it skews decision in favour of capital-intensive activities; it weakens governments and lessens their ability to fight poverty; it greatly reduces tax revenue (Odakunle and Lame, 2001).
- Corruption damages development because of the corrupt use of national budget and directs investment because external investors prefer safer environment for their capital. The padding of 2016 federal budget is a case in point.
- It hurts poor people generally because of higher prices and fewer employment opportunities.
- Umo (1986) maintains that corruption leads to economic crimes. It increases the cost of doing business in corrupt economies. It leads to reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through capital flight and brain drain. It can generate ineffective economic policies through the enactment of self-serving laws. It tends to generate and perpetuate distributional inequality.
- A corrupt socio-political system enthrones mediocrity which leads to vicious circle of corruption and political instability. Corrupt governments spends less on education and health.
- From Ntoiden (2015), corruption distorts the composition of public expenditure by diverting it towards those activities from which the largest bribes can be extorted. It leads to specific goods and services being imported that would otherwise not be brought at all. By reducing government regulations, it can lead to environmental or health and safety welfare regulatory arbitrage. It ensures that those who do not work hard and produce anything can be very rich by merely controlling some processes. Okowa (2005) calls this “Abdullistic capitalism”.
5.2 ILLUSTRATION OF TYPICAL ACT OF CORRUPTION: FG LOSES
NIBN TO THEFT AT GALLERY OF ARTS (IN 2009)
“The anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), recently arranged some officials of the National Gallery of Arts at an Abuja High Court, for stealing a total sum of N1.1billion. The money was said to have been stolen within three years – August 1, 2006 and April 2009. If the money had remained in government coffers and government was desirous of utilizing it judiciously, it could have come in handy in alleviating the suffering of Nigerians (in the following ways).
- An individual interested in fish farming business could start a medium scale farm with the sum of N100,000. If the N1.1billion were used to provide fish farms for unemployed youths as a means of empowering them, a total of 10, 010 youths would benefit.
- On the average, the tuition fee of most federal and state universities in the country is N30,000 per session. If the sum stolen were used to pay the tuition fees of undergraduates for a session, it would have catered for about 33,366 students.
- If the Federal Government had decided to utilize the N1billion to purchase garri for the masses at the rate of N8,000 per bag, the money would conveniently buy about N125,125 bags. Shared on the basis of a quarter of a bag per person, it will cover 500,500 people.
THE WAY FORWARD
The following suggested remedies from various sources blockly cited in Ntoiden, Udo and Bassey (2008) include the following:
- Re-examine political leadership and political will in terms of probity, integrity and self-esteem.
- Legislation against corruption should be strictly enforced no matter who is involved.
- There should be job creation, good pay and poverty eradication.
- Stronger state to perform the basic functions
- Wealth surveillance and open asset declaration
- International co-operation against corruption: The INTERPOL should be corroborated in the fight against cross-boarder corruption.
- The citizenry and the media should be up against corruption. The mobilization of the general public against corruption should be intensified.
- SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
6.1 Summary: Corruption is a hydra-headed monster which has many facets – economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental, among others. Many factors such as moral laxity, greed, poverty, poor law enforcement, excessive bureaucracy with little accountability, craze for paper qualification, and ownership of wealth as a means of recognition, among others. The desire to have wealth without being hardworking (described by Professor Okowa as abdullistic capitalism) and suffering in the midst of plenty described by Professor Okowa as the Nigerian Drama, also contribute to corruption. The effects are pervasive as there is no living Nigerian that has not felt it. Ntoiden (2004, 2008 and 2015) agrees that corruption is the bane of the Nigerian economy and polity, the single greatest factor that contributes significantly to the backwardness and underdevelopment of the Nigerian economy. Lamborg (2016) confirms that corruption is the worst cancer in Nigeria today because it enriches those who are already rich at the square of the poor. The efforts of President Buhari, ICPC, EFCC, and few honest Nigerians will help to reduce it to the barest minimum.
- Corruption could be effectively tackled if steps are taken to “reduce the opportunities for corruption by cutting back on officials’ discretionary authority, increase accountability by strengthening the mechanism of monitoring and promotion of forthrightness” (Akpakpan, 1999). This author agrees with this postulation. Since grand and petty corruption are inherent in every Nigerian, the price to be paid for corrupt acts should be made very expensive when caught, as is the case in Tanzania.
- The EFCC and ICPC should be encouraged and strengthened to be able to seize all the known properties of the culprits and sold to recover the full amount of the corrupt acts.
- Since the fundamental root of corruption is spiritual, there should be moral and spiritual regeneration in the country. This should entail campaigns in religious institutions, schools, youth meetings, cultural groups, political parties and other social clubs.
Based on the causes, effects, suggested remedies in literatures and recommendations by this researcher, which if adopted and implemented, the challenges and its effects would be reduced to the barest minimum. There is still hope for Nigeria since it is evident that it is not all Nigerians that have been bitten by the malady.
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of Sir Pee Integrated Services and www.libraryguru.com and www.projectvilla.com.ng. A reputable researcher, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.