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THE EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
This study tried to identify the consequences of corruption on socio-economic development of Nigeria. The survey research design method was used to carry out the study and the area of study was focused on employees of the Lagos state civil service of which 500 respondents were drawn from different offices to make up the research population the simple random sampling technique was employed to get 100 respondents for the sample size. The questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection. The technique of analysis used in this study is the chi-square (x2) method. The study found out that continuedembezzlement of public funds tends to impede the socio-economic development of Nigeria and 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. The study went further to recommend that for sustainable development to be sustained in Nigeria, corruption should not be allowed to thrive as this at the long run would have consequential effect on our economy.
Corruption is an unethical behaviour which runs counter to the accepted social norms and moral values. It is a behavioural pattern, which seriously hurt public morality and leaves the society worse for it. Corruption is an act involving dishonesty, illegality and non- conformity with accepted standard of behaviour. And such an act or behaviour has as its main aim, the return for financial or material benefit, either for the person committing the act or on behalf of any other person. According to Longman Active Dictionary (New Edition), Corruption is a “Dishonest or immoral behaviour by politicians or people who work for government.” In other words, Corruption could still be defined as dishonesty using one’s position or power to own advantage especially for money or any other material benefit. Precisely, Corruption is giving, offering or receiving gratification or bribe, or some other form of illegal benefit. Examples of such in Nigeria include trading Chieftaincy titles for financial or material benefits, examination scores for money and/or other benefits. Refusal to do ones job unless and until the person receives an inducement for himself or on behalf of any other person.
Candidly speaking, this unethical behaviour, corruption is the bane to socio- socio-economic development in Nigeria. However, it has truly become people’s choice of priority to work or carryout their duties for personal gains to the detriment of our dearly growing economy. Bad management and misappropriation of public funds as part of corruption has long contributed largely to this menace of decadence, thereby ensuring that people’s needs are not met. As a result, people are now dying of hunger. Not only that, there is good road network, of which people cannot have access to the few food crops made available by the peasant farmers in the rural areas. And the poor health facilities as can be witnessed in the public hospitals, whereby people die in numbers daily out of ordinary ailments. Unemployment is in increasing even as the country continues yearly to produce chunk of graduates without deeming it necessary for job creation to meet up with the graduates. In short, infrastructure development in the country is at zero level. And all these things mentioned and more are still the consequences of corruption to a society, Nigeria.
Corruption in the real sense of it has enormous ripple effect on the socio- socio-economic development of Nigeria. Researchers have previously shown that corrupt practices are hazardous to our dearly economy. To that effect, according to THISDAY (12 December 2003, pp.1-2) “Nigeria lost over five billion US dollars in the last few years to corrupt practices.” And it was a disclosure from Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the United Nations on Drugs and Crime, at the conference of the UN Anti- corrupt Convention held in Mexico on 11 December, 2003.
The Federal government’s anti- corruption agents, however in their effort placed greater emphasis on the public officials and they stipulated that any public official caught discharging his/her duty or social responsibility in a corrupt manner shall be dealt with. Although a lot of them (the public servants) yet perceived and believed that only top officials remain the target, so they are not ready to change.
Schacter and Shah (2000) listed three broad categories of corruption consistent with this definition: Bureaucratic or “Pretty” Corruption – Vast number of public officials (bureaucratic and politicians) are abusing public office often extracting small bribes or favour; (b) Grand Corruption – theft or misuse of vast amount of public funds by a relatively number of officials; and (c) “State Capture” or regulatory Capture” – Collusion among public and private agents for private benefits.
The effects of corruption on the public service delivery performance (very detrimental to the economy) and the poverty it brings are widely recognized.A wide consensus has also recently emerged that corruption is a symptom of failed governance (see World Bank, 2000) and hence curtailing corruption which require addressing the causes of mis-governance. However, the menu of potential actions to curtail corruption is very large so a framework is needed that provides guidance in ordering potential actions to address the menace.
At times, it is very glaring that public work is where Dick and Harry vie to be employed because of the non-challant attitude to work which characterizes the workforce there, whereby corrupt activities become the order of their days. In the light of the above, it is completely necessary to evaluate the effect of corruption on the Nigeria’s economy. Corruption will only take place when officials expect to drive net positive benefit from a transaction. Therefore, successful anti-corrupt programmes will lower the expected gains and raise the expected penalties of corrupt behaviour to dissuade officials at all levels. Against this background, this study was designed to evaluate the effect of corruption on Nigeria’s socio – socio-economic development.
Aside this act of public servants discharging of their duties purely for personal gain, we cannot be- emphasize the fact that this country, Nigeria, year-in-year out breeds out of her universities graduates that always appear to become a thorn on the flesh because majority of them turns unemployed or jobless afterwards. Tertiary education in Nigeria is very costly, of which one would say that, it is that the gap between the rich and the poor is more widened. Therefore, those that could struggle to train their wards/ relations in colleges of education, polytechnics, and universities wouldn’t want their own to remain at home after so many years of wasting huge resources only for knowledge to be acquired; it would now amount to fruitless effort if nothing is done. To that heat, the unemployed graduates would prefer to engage themselves in any form of illicit activities to pay back to their families all the resources wasted on them, which would be to the detriment of the country’s image. In short, this (unemployment) has contributed much to the unhealthy state of our economy. And if the government refuses to do something very urgently about that, I am afraid of what will be the state of Nigeria’s economy in the near future, for it is certain that there would always be turned out of graduates yearly in the country.
1.1 Background to the Study
Corruption is the misuse of public power (by elected politician or appointed civil servant) for private gain. Corruption is an improbity or decay in the decision-making process in which a decision-maker consents to deviate or demands deviation from the criterion which should rule his or her decision-making in exchange for a reward or for the promise or expectation of a reward, while these motives influencing his or her decision-making cannot be part of the justification of the decision (Obialar&Ozuzu, 2015).
Corruption is one of the most dangerous social ills of any society. This is because corruption like any deadly virus, attacks the vital structure that make for society’s progressive functioning. This is particularly true for developing countries where limited but valuable funds and resources that are initially earmarked for industries, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructures are either out rightly embezzled, misappropriated or otherwise severely depleted through kickbacks and over invoicing by agents of governments. At the individual level, allocation of job or potentials but rather on who has the resources and willingness to grease the palms of those in charge.
Thus, there is a growing worldwide concern over corruption at the present time; several factors are responsible for this. First a consensus has now been reached that corruption is universal. It exists in all countries both developed and developing, in the public and private sectors, as well as in non-profit and charitable organizations. Secondly, allegations and charges of corruption now play a more central role in politics than at any other time. Governments have fallen careers of world renowned public figures rained, and reputations of well renowned organizations and business firms badly tarnished on account of it. Thirdly and most importantly, corruption can be a major obstacle in the process of development and in moderning a country. Many now feel that it should receive priority attention in a country’s development agenda. In a survey of 150 high level officials from 60 third world countries, the respondents ranked public sector corruption as the most severe obstacle confronting their development process Gray & Kaufmann, 1998) cited in (Obialor&Ozuzu, 2015).
Corruption was not invented by, nor is it peculiar to Nigerians: on the contrary, it is a global phenomenon with deep historical roots, although it manifest itself with significant similarities and differences with different societies, depending on the peculiar systems of power distribution and the local and moral norms operating therein corruption, like all social phenomena, is intelligible only in total social context: its peculiar form, dynamics and degree of social and cultural acceptability or tolerance being critically related to the dominant mode of capital accumulation, income, wealth and poverty distribution, power configuration, and the underpinning moral and ethical values operating in a given society. Corruption in Nigeria is a kind of social virus which is a hybrid of triats of fraudulent anti-social behavior derived from British colonial rule and those derived from and nurtured in the indigenous Nigerian context.
Corruption has assumed the status of a hydra-headed monster gnawing on the vitals of the Nigerian state. It tentacles have permeated every fascet of the state. It is interesting to note however, that corruption is not limited to Nigeria. It is indeed evident in all climes, though some countries are more corrupt than others.
It has been observed that corruption is not a recent development, its existence has long history (Wilson, 1999: Usman 2001). Little wonder that Mbeki (1999), Akanbi (2004), and Ogbonna (2004) among others, averred that corruption is a product of social, political, socio-economic and historical circumstances.
The festering tumor of corruption has taken toll on the quality of governance and accountability (Ogbonna 2004). Corruption is antithetical to socio-economic development as it breeds inefficiency, incompetence, mediocrity, unethical value and other base instincts in man such as greed, avarice and rapacity, (Atoyebi and Mobolaji 2004).
Nigeria is endowed with immense human and natural resources, but socio-economic development has been a mirage (Akinamu 2008), due to sharp practices prevalent in the country. However, if there is any institution of government that should take the challenge of nipping corruption in the bud or be in the forefront of anti-corruption crusade, it should be the representatives of the people charged with the duty of law making for socio-economic development.
This study sets out to examine the impact of this monster on the three core values of socio-economic development as life sustenance, self-esteem and freedom. For this purpose, this study has been structured thus; chapter one is on Introduction, chapter two is on Literature Review, while chapter three dwell on Research Methodology. Also chapter four centers on Presentation and Analysis of data and lastly, chapter five focuses on Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Corruption exists in the public and private sectors, profit and non-profit as well as charitable organizations. It subsists both in the developing and also developed nations but predominant in the developing countries hence, it remains a symptom of a poorly functioning nation. In Nigeria it is evidenced from the ongoing probes on oil petroleum subsidy fraud in Nigeria, fraudulent misappropriation of pension funds, recycling of items in the 2012 budget among others. Therefore, there is a growing worldwide concern over its spread due to so many factors.
Highly corrupt nations are always perpetuated with vicious circle of poverty; low rate of saving which leads to low incomes and which in turn leads to low investment and productivity. Others may include high capital flight; the negative consequences of the prevalent corruption continue to hamper the growth and development of the economy, causes insecurity of lives and property of the citizenry as evident from several Boko Haram attacks, heightened level of poverty and unemployment. Decaying infrastructure are notable and common feature which are largely attributable to the high incidence of corruption which has reached a prevalent level. The persistency of corruption erodes the social and socio-economic value of a nation.
In government it thrives in the areas of projects costing; ghost workers syndrome, contract awards and their subsequent abandonment; payment of huge sum of money to political godfathers; embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds; among others. It has been widely speculated that corruption as giving rise to – poor service delivery, inadequate infrastructure, bad governance, pervasive dehumanizing poverty, and general underdevelopment. Corruption accounts for the inefficiency and unimpressive growth and development including the cyclical failure of democracy and good governance in Nigeria. In an apparent expression of anger and frustration over the high level of corruption in Nigeria, Abukakar (2014) noted; “we have spent more money to provide less electricity; and have created more poverty alleviation and job creation agencies with less to show for them than any other nation on earth”.
Corruption has subdued the rule of law, facilitated wanton looting of public treasury, decapitated public institutions and free speech and instituted a secret and opaque culture in the running of government business. The result has been total insecurity, poor socio-economic management, abuse of human rights, ethnic conflict, capital flight etc. Poverty and the socio-economic enormous wealth inequality in Nigeria are deeply rooted in the country’s pervasive corruption. Corruption remains a major challenge against Nigeria’s lack of appreciable socio-economic development given its rich endowment in both human and material resources. These forms the main thrust of this study.
Therefore this study seeks to answer to the question: to what extend is corrupt influences socio-economic development in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study is divided into two namely: main objective and subsidiary objectives.
To identify the consequences of corruption on socio-economic development of Nigeria.
(i) To find out the level of exploitation and infrastructural decay in the country as a result of embezzlement of public funds in Nigeria.
(ii) To ascertain the level of poverty among the people, caused by corrupt practices of public office-holders in Nigeria.
(iii) To identify the causes of corruption and to suggest ways in combating corruption in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions have been adopted for this study;
- What is the level of exploitation and infrastructural decay in the country as a result of embezzlement of public funds in Nigeria?
- What is the level of poverty among the people causes by corrupt practices of public office holders in Nigeria?
- What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria?
- In what ways can corruption be combated in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
For the purpose of this study, the following hypothesis has been adopted;
- Embezzlement of public funds tends to impede the socio-economic development in Nigeria.
- High level of fraud perpetuated by public office-holders tends to increase the level of corruption in Nigeria.
- Non-adherence to due process in respect to financial regulation by public office-holders is likely to bring about poverty in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Corruption has permeated the entire facts of our economy hence the untold hardship faced by the people. This study therefore will serve as a useful framework for dealing with the problems or challenges of corruption as it affects the socio-economic development of the country. Consequently, government officials will find it a useful document that will serve as a guide while handling issues that borders on corrupt practices. It will also present itself useful in the study of public administration in tertiary institutions.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study was on corruption and socio-economic development in Nigeria from 2007 to 2015. That is, it will examine the consequences of corruption to the socio-economic development in Nigeria from 2007 – 2015.
1.8 Definition of the Key Concepts
Corruption is a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries
Socio-economic development is the process by which a nation improves the socio-economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Socio-economics is the social science that studies how socio-economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes.