Corruption is unarguably one of the most topical issues in the discourses of the deepening crisis and contradictions of post-independence Nigeria. The level of attention devoted to it ·may not only be due to its rapid and unprecedented expansion to all facet of human Endeavour and its menacing consequences, but also because of the seeming fecklessness of successive attempts at combating it. The problem has become so endemic that, as (Omotola 2006; 2004) has pointed out, one can begin to talk about the political culture of corruption in the country. To be sure, Transparency International, an international non-governmental organization that is reputed for its exploits in its measurement of countries’ Corruption Perception Index, ranked Nigeria as the most corrupt among the 52 countries ranked in 1996 and 1997.
This could be regarded as of little significance as the country was then under the firm authoritarian grip of the military. The hope that the advent of democracy in 1999 would mark an appreciable breakaway from the past, including the country’s perennial problem of corruption, largely remains in the pipeline. Nigeria, in what seems senseless squandering of hopes, ranked as the most corrupt in 2002, the second most corrupt in 2003, and the third most corrupt in 2004 (Omotola, 2006). These findings point to the fact that the anti-corruption war has hardly made a positive impact in the country, perhaps due to the depth of the phenomenon.
It ·is important to know that ‘corrupt’ acts are displayed at various sectors in Nigeria, but this work would focus more attention on exposing and proffering solutions to various means of corruption in the governmental/political body in Nigeria, both in the Federal, state and local levels, as decisions made at these levels affects every facet of life.
Nigeria is rich in natural resources, but the problem lies with the technique at which the political leaders manage and allocate the profits realized from these resources as they are directed to the wrong sources because of the thought of retaining a portion of the budget for their personal uses. The nature reflected by these leaders is therefore that of greed; and it is evident as we see a leader deciding to carry out a particular project at the expense of another because of his/her vision of generating profits from the budget set aside for the initial project for their personal pockets.
Due to these corrupt acts and more, Nigeria is still facing problems of bad roads, low educational standard, bad electricity supply, bad and limited amount of bridges, undeveloped and obsolete railway systems and many more, because when the initial budget for a project is intentionally reduced, the result of the job done will be poor requiring attention again after a short while. This makes us know that corruption and its illicit acts pull the country backwards, thereby hampering development.
This therefore requires that the governmental body be cleaned up of all its corrupt personnel so as to allow reoriented and capable persons to take charge of running the affairs of the country. In achieving this, the question will then be:What are the roots of corruption in Nigeria?
What areas of human life has corruption affected in Nigeria? How has corruption affected development in Nigeria?
How can the problem be tackled in order to achieve the desired result?
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of corruption in Nigeria has been characterized by lack of culture of accountability, inefficiency, weak government structures, excessive concentration of power in the executive arm of government and lack of transparency.
This phenomena in governance characterize the practice of shameless act of stealing of public funds and properties, wasteful mismanagement of national resources and public asset. The fact and ubiquity of corruption in Nigeria are not in any doubt whatsoever.
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