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Corruption in Nigeria


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CONCEPT OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 1. MEANING AND NATURE OF DEVELOPMENT Development is a multi-dimensional process. Development according to international encyclopedia of social science "is a rapid sustained rise in real output per head and attendant shift in technological, economical and demographic characteristic of a society together with the more concept of social development and political development". Walter Rodney opined that "Development in human society is a many sided process. At the individual level it implies increased skill and capability, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well being". Amaucheaz, in his submission stated that, development is a multi-dimensional process involving the totality of man in his political,, economical, psychological, social relations among others. Development as a concept is multi-dimensional phenomenon that embraces economics, political and socio-cultural aspect of a nation. When the political, social and economic conditions of a state are in good shape, that state qualifies to be termed developed or developing state.

3.2 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES, NEED AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The national development strategy is a means, way, and plan in which the government formulates and implements its policies in order to accelerate the rate of development in the policy. Obasanjo administration made series of efforts to lay a solid foundation for the socio-economic growth of the country. This he did through the National Economic Empowerment and development Strategy (NEEDS) and economic diplomacy. NEEDS is a development strategy to consolidate on the gains of previous years, unlock Nigeria’s dormant potential and provide the basis for sustained development of the country. Obasanjo reform on the 1999 constitution anchored on NEEDS. The NEEDS encapsulates capitalization, due process and deregulation, Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). The budget monitoring and price intelligent unit (BMPU) 2005, Defined due process as the mechanism for ensuring strict compliance with the openness, completion, cost accuracy, rules and procedures that should guide contract awards with federal Government of Nigeria. Due process in simple terms implies "follow the law". The EFCC and ICPC were set up to fight against corruption in the country. The objective were to reduce the rate of corruption to the bearest minimum and also to instill in the political office holders the culture of accountability and transparency in their discharge of duties. The adoption of the "Economic Diplomacy" was also to boost national development. Economic diplomacy implies the management of economic relations between or among nationals. It is a means, strategies, process aim at improving the economic sector for nation and thereby increasing the general standard of living of the people of a state. The objective of this, as a developmental foreign policy was to enhance the economic status, image of Nigeria in the international community by making our country suitable for foreign investment and also convincing the foreign investors to invest in our country. This made the president to visit countries like Thailand, china, Sweden, e.t.c. These visit were purely on economic diplomacy and these resulted in the rapid development in the nations communications sector. Some of this countries like china now produce handsets in Nigeria.. This has helped in increasing the skill of the national working with them and also reducing unemployment in the country. Not only that, it has reduced communication barriers. The bank recapitalization and consolidations also achieved a great success. This is given the fact that the fear for liquidation of banks is no longer there, though improper implementations has been the barrier of these policies.

A lot of factors tend to hinder national development. These factors include: policy implementation, policy discontinuity, embezzlement of fund, poor leadership perception, lack of professionalism e.t.c. These and many more are the problems facing Nigerian national development. International Monetary Fund (IMF) rated Nigeria in the year 2002 as one of the countries that formulate good policies, but it’s problem has been implementation of this policies. Obasanjo’s administration has a lot of policies formulated under it. Child right act, anti-corruption act of 2000, UBE policy e.t.c. All these policies have not been effective or efficient. This is because the people in charge have formed them into an avenue to accumulate wealth, there by defeating the objective for which they were meant. To some extent, the anti-corruption agencies are doing well, but it has been mostly used against dissenting voice or targets. Embezzlement also is a bane of our national development. One can say that the embezzlement of public funds by Nigerian leaders has been legalized. They gave it baptismal name "misappropriation", but when done by an ordinary citizen it becomes stealing. Obasanjo lavished millions of naira in his third term bid. These million wasted could have been used to wisely develop certain sector of our economy. Nepotism, ethnicity and relativism have also been our bone of national development. Every thing has been politicized in Nigeria. Meritocracy has been neglected. Mediocre are what the government uses to perform their functions. The executive arm of government has some what turned the other two arms of government into stooges. Obasanjo has two portfolios during his tenure. "The president of the federal republic of Nigeria and the minister of the petroleum resources". These political positions were given to his political allies loyalists, not minding whether they were able to handle such position or not.

It is true we have not attained the height of national development. There is no shame in admitting the fact that many things went wrong in the past and are still, to some extent going wrong in the present. A lot of effort had been and are being made towards formulating policies that will better the life of the citizenry. But the major problem lies in its implementations both in the military and democratic regimes. Even if we make the best policies in the world without changing our attitude and value system, we will no headway, St Paul in one of his letters in the bible said, "shall we continue to live in sin that the grace of God may abound? His reply was NO". In the like manner shall we continue to constitute self deceit that we may achieve wealthy national development? The answer is NO. Therefore, we have gotten to be sincere to ourselves and the country at large. We can not be corrupt and be righting corruption at the same time. There is need to change our attitude to politics and our value systems. We are under developed today not because we don’t have the resource to speed up development but because our value systems are greatly influenced by negativities, and as such hinders development. Honestly, hard work, diligence, sincerity, meritocracy, service and the likes are virtues thrown aside in Nigeria politics. They hold on to such negativities like arrogance, indiscipline, insincerity, work little and get more syndrome, corruption, embezzlement, misappropriation and the likes. In developed economic, people who are wealthy are not people in politics and the government, but are people who are business and other establishment or sectors. But in the third world countries, the wealthy people are found among the politicians and the government workers. Why are they this rich and wealthy? Because their environment make it favourable for them to steal and go unpunished. Therefore, the remedies to Nigerian national development are: proper implementation, positive value system, respect for fundamental human rights, and due process as accountability in the art of governance, transparency, honesty, hard work and most importantly disabusing our minds from the thinking that politics is an avenue to enormous wealth or embezzle money. With this positivism we will attain a healthy national development.

Vgwu Samuel C. (2006), public policy analysis, principle theories and applications. Enugu, Chiezego ventures, p.197.
Major Kaduna Nzeogu (1999), in Body and Soul Publication, p.32.
E.A Amaucheaz "the problem of National Development" in Amaucheaz, Reading in social science issue in National Development, (Enugu, fourth Dimension publishing co. ltd, 1080).
Uma O. Elasu, think,thank and National Development, Nigerian institute of international Affairs, lecture series No 21 1980 p. 1-8.


4. THE EFFECT/IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 1. POLITICAL EFFECT OF CORRUPTION The ill effect of Nigeria political development are beyond dispute, in other words, political development, which is one of the years ticks for measuring a developed society, has been erode by the persuasiveness of corruption in Nigeria. Political development involves creating a new political order where political behavior will be guided by true western political norms, where tolerance will be the order of the day, where corruption will not be part of political campaign strategies, where politics will be based on issues and manifestoes as it is practiced in most democratic societies of western Europe and North America. The foregoing democratic virtues are catalyst of political development. Leadership of any institution is it public or private determines the extent of the development of the establishment concerned. In Nigeria, true people choice (leaders) are denied of elective position because of the influence of money used to bribe the conscience of the electorate, the party officials and supposedly the umpire of the electoral process i.e. Electoral commission. A typical example of this event is 2003 election here P.D.P (People’s Democratic Party) used the power of incumbency to acquire almost all the state of the federation for themselves. That gave no room for changes rather they adopted the principle of tightism in the means of administration. The ill effect is that those who have leadership acumen that would have contributed effectively and genuinely to the nation’s political development have been denied the opportunity due to pandemic corruption during elections. It would be recalled that one of the read-on for military intervention in Nigeria is electoral malpractice, which created political instability in Nigeria. It is known fact that political instability negatively affects political development. A nation that was ruled for almost 30years out of 52 years of nationhood, to all intents and purposes must have lost all the democratic virtues which are sin qua non of political development. The unbridled electoral malpractices during 19th federal elections, 1965 western election and 1983 presidential election precipitated military intervention in Nigerian government and politics which in turn led to retard ness of Nigeria political development. Development as we earlier said occurs where there is stability in the system, but here due to military intransigence, we are starting a fresh to learn democratic ethos. Consequently, in the present democratic dispensation of Goodluck Jonathan as the head of state, we no longer talk of military intervention in the political scene, rather we are presently suffering of election bribery, non-implementation of government-formulated policies. Nigeria had been recorded as one of the country that has good formulated policies but implementation is the major problem facing our motherland. It is not only the elective office that the evil of corruption has bastardized but also the recruitment of civil servants. The interwoven ness of politics and corruption has negatively affected the growth of public administration. Even the policy of "due process" was being formulated by Obasanjo administration, still it is not been followed. This policy is for Nigeria not to only recruit personnel due to corruption, nepotism e.t.c. but through due process, it was formulated in order to award contracts to eligible contractors for perfect out come of development. One of the greatest causes of low productivity in public administration is that incompetent hands are recruited into offices. In Nigeria like most of third world countries, the criteria for recruitment of public servants are not basically rooted in merit but on sectionalism, while in a developed or advance countries recruitment of public servants is purely based on merit because weak and incompetent administration affect the execution of public policy, which is the principal function of administration. In a nutshell, corruption has been one of the major factors undermining political development.

2. ECONOMIC EFFECT OF CORRUPTION Among the naturally endowed nation of the world, Nigeria rates high, but regrettably she is economically underdeveloped. Similarly good ideas or plans for development have never been in short supply in the country yet numerous developmental projects have not moved the nation to it professed goal of economic development. The reason for this trend is not far fetched. Corruption is the cause. Nigeria since 1999 has adopted the strategies of NEEDS to lay a solid foundation for a sound socio-economic growth. But corruption an ugly and endemic malady has made the realization of improved agriculture, better education, improved health services, more rapid industrialization and economic abundance which independence was through to generate impossible. In other words, Nigeria is economically underdeveloped not that she is not humanly based with natural and human resources are dishonesty siphoned by those entrusted with leadership. For instance, Nigerian political leaders have been allegedly accused severally for banking our money which has been stolen into foreign account or banks. Regrettably, our leaders both the president, governors, legislators e.t.c. have not relented in the act of siphoning our money to Swiss banks and many other foreign banks. Had it been that they put the money for national development, Nigeria would not remain the same. The economic mismanagement of the nation’s resources by the first republic politician was the way or prime way for hunger and starvation which led to the 15th January, 1966 military intervention by major Kaduna Nzeogwu who led the coup has this to say. Our enemies are the political profiteers, the squanders, the men in high and low prices that seek bribe and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently that they can remain in office as minister or VIPs, at least those that have corrupted our society and put the political calendar back by their words and deeds. In a similar accusation, the military regime of Buhari that ousted the second republic, help the Nigeria’s economic woes due to corruption on the part of President Shehu Shagari’s regime. Brigadier Sani Abacha had this to say about the intolerable economic woes Nigeria encountered during the Shagari era "you are living witness to the great predicament and uncertainty which an inept and corrupt leadership has imposed on our beloved nation for the past four years. Our economy has been hopelessly mismanaged. We have become a debtor and a bigger nation. There is in adequacy of food at reasonable price. Yet our leaders reveal in squander, corruption and indiscipline and continue to proliferate public appointments in complete disregard of our stark economic realities". Regrettably, Abacha who lampooned the Shagari government in his 1983 coup speech, as a corrupt and inept later masterminded the economic impoverishment of the nation through systematic and unequalled corruption as far as the Nigerian political history is concerned. Consequently, Obasanjo’s administration can not be said to be free from corruption. Obasanjo who made a nationwide broadcast when he dismissed Osuji (prof) the education minister and ask the senate to resign the senate president Adolphus Wabara, in his speech; he said that "it is dishearten event that the number three main in the government hierarchy in the country is involved in this forbid matter". He was then appealing to Nigeria that the fight against corruption in all its ramifications is a relentless one and should involve all citizens. It is this same man who came to the television to condemn the act of 55 million naira bribery by the education minister to the senate that led to their dismissal and resignation respectively, that still went ahead after the condemnation to bribe the senators and representatives with #50 million and #40 million each respectively. That which should be used for economic development of the country, one person is using it to bribe his way for a selfish God forsaking third term. Perhaps, it has been said and continue to said that all indices of economic underdevelopment like low industrialization, unfavourable balance of trade, high death rate, inflation, continuous depreciating and unstable depreciating of naira e.t.c. are all traceable to corruption on the part of Nigeria leaders and even those at lower cadres. As previously indicated in the preceding chapters, it is not that our leaders are bereft if ideas that could the nation to economic prosperity nor those sufficient annul budgets are not made. Nigeria made a budget every year, but those at the man the leadership instead of transforming the noble ideas into concrete objective, conversely see it as an economic aggrandizement. They used their privileged to build economic empire for them selves to the detriment of the nation. In Nigeria today, virtually most of the gigantic and enterprising industries established by the colonial masters first and second republic leaders are now out of operation not that raw material are no longer available, but to mismanagement, embezzlement, squander and corruption on the part of officials which the management of the prostrates, industries and ministries entrusted upon their daily operations. Most of the essential machines parts have been vandalized by some people entrusted with their security. Equally some economic projects have remained perpetually unfinished not that money was not allocated for their completion, but because of the connivance of the contractors and government officials to divert the money for private user few example will be mentioned to buttress our claim. Ajaokuta iron and steel company, Nigeria cement Nkellagu, the Nigerian machine Jool company Oshogbo, Aluminium Smelter in Akwa-ibom e.t.c. in spite of all the huge amount already committed into this obvious while elephant projects, they still constitute a drain on the nation economy because of politics and inbuilt corruption in Nigeria. The irony in Nigeria is that while the majorities wallow in object poverty, minority reveal in affluence not mainly because of genuine and industrial efforts, but to robbery, mismanagement, corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of public revenue.
The #20 billion which Obasanjo gulps into his ill fated third term project, not just plus many other known and unknown together with the money recovered from Abacha’s loot as well as money gotten from corrupt governors on money laundering if those monies have been properly handled, Nigeria would have launched and still launching another stage of economic prosperity. At it is enough in paying up all Nigerians owed debts, in other words, from Nigeria into economic paradise. As the substructure is the determination of social life, the weak economic situation of Nigeria engendered by corruption has negatively affected social development in Nigeria. To this we now turn to.

4.3 SOCIAL EFFECT OF CORRUPTION The negative effects of corruption on the Nigerian social development can not be penciled down here, in other words, there is no aspect of Nigerian social life that has not been negatively affected by the ugly malady called corruption. Our areas of emphasis will be on education, health service and morality. It is generally agreed that the quality of educational system in any society has a strong impact on its general development. In Nigeria, educational system has been seriously affected by corruption. The quality of graduates produced by Nigeria schools colleges / universities is nothing to write home about due to corruption. pupils in Nigerian kindergarten not unaware of examination malpractices, as their guardians / parents and teachers encouraged them. In colleges / universities the situation is worse as lecturers awards extraordinary marks to incompetent and educationally dullard students because of monetary inducement, licentious and nymphomaniac students (female) sell their flesh to lecturers for marks. The net effect is the production of half-baked graduate that can not impact their knowledge to incoming generation. Nigerians graduates are not accorded due recognition before the international community, because of the dubious means through which they graduated. It is pathetic to note here that senior secondary school student preparing for their West African Certificate Examinations are given money in advance by their parents or guardians in order to engage in examination malpractices. To them, the end justifies the means. On health sector, health services are in shamble as our hospitals are reduced to mere consulting clinics without drugs, water and equipment. In Nigeria, public hospitals are out of drugs not because drugs are not being distributed to this hospitals but the management (doctors) of these hospital do diverts these drugs to their private hospitals and pharmaceutical stores to the detriment of the diseased poor masses. The non-existent of essential drugs at public hospitals caused mainly by corrupt officials contributed to the massive death of poor Nigerian who can not pay for the services of private hospital noted for outrageous bills. The disappointing aspect of it is that the government to religiously monitor the distribution of those drugs, they impart roguish stooges that make it diversion to private hospitals possible. On moral-side, moralities of Nigerians have been debased because of persuasiveness of corruption in all facets of social life. The get rich quick syndrome in Nigeria has made Nigerians to give little regard to moralities. Machiauzllian principle is the order of the day obsession with materialism, which makes Nigerians to commit all sorts of corrupt acts. Corruption is no longer a misnomer but social institution in Nigeria. It is now an established way of life. Fraudsters, ritualists, assassins, e.t.c. are high in Nigeria because everybody wants to get rich quick as the society does not care on how one makes his money. The adoration of robbers with costly chieftaincy title scorns others to engage in humors and corrupt practices in order to be recognized and adored. The corrupt mentalities of Nigerians are the sources of the ugly disparagement and pejorative that sees Nigerians as the most dubious people on earth. Our national and even the religious leaders are subjected to serious searches before entering their countries because of the already established impression that every Nigerian is dubious and corrupt. With this assertion, we can conclude by saying that corruption is the bane of national development in Nigeria as seen from the findings in this work.

4. MEASURES FOR CONTROLLING AND COMBATING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA. No where else in the world, lamented General Buhari (rtd) can one find a society tolerating the theft of its resources in a broad day light without nothing happening to the thieves. In other words, many measures have been put in place, for controlling and combating corruption in Nigeria, but corruption still remain ossified in Nigeria socio-economic and political life. The reason why the measures have not been fruitful in Nigeria is that they have operators at a level (or mere) symbolism. Corruption has defied all measures adopted to combat it in Nigeria, apparently, because those waging the corruption war are themselves corrupt. In the time of turning Nigeria into a corrupt free society, the nation has experimented with many policies. It has tried the judicial commission of enquiring the code of conduct bureau. It has wrestled with the public commission till no avail. Also, it fiddled with mass mobilization for social justice and economic recovery (MUSJER), and the national open apprenticeship (NOAS), but instead blossomed. Then General Buhari clobbered Nigerians with his horse shit branded war against indiscipline and corruption (WAIC), without success. Now the current civilian administration of president Olusegun Obasanjo has instituted independent and corrupt practices commission (ICPC), and economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), which seem to have only over the poor. Some of our leaders are doing everything they can to make the work of police impossible. Big men are the greatest criminals and except you go after the criminals and bring to book, the rate of corruption nor crime may not reduce. But if you bring three or four of these big men to book, the rate of criminal activities would reduce. However, while the justice Oputa panel and the justice Akanbi commission were cruising the cities interrogating the poor corrupt individuals involving in petty thefts, the politicians and the known corrupt ex-military generals have been busy politicking around the nation with money shifted into their Ghana-must go bags unperturbed. But to win the apparent war on corruption in Nigeria, the Obasanjo slogan of their must be "no sacred cows" should not be mere political rhetoric, it should not be put into practice by prosecuting all the known political heavy weights in the society, as they contribute in making the nations in choate laws in operable. Consequently, our independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC), presided over by justice Musthapha Akanbi, has been instituted in Nigeria to fish out those whose hand were fainted while in office of the society. In the same vain, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to sanitized the country of all fraudsters. Now these commissions are there in the water, but so far they have not genuinely landed any big fish. The ones they caught are nothing but those in the black list of the presidency. If not that, they serve no purpose, other than a watchdog of the presidency. It is appropriate to emphasis the importance of good and enforceable policies towards controlling corrupt behavior. If not that some governors of state in Nigeria has been caught by the British police, we would not have known what was happening. In that case, they should be provided with sophisticated compute communicating machines for proper information. Moreover, policies should be reviewed periodically to close any loophole and to catch up with any even in the society. Towards this, Robert S. Minomara, former president of the World Bank and Ford motor, have argued that for any campaign against corruption to be successfully in sub-Saharan Africa, certain characteristics should common in the pans against corruption. This suggestion on how to control corruption in the region is to be mentioned below: • Require direct, clear and forceful support of highest political authority i.e. the president or prime minister. • Organize civil society to address problems of corruption brought to light by the process of transparency and activity of the media. • Encourage free-press and electronic media to forcefully report the public on corrupt practices in the society. • Insert anti-bribery clause into all major procure contracts and with assistance of both international financial institutions and bilateral aid agencies, insist that international corporation binding on African procurement contract accept, such clauses and the penalties associated with their violations. • Scrutiny for sources of incomes as was pointed out above, scrutinizing individuals depositors of huge sums of money by financial institutions for sources, would go a long way to curbing looting of national treasury by civil servants and politicians both in higher and lower echelon.
More other means of fighting corruption effectively requires taking the following steps: • Exposing the problems, which is the business of the media? • Appointing an aggressive Attorney-General and not only that but making the judiciary to be independent in its duties. • Punishing the corrupt for all to see that corruption does not pay. No exceptions to the role of law, that means that any corrupt person should be brought to book regardless of his position or status in the society. • Making the anti-crime commission independent. In other words, allowing them to discharge their duties without any external control of dictation.
If all these measures stated above are being respected and accorded to, corruption will be to a maximum extent reduce in Nigeria.

Ugwu Samuel C. (2006), Public policy analysis, issues, principles theories and application, Chiezugo ventures (printing and publishing) p.197
Weekly star newspaper November 27, 2004 p.31
General Buhari quoted by Tam David West in Sunday sketch, January 24,1971 p.10
Babangida in victor Kalu and Dan Okanya (1927), transition to rule, S.G ikoko’s view points and blue prints, Enugu: Mary Dan Publishers. P.94
Newsweek education program fall/ 1994; see conflict in Africa. Vanguard Wednesday march 3, 2005 p 1& 14
Obasanjo, Obasanjo’s inaugural address may 29 1999.

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