Corruption in Nigeria has been a great deal for the past couple of years. Reasons for corruption in many “Less Economically Developed Countries” has been described to be because “those who pay and receive bribes so they can expropriate the nation’s wealth, leaving little for its poorest citizen” (Agba 23). Other author such as Khan sees corruption as “behaviour which deviates from the formal rules of conducts governing the actions of someone in a position of…..authority because of private regarding motives such as wealth, power or status” (23). On the other hand, World Bank labels it as “the abuse of public power for private benefits” (24). No matter the way it has been characterized, I believe is an act of selfishness, greed and being heartless to the less fortunate of the society. The high growing corruption rate in Nigeria is caused by the dishonest leaders; this brings about the growth of poverty, corruption and ethnicity (tribalism) in the country.
Nigeria is suffering from corruption in virtually all the sectors controlled by the government, including the educational sector, political sector and many more. But the on non-government concerning way of corruption that is causing heaps of trouble is email scams. This sort of corruption falls under the category of poverty in the nation. “Email proposing an “urgent business relationship” help make fraud Nigeria’s largest source of foreign revenue after oil” (Smith 53). This has caused bad name for the country, “Corruption is widespread in Nigeria that all its citizens call it simply “the Nigerian factor. (57)” “… the primary mode of illegitimate corruption in Nigeria is 419” (6). In another aspect, Nigeria faces a lot of fuel problems, some Nigerians actually believe that “ to ordinary Nigerians, the country’s frequent fuel shortages – in spite of the fact that Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa – are an egregious examples of the consequences of corruption” (62). Nigeria is among the top producers of petrol in Africa; but it is discouraging that even after the huge amount of petrol the country produces; we still end up importing billions of dollars worth of petrol.
Corruption has been part of the problems in Nigeria for quite a while now. Many efforts have been made by previous government to put a stop to it. Various, organisation or commissions were formed, an example of the action taken in order to limit corruption is “The purge of Corruption officials in the civil service in 1975 by the Murtala Mohammed Administration”, or “The establishment of the code of Bureau for Public Officers;” or “The numerous probe panels established by Sani Abacha” (Agba 19), but the most recent and most active one(in Nigeria) is the establishment of the EFCC(2004). Professor Ben Nwabueze, describes the EFCC as “…one of the most monstrous instruments of personal power employed by President Obasanjo in the service of his lawless state. The lawlessness of the commission has two aspects – the illegality (i.e. the unconstitutionality) of its powers or many of them under its constituent statue, the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004, and illegality of its actions taken purportedly pursuant to, but which are not within its illegal powers;…” (Okoi- Uyouyo 43). One of the many reasons that helped to emphasize the creation of the EFCC was “the act of the 2000 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Nigeria was ranked 90th out of 90 in terms of being a corrupt nation, with The CPI score of 1.2 out of 10.00.” (47). This was heartbreaking to so many Nigerians, but this was not a shock. The EFCC was created help get rid of bribery and corruption in the government. Nuhu Ribadu (Former Chairman of the EFCC), expanded during the launching of EFCC’s “Fix Nigeria Initiative” that from the 46 years that Nigeria got her independence, a huge sum of $220 billion (about 65trillion Naira) has been stolen by the Past Nigerian Leaders (Okoi- Uyouyo 45). Knowing about this made the EFCC add more effort to see that corrupt was put to stop…“agencies and institutions such as police, customs and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency were recognised and their leadership changed when the EFCC beamed their search light on them….” (55). Basically, during the regime of Nuhu Ribadu, no agency or the government itself (including the president) were left unchecked; practically all the sectors were involved in corruption. A lot of governors, ministers and permanent sectaries were penalised and fired from their post of power.
In my knowledge of corruption in Nigeria, it has affected many aspects of the country; this is such as contributing to the Niger Delta crisis. This is in such a way that if only the government had agreed to co-operate and give the owners of the land their share of wealth, the situation won’t have been as bad as it is today. Another is in the educational sector where students bribe exam invigilators so they can get answers to their exams. Suprisely enough some parents do actually provide money to the children so they can get the answer, i.e. all of this happens with the parent’s consent. In the employment sector, many people end up unemployed because of their sex, tribe or religion. Senior officials only give space to people of the same tribe as them or their relations.
Finally, Corruption is the major problem Nigeria is try very hard to destroy. The only solution to overcoming corruption in Nigeria is, for the country to get a leader that puts his/her people’s need before theirs. Nigeria’s bad name in terms of its corruption will not change unless more organizations such as EFCC are formed to help do away with the current suffering. Problems such as poverty and economic crisis will continue to pin down the country if no serious action is taken on corruption. The rate of Corruption in Nigeria is still increasing; this has affected the young ones who wish to see their selves as “somebody” in the Government in future. Most of them want to be there because of what they have heard, not because they want to help improve the Nigerian Government; these are things like easy embezzlement without getting caught. The thought has been put in their heads by our elders or leaders that it is “ok” to steal from the government. The only possible change way of change is for the country to get a trust worthy, God fearing and caring leaders.