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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Bribery and corruption is a social menace that has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian government. It has been acknowledged that bribery and corruption and its practices are both endemic and systemic in both public and private sectors of Nigerian economy. The debilitating effects of bribery and corruption on the country are enormous. It affects the routine processes of governance both in public and private sectors, and it pollutes the business environment generally. It also undermines the integrity of government and public institutions. President Muhammadu Buhari launched an anti-corruption drive after taking office in May, 2015. This comes after a series of high profile bribery and corruption scandals in Nigeria that have highlighted the sheer size of the corruption problem. In the words of Obasanjo (2009), “corruption has been responsible for the political instability of successive government since the First Republic. Every coup since then has been in the name of stamping out the disease called corruption. Unfortunately, the cure turned out to be worse than the disease. And Nigeria has been worse for it. Nigeria’s external image took a serious bashing, as our beloved country began to fixture on every corruption index. In this study, the researcher explores the negative impact of bribery and corruption in the Nigerian government.
Corruption is defined and perceived across a spectrum of illegal payments and transactions such as bribes, embezzlement, and money laundering among others. Since corruption is illegal, capturing the amount of corruption is not possible, by analyzing the amounts of corruption payments that have proven to be so in court. According to Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) corruption is defined as the ‘abuse of public office for private gain. The index categorizes corruption into three parts namely; Grand corruption: “an acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good”. Petty corruption: “Everyday abuse of entrusted power by low-and mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens. Often trying to access basic public goods and services”. Political corruption: “Manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth”. In the 2004 report on worldwide corrupt practices, Transparency International (T. I.) survey which covered 146 countries. In that report, Nigeria was rated the third most corrupt country, beating Haiti and Bangladesh to the second and last positions respectively. The report was an improvement over that of 2000 when Nigeria was reported as the most corrupt country in the world. Statistically, Nigeria’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was 1.2 in the year 2000, contrasting those of Finland (10.0), Denmark (9.8) and New Zealand (9.4).
Although the focus of the T. I. 2004 report was, however, more on the oil sector as a revenue source for most oil producing countries. The sector was seen as a continuous source of corruption around the world. Peter Eigen, Chairman of T. I. Board of Directors, (2004) observed that, “In these countries, public contracting in the oil sector is plagued by revenue vanishing into the pockets of western oil executives, middlemen and local officials.” He suggested that oil companies could help fight corruption by making public details of payments made to government and state-controlled oil firms. Access to vital information, according to him, will minimize the opportunity for the payment of kickbacks to secure oil tenders, a practice that has blighted the oil industry in transition and post-war economies. Reconstruction will be wrecked by a wasteful diversion of resources to corrupt elites unless there are strict anti-bribery measures. (Eigen, 2004). Bribery and corruption has since become a universal disease and every country is making effort to fight it. The fact that much corruption in developing countries has important industrial countries’ participation is commonplace knowledge. The frequent accusations against multinational oil mining companies in their corrupt practices for bribing government officials, local chiefs and elites of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria are a testimony to the truth. This often results in social discontent and violence.
The scope of this study is not centered on bribery and corruption in the oil sector alone, but it is rather about the general corrupt practices and financial crimes in the Nigerian government, the trend since before independence and the hindrance these have constituted for the development of the country. Also, mention is made of some of the initiatives and laws, which have been introduced to fight the disease.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Today, Nigerians applaud and tolerate ill-gotten wealth which in reality is money stolen from public coffers. This is a pointer to the fact that bribery and corruption is endemic in Nigeria. It has permeated into every facets of the society; the family, the church and even the traditional systems are all included in this contagious disease. Bribery and corruption therefore, affects the developmental efforts of successive government in Nigeria. This has been responsible for the non-completion of projects and programs that would have help in alleviating the sufferings of Nigerians. Bribery and corruption has been adjudged to be directly responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment. The revelation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) concerning looted resources by private businessmen, political office holders and civil servants is alarming to the extent that one ponders whether the menace can actually be stamped out in the country. This situation poses a challenge which this researcher intend to address in the course of this study. In doing this, it will examines the concepts bribery and corruption, and development, causes of corruption, and it effects on Nigeria’s developmental efforts. At the end suggestions on how to stamp- out bribery and corruption in Nigeria will be outlined.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate the effects of bribery and corruption in government, the researcher intends to outline the following as sub objectives;
i) To examine the causes of bribery and corruption in government today
ii) To ascertain the effects of bribery and corruption on government policies in development of the country.
iii) To assess the relationship between family, politics, traditions and corruption in government.
iv) To proffer solutions to the aforementioned problems related to bribery and corruption in government.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: there is no significant effect of bribery and corruption on government policies in the development of the country.
H1: there is a significant effect of bribery and corruption on government policies in the development of the country.
H0: there is no significant relationship between family, politics, traditions and corruption in government.
H2: there is a significant relationship between family, politics, traditions and corruption in government.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study investigated the impact of bribery and corruption on economic development in the Nigerian government. It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will be very useful; to the government in employing strict application of anti-corruption codes as stipulated in the legislations that created the anticorruption agency without prejudice or double standard irrespective of the culprit’s stature or position in the society. To Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in adapting transparency, accountability and the application of the rule of law in dealing with corrupt government officials and politicians which will lead to improved CPI ranking, induce investment, and foster economic growth and development. To Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in checkmating the level of corruption in the government, and fighting for the recovery of looted public funds by officials and politicians. Finally, to academia it will also be beneficial to people who will intend to carry out further research in this area, to find this study relevant in their research.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is not centered on bribery and corruption in the oil sector alone, but it is rather about the general corrupt practices and financial crimes in the Nigerian government, the trend since before independence and the hindrance these have constituted for the development of the country. In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;
Staff Reluctance: In most cases the staff of the used study often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Bribery: Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior (to the benefit/interest of the giver) that the recipient would otherwise not alter. Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.
Corruption: Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct 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. Government, or 'political', corruption occurs when an office holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.
Government: A government is the system to govern a state or community. In the case of this broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislators, administrators, and arbitrators. Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state.
Government Policies a plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determinedecisions, actions, and other matters.
Corruption rank: Transparency International (TI) has published the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) since 1996, annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit".
Nigeria: is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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