THE EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION ON THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA  A STUDY OF EBONYI STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Corruption is one of the national issues which has negative influence either directly or indirectly on every Nigerian. If there is anything which operates efficiently, uniformly and smoothly all over the country, it is corruption. The phenomenon seems to be an official and universal language, which is spoken and understood in every nook and cranny of Nigeria and beyond.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, the word corruption refers to “people especially, with authority or power to act dishonestly or illegally in return for money or personal gains’.Corruption, therefore, is a social phenomenon whose actions, such as dishonesty, wickedness, selfishness, embezzlement, moral degeneration, bribery, insatiability, covetousness, and so on have serious negative effects.

Corruption is also defined as behaviour which deviates from the formal duties of a public role for private gains. This include such behaviours as bribery (use of reward to prevent judgement of a person in a position of trust), nepotism (bestowal of patronage by reason of inscriptive relationship rather than merit), and misappropriation (illegal appropriation of public resources for private use).

Corruption, though a universal phenomenon, appears to have become so endemic in the Nigerian body of polity. Corruption is institutionalized such that not only that most public servants are involved, it has gained momentum in the scheme of affairs. Most civil or public servants have institutionalized it as a norm which must define their mode of actions and attitudes to work.

In the words of a colonial government report of 1947, “the African’s background and outlook on public morality is very different from the present day Briton. The African in the public service seeks to further his own financial interest. The problem was that there was no responsible public opinion to check corruption in Nigeria.

From as early as 1947, commissions of inquiry were held to investigate areas of corruption. The purpose of the enquiries was to expose wrongdoings and to punish the culprits. These inquiries were designed to raise public awareness and set a standard of proper conduct for government officials.

Today, we hear much of the rampant corruption at the local government level of Ebonyi State. The report from Ebonyi State Nigerian Patriot News Paper has shown a “systematic corruption” in the appointment and promotion of staff and in the awarding of contracts. Bribes of huge amount of money were demanded for unnecessary appointments.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

In Nigeria community, it has been observed that corruption has been on the increase, very resistant to solution especially in areas like: Bribery, Embezzlement and 419. Hence a big hindrance towards the nation’s political development. This prevalence of corruption which has affected the development of our community is the major problem that led to this study. Observation has shown that Nigeria provides a suitable and comfortable environment that best thrive corruption in any society.

Also necessary, is the evaluation of public officials and agencies’ performance to ascertain if there is need to train them for sound services.

Finally, it is imperative to say that to alleviate corruption and its effects in Nigeria, there is a need for qualitative re-structuring of our social, economic and political structures. Hence, the nature of this work.

 

1.2    DEFINITION OF TERMS

There are different words/terms that are relevant in this work. it will be good to define them as they relate to the context of this work. they are to be explained one after the other.

A:      BRIBERY – This is an act of giving, promising and offering somebody something in order to influence him or persuade him to do something wrong in favour of the giver.

B:      CORRUPTION – This is a denial of justice, fairness, and good will. An inducement to secure services or goods.

C:      DEVELOPMENT – This is the manipulation of the resources (material and non material) of a given environment or society to enhance the quality of life of its people.

D:      EMBEZZLEMENT – This is an act of illegal use of money placed in one’s care either for safety or project for one’s own selfish benefit.

E:      PATRIOTISM – This is an act of strongly supporting one’s own country.

F:      POLITY – This is a form or process of government.

G:      POLITICS – This is the activity through which people make, preserve and amend the general rules under which they live.

H:      INEPTITUDE – This is an unskilful act of doing something or saying something at the wrong time.

I:        419 – This is an inducement in cash, skills or by craft means to secure services, goods, money (through duping) from public officials, individuals, or agencies through illegitimate or unlawful or irregular means.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Corruption is a cankerworm, which has not only eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society, but also soiled the character and personality of every Nigerian therefore, the main thrust, aims and objectives of this study is not just to demonstrate that there is corruption in Nigeria but also to try to unveil its causes, forms and manifestations as much as their corresponding solutions.

By so doing, it is hoped that it might help in reassessing, redirecting, as well as re-orientating the minds of both the citizens and their leaders towards becoming better Nigerians – that will become a pride of future generations. It also aims at finding a lasting solution to the evils of corruption as much as it will serve as a source of research problem to future researchers.

  • FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESES

I propose the following hypotheses which will be tested empirically in the course of this study.

(1)     Corruption does exist in Nigeria

(2)     The public office holders are more corrupt than the non public office holders

(3)     Corruption has hindered the political development of Ebonyi State

(4)     Corruption has serious negative consequences on the society.

1.5    SCOPE OF STUDY

Corruption is a universal phenomenon, it exists in all societies and is as old as power itself. Only the forms and manifestations of corruption have been continually changing. The phenomenon of corruption has in recent time emerged as singularly distinguishing feature of developing countries, despite its existence even in the developed societies. But for the purpose of this study, Ebonyi State has been chosen as a unit of analysis to study the extent to which corruption has destroyed the fabrics of the Nigerian society and the extent to which it has equally soiled the character and personality of every Nigerian.

Therefore, this study will only try as much as possible to cover Ebonyi State with respect to the effect of corruption on the political development of Nigeria.

The results/findings of this work will help us to understand the nature and contents of the said problem in other states in Nigeria.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

My strong belief is that corruption is endemic in Nigeria. It is one of the biggest national problems that besiege the Nigerian nation. It is a national disease that has pervaded all the facets of life in Nigeria since independence. It has so much been institutionalized that it appears to be an official policy in both the public and private sectors. To this effect, this study will go a long way not only to demonstrate that there is corruption in Nigeria but to try as much as possible to unveil its causes, forms and manifestations. By so doing, I trust that it will help in reassessing, redirecting as well as reorientating the minds of both the citizens and their leaders towards becoming better Nigerians that will become the pride of future generations.

It is also my intention that subsequent researchers will find this work beneficial for further research problems and solutions. This means that the work will be of both theoretical and practical significance.

Theoretically, this study will go a long way through its recommendations and way forward to bring to limelight the need to have visionary leaders who will place the interest of the nation first above all other considerations and the need to rise to their responsibility in this respect and demonstrate in their lives higher and more lasting values. Leadership by example is therefore one of the significances of this study.

Practically, this study will through its recommendations make every effort to dismantle the structural defects that have produced and perpetuated corruption in Nigeria rather than a simple identification, condemnation and punishment of the corrupt actors involved.

Secondly, it will teach all Nigerians to say no to corruption and to also impact a dynamic educational philosophy which will give them a new awareness of self, a novel sense of dignity and altogether new life and value system.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What is this corruption and to what extent has it hindered the political development of Ebonyi State?
  2. What is the nature of corruption in Nigeria?
  3. What are the characteristics of corruption in Nigeria?
  4. Are there conditions under which corruption could be at all?
  5. What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria?
  6. How many Ebonyians feel the negative impact of corruption and how far has it affected their political participation in Nigeria?
  7. What effects has it left on the political development of Nigeria?
  8. What are the solutions and the way forward to corrupt practices in Nigeria?
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