CORRUPTION AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The study seeks to examine the effects of corruption on economic development in Nigeria. It highlights the probable root – causes of corruption, and the likely factors that give vent to its exacerbation in the Nigerian economy. The study examines the apparent machinery through which corruption impairs economic development in Nigeria. To meaningfully curb corruption in Nigeria, a selfless, disciplined, and visionary leadership is inevitable. The Nigerian judicial system should make the courts to, indeed, function as “courts of justice”, and allow the law to be practically “blind” in its operations. More so, Nigeria’s mode of production should change from the one (the present), which engenders and supports income inequality among the people to the one characterized by equity and justice in the distribution of national output. For without which, anti – corruption strategies adopted in Nigeria will have very little or no effect, and corruption will not attenuate, but rather it will accentuate.
1.1 Background of the study
Corruption is a persistent issue in Nigeria. Corruption is a form of anti-social behavior by an individual or social group which confers unjust or fraudulent benefits on its perpetrators, is consistent with the established legal norms and prevailing moral ethos of the land and is likely to subvert or diminish by capacity of the legitimate authorities to provide fully for the material well- being of all the members of society in a just and equitable manner. President Muhammadu Buhari defined Corruption as the greatest form of human right Violation. Since the Creation of Modern Public Administration in the Country, there have been cases of official misuse of funds and resources. The rise of public Administration and the discovery of oil and National Gas are two major events seen to have led to the increase in corrupt practices in the country. However, this is attributed to colonialism. According to this view, the nation’s colonial history may have restricted any early influence in an ethnical revolution; “the trappings of flashy cars, houses and success and to emulate the colonists in different political ways”. Involvement in the agenda of colonial rule may inhibit idealism in the early stages of the nascent nation’s development. A view commonly held during the colonial days was that colonistfr property (cars, houses, farms etc) is not “our” property. The issue of embezzlement and fraudulent activities, mismanagement, economic corruption, lack of accountability and transparency continues to elude a country like Nigeria ever since her independence. It’s mitigating the entire population both at the grass roots up to the political levels. Even the mentally deterred people in the country could recognize the havoc caused by corruption. Evidence abound that the rate of corruption especially financial crimes like advanced fee fraud fondly known as 419 and money laundering committed in Nigeria is alarming. Nigerian’s are treated with suspicion in all business dealings within and outside the country, making majority of honest Nigerians suffer the result. In regards to this, hassan (2004), opined that the federal government should try to implement an intensive programme of eradicating the menace of corruption in the country. This is because, it has the political will to achieve this objective. The most relevant effort is the creation of EFCC. The EFCC was established by an act of parliament on December 13th 2002 by the federal government they began full operation in 2003. It has support from the presidency, the legislature, security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. The commission is primarily charged with the responsibility of eradicating all the economic and financial crimes such as: advanced fee fraud, money laundering, counterfeits, future market fraud, fraudulent encashment of negotiable instrument, computer credit card fraud, contracts scam, and embezzlement of public funds and illegal acquisition of company shares which do not exist to investors. According to ajaero (2004), our politicians are also not exempted in this financial crime. In Nigeria today, people see politics as a short cut to becoming a millionaire. Those voted into power use it as an opportunity of looting the public funds, diverting them to their personal account instead of providing the people with dividends of democracy. According to bajo (2004), corruption has continued to be a destructive element in the government of Nigeria and the perception of the country in the community of nations. It has resulted to a lot of problem, thus: loss of government, brain drain, electoral malpractices and absence of law and orders. Thus, vandalism and looking of public property was not seen as a crime against society. This view is what has degenerated into the more recent disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public goods as a collective national property. The government has aimed at containing through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems, but success has been slow. As at 2012, Nigeria is estimated to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since independence. Many attributed this to flagrant graft and exists in the country. Many blamed greed and Ostentatious life-style as a potential root cause of these problems. The effects of corruption on the socio-economic landscape of any society can be so devastating that noting meaningful works in the midst of this malaise.
In the midst of all the strands of corruption it can be said that political corruption predominates. And this area of study constitutes the potential issue of study. This is because those at all helm of affairs of government, the political elite accounts for the sharing and allocation of values in the society. This misallocation of these values and resources seem to be at the heart of Nigerian’s Socio-Economic problems upon which multidimensional social vices the country passes through. But for the purpose of this work we shall limit it to Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Corruption in Nigeria exists at a learning proportion. In government it thrives in the area of project costing, ghost workers syndrome, contract awards and their subsequent abandonment; payment of huge sum of money to political godfathers, embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds. The result or consequences of these acts has been total insecurity, poor economic management, abuse of human rights, ethnic conflicts, capital flight, poverty and the enormous wealth inequality in Nigeria are deeply rooted in political corruption. It has remained a major challenge against Nigerian’s lack of appreciable socio-economic development especially in Akwa Ibom State given its rich endowment in both human and material resources.
The questions is, how has corruption hinders the socio-economic development of Akwa Ibom State despite its huge resources.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study adopted the following objectives
1. To identify the consequences of corruption on life substances, self-esteem and freedom of Akwa Ibom people.
2. To ascertain the level of poverty among the people caused by corruption.
3. To find out the level of explication and infrastructure decay on the state.
4. To suggest ways of combating corruption in the land.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: there is no significant relationship between corruption and economic growth in Nigeria
H1: there is a significant relationship between corruption and economic growth in Nigeria
H02: corruption has not led to infrastructural decay in the country
H2: corruption has led to infrastructural decay in the country
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
This research work is to serve as a valuable tool, as it would be a useful document for future studies. In addition, this study will provide a framework for dealing with the problems of corruption and socio-economic development, in Akwa Ibom State, if the suggestions offered are adhere to. It would also be a veritable input to government officials in making decision concerning corruption.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study was on aspect or form of corruption and socio-economic development of Akwa Ibom State 1999-2011. It will examine the consequences on the socio-economic development of Akwa Ibom People.
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Corruption is a form of dishonesty undertaken 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
Economic development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Socioeconomics is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes.
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 hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights 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.