Short Essay On Corruption In Nigeria

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DEFINITIONS

Etymologically, corruption is derived from a Latin word “corruptus” which means to break or destroy. Literally, corruption means to break away or depart from morality, ethics and civic virtues. Further explanation of each of these words will give us better understanding and insight, 1. Morality implies: morals, principles, values, goodness, decency, probity, honesty, integrity etc. 2. Ethics means: moral code, belief, tradition practices, habits, conventions, customs, laws rules, regulations, commandments, decrees. 3. Civic virtues: public opinion of merit and quality. Going by the above definition corruption is a break away from what is good and right.  Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary on the other hand defines corruption as Dishonesty (which in other words is deceitfulness, fraudulence, lying, untruthfulness, treachery, duplicity).

The Word Bank defines corruption as “the abuse of public office for private gains. Public office is abused for private gain when an official accepts, solicits or extorts a bribe. It is also abused when private agents actively offer bribes to circumvent public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit. Public offices can also be abused for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs through patronage and nepotism, the theft of state asserts or the diversion of state revenue.”

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia defines it as “wrongdoing by those in a special position of trust. The term is commonly applied to self – benefiting conduct by public officials and others dedicated to public services”

Section 2 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission Act 2000 defines corruption to include “bribery, fraud and other related offences”. The most common type of corruption by this definition is bribery – which refers to the giving or taking of money or any kind of favour in return or exchange for undue advantage over other people. Other types include: abuse of power in any form or degree, extortion, embezzlement, inflation of contracts, kickbacks, diversion of funds, falsification or suppression of record, perversion of justice, electoral malpractices, examination malpractices, drug trafficking, money laundering, abuse of selection processes, nepotism, sexual exploitation, gratification and so on.

 

 

 

CAUSES OF CORRUPTION

Corruption is caused generally by greed, lack of positive values, porous system, weak enforcement and oversight mechanisms, excessive materialism, societal pressure, lack of virile welfare structures, insecurity of employment tenure, indiscipline, Inordinate desire for wealth accumulation (get-rich-quick-syndrome), poverty of the mind, nepotism (partiality, favoritism, preferential treatment, bias, discrimination etc), and lack of genuine fear of God. These and many more will be discussed in subsequent editions in detail.

EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION

Effects of corruption to the nation in general, to the port system in particular and to us as a people is colossal; for example:

  • It undermines the national image- a corruption ridden country stinks in the comity of nations and meaningful investments cannot be attracted nor developmental cooperation can be established because every Nigerian is viewed as corrupt and dubious outside. For instance, Nigeria has been consistently ranked among the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International.

 

  • It threatens the very survival of a nation as it prevents the provision of basic social amenities for the citizenry. The money meant for development is often pocketed by a few thereby making good governance impossible. It has affected our health sectors not to talk of our educational institutions. As at today, not even one of the Universities in Nigeria is rated among the first 200 in the world and none is rated among the best in Africa. Corruption generally erodes standards to abysmal levels. Quality of goods and services cannot be guaranteed in a corrupt society.

 

  • Corruption aggravate unemployment and under development.

 

  • It engenders mass poverty and thwart efforts to overcome it.

 

  • Most infrastructural decay and unsatisfactory provision of amenities can be traced directly or indirectly to corruption. There is a total collapse of power and road net work in the country today due to corrupt attitude of past leaders.

 

  • It erodes the ethical base of society: -as due diligence, excellence, honesty, merit and integrity are discouraged.

 

  • It breeds all kinds of crimes and vandalism – arm robbery, kidnapping, youth agitation etc.

 

  • It lead to massive brain drain – a great number of Nigeria best brains have been driven to other part of the world where they now spearhead developmental and scientific exploits.

Corruption in Nigeria

Corruption is the bane of Nigerian socio-economic development, which threatens the existence of Nigeria as a political entity. It is therefore imperative that all and sundry should engage in anti-corruption struggle. This paper examines the state of the country‟s media from the perspective of media practitioners. Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon and there is hardly any society without one form of corruption or the other. Corrupt practices did not begin today; history is as old as the human race. The menace called corruption is a big problem in Nigeria.

The menace called corruption is a big problem in Nigeria. M.Watts (2008:47) affirms that “effects of corruption in the Nigerian society can not be overemphasized”. Corruption is indeed a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigerian society. It is a monster that all and sundry blame for the economic woes facing the country. This is because corruption is seen as one of the major impediments to the economic development of the nation. It is perhaps, the only reason why nothing seems to be working. In fact, corruption European Scientific Journal is threatening the existence of Nigeria as an entity. Nearly every sphere of human endeavor is affected by corruption. And no profession is spared either.

Interestingly, successive governments pursued policies against corruption and it was the main reason why the military made incursions into politics. Despite various policies adopted by governments, corruption is ever increasing in the country. Nigeria is said to have generated huger revenue during this current political dispensation than at other times of her history. This is so because of the rising price of crude oil in the international market since 1999.

I wish to state categorically that the Nigerian government will show it is prepared to fight corruption, when it starts the fight from the justice administration system. Until judges are stopped from being corrupt they will not have the moral capital to be just! By the structure and composition of the Judicial System, the professionals there have more to lose when scandals break out and trials commence. If there is nothing to gain, the judiciary can be relied on to deliver justice. Right now the professionals in the judiciary are relying on the cooperation of their cohorts in the executive and legislative arms to hide them. If the search light is turned on the judiciary, it will easily turn a new leaf. The same applies to the police, SSS and the ministries of justice. Consider this statement common to the police: "no one is a saint"; it is just an apologia for their own corruption.

Nigeria today is a nation at crossroads, struggling against all forms of vices. The country‟s media practitioners had at one time struggled for the political emancipation of the country, at another time, the media fought for the unity of the nation during a devastating 30-month civil war. One of the major issues that should engage the attention of the media today is the anti-corruption war. There is therefore no gain saying the fact that all hands need to be on deck so that the anti-corruption war could be won.

How much Nigeria would succeed in the current battle depends largely on how effective the media would be. The media profession is expected to be above board so that journalists could confidently champion the anti-corruption campaign. Though some media outfits realized this demand and some efforts have been channeled towards this in recent times, it is pertinent to know how the corruption issue is being handled in most media organizations in Nigeria.

 

RECCOMENDATIONS

1. To check corruption which has assumed epidemic proportions in the public services of this country, it is imperative for the National Assembly to amend the CCB Act to provide that:

a. All political appointees should declare their assets annually by making annual asset returns every January, (ala tax returns) because the extant provision that requires assets declaration every four years have several loop holes that are being exploited by public servants.

b. The CCB should create a unit within it for the continuous tracking of assets returns of politicians holding public office, senior civil and public servants, etc, similar to what the CBN does to check money laundering through the banks; 

 

2. Reform the Justice Delivery system by replacing the status quo with a jury verdict system, through the ongoing constitution amendment process. You can trust the people to do justice to those who are corrupt, as members of a jury!

 

3. Make it mandatory for the police to release everyone arrested without warrant within 12 hours. Remove their discretion to detain anyone beyond 12 hours except for crimes such as treasonable felonies and murders. This is vital because abuse of human rights and "sale of bail" is a lucrative practice in ALL divisions and units of the police. What obtains now is that the report of a crime in any neighborhood is an invitation for the police to line their pockets through indiscriminate arrest of everyone in that neighborhood for "bail rent".

 

4. Routinely and quarterly, the Attorney-General/DPP/Justice departments should vet all occupants of police detention cells, custody rooms and those in prisons awaiting-trial to deliver innocent Nigerians from the corruption and inhumanity of the police.

 

It is time to fight for the soul of Nigeria. And it must, of necessity, start from its primary custodians: the justice administration system stakeholders. This is necessary in order to invest our justice delivery system operatives with the moral capital required to effectively do their jobs.

 

In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that the fight against corruption in Nigeria needs real patriots, men and women who are committed to the Nigerian project, not immoral personalities who want to serve their own or narrow group interests. It takes high moral rectitude to exercise the moral strength required to be an anti-corruption crusader in this country. That is why we say that given the high level of corruption in the Nigerian police, the Immigration Service, the Customs Service, the Prisons Service, the SSS, the Courts, etc, they cannot effectively fight corruption and other crimes.

Case Type

Fraud

Web References

No References

Corruption is defined as “the lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain. (Word.net). It is the unscrupulous use of one’s position to derive profit or advantages.”  In Nigerian context, I will further define corruption as an abuse of privilege conferred on an individual by a family, community or a larger society. The larger society may be town, local government, state or the country as a whole. No country on earth is corruption free. However, through vigorous application of laws and regulations it could be minimized or reduced to a manageable level.

A lot of very good articles have been written on the relationship between high level of corruption and underdevelopment. It is an understatement to say that the level of African development is attributable to the level of corruption found in the continent. Yet in Africa, some countries are doing a good job in trying to reduce the level of corruption in those countries. With this brief introduction, I will go into the main caption of my article which is ‘Corruption – the Monster that has handcuffed Nigeria.’ In my article I will discuss the various forms of corruption, how each has contributed to the destruction of the Nigerian society and I will suggest ways to minimize or reduce corruption to free Nigeria from its debilitating effect. The various forms of corruption that I will discuss include the following: political corruption, educational corruption, religious corruption, and economic/financial corruption.

POLITICAL CORRUPTION

Political corruption is when an elected officer who lacks integrity or honesty uses his or her office or position for personal or ethnic gain.  In Nigeria, the various forms of political corruption that is being perpetrated include bribery, subversion of the people’s mandate through election rigging, too much concentration of power, nepotism, cronyism, and mediocrity. If political corruption can be minimized or reduced in Nigeria, all the other forms of corruption can be controlled. In Nigeria, the political class controls virtually every aspect of decision making including the economy. The concentration of the economic decision making in the hands of the political class has brought with it an unprecedented level of corruption that is arguably one of the worst if not the worst in the world.

Bribery

In Nigeria, the Naira must exchange hands before anything can get done. Because this is so institutionalized, doing business with the public sector is a daunting process unless one is ready to succumb and comply. In the section dealing on how to drastically reduce corruption in Nigeria, I will make suggestions but I will support my argument that the public sector of Nigeria is very corrupt with two simple but true examples. One of the examples is from Mr. X and the other is from Mr. Y. Mr. Y retired on June 30, 2006 at the age of 55 in the U.S. and prior to his retirement, he completed his paperwork which included direct deposit of his monthly retirement income to the appropriate authority. He mailed his completed application form and never came across people who were responsible for processing the application forms. At the end of July 2006, on the very day that his retirement income was supposed to be in his bank account, the money was there. For almost three years now the monthly retirement income has not failed to be in his account. Contrast this to Mr. X who retired at the end of 2008 at the age of 60 in Nigeria. Up till June 2009, his file is still crawling from one table to another. It took over three months after he retired before the retirement forms were made available to him to complete. He did not even receive his last month income (December 2008) and despite the fact that he has not received any money from the government since six months, he is expected to grease the palms of the people who are paid to process the retirement applications. I used these two simple but true examples to highlight the difficulties Nigerians face daily as a result of institutionalized corruption. Immediately after Nigeria gained her independence, people were afraid of taking bribe from people they did not know for fear of being arrested for bribery. In those days people were afraid of ‘marked money’ which the CIDs used to trace and arrest individuals who took bribe from the public as an inducement to do the work they were paid to do. These days, the people who are paid to enforce the law against bribery are themselves the chief law breakers.

Subversion of the People’s Mandate through Election Rigging

In any democratic set up, the power to let people know that they are performing, not performing or underperforming is through the ballot box. If elected office holders are answerable to the electorate, the fear of not being re-elected due to nonperformance or underperformance would make those elected official perform to earn the trust and respect of the electorate. If the people’s will is subverted, the main tenet of democracy is destroyed and when this happens, the elected officials will no longer be accountable to the electorate. Either through god- father connection or strong-arm by the political party in power, the electorate is sidelined and the attendant crushing corrupting environment is what is being experienced today in Nigeria.

Too Much Concentration of Power

The saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” is being experienced in Nigeria. There is no place where this statement has affected the people’s way of life and the economy than in Nigeria. At the federal level, the presidency wields enormous power. The other two branches of government that are supposed to counter-balance the power of the presidency are mere observers. At the state level, the governor wields enormous power and just like its federal counterpart, the other two branches of government that are supposed to counter-balance the governor’s power are mere observers. The presidency controls who gets what and how much without much input from the legislative arm. The same scenario happens at the state level.

Nepotism

In Nigeria, in virtually most of the cases, one has to know somebody in authority to influence employment decision before one gets employed especially in lucrative jobs. This type of action breeds incompetence and hostile work environment. Most of these individuals come into the work environment with chips on their shoulders and find it difficult to play by the rules.

Cronyism

Cronyism is the appointment of a friend or a relative to a position of trust regardless of whether or not the person is qualified. It has been alleged that some openings are left unfilled until the friends or relatives of the friends of those responsible for the hiring are available. Some vacancies are left open for friends who are still in college. If Nigeria is to advance economically, this type of practice must be abolished and vacant positions must be open to competition and the best candidate hired for the job. This practice together with nepotism is partially responsible for the brain drain that is happening in Nigeria. Nigeria cannot afford to lose her highly educated and well trained workforce to outsiders. Even when these individuals are educated and trained abroad, it will be in Nigeria’s interest to do whatever in her power to lure these individuals back to help develop the economy.

Mediocrity

Nepotism and cronyism breed mediocrity. Nigerian leaders must open their eyes and see the harm that nepotism, cronyism and mediocrity are doing to the economy. Productivity is sacrificed in the altar of inefficiency. If Nigerian leaders want Nigerians to be patriotic, the way they do things must change otherwise no amount of slogan or re-branding will make people patriotic. A nation is like a family. If your children watch you as parents waste the resources that are meant for their upbringing and you turn around to preach to them the virtue of being resourceful, your children will look at you and wonder if you are insane. Nigerian leaders must stop encouraging mediocrity by employing the best for the good of the economy. After all, if the economy grows, more people will benefit.

EDUCATIONAL CORRUPTION

In the 1960s and 1970s graduates from Nigerian High Schools (Secondary Schools) were regarded very highly all over the world. Many universities abroad were eager to welcome Nigerian high school graduates because of the reputation and the quality they brought to those institutions. Many parents, who did not have money to send their children to school borrowed, sold land and other properties to send their children to school. Education was pursued by many as a stepping stone to wealth and social status. Parents were ready to sacrifice to see their children move up to the elite status as a result of acquiring good education. Today, the reverse is the case. Many foreign universities are leery of accepting Nigerian high school graduates because the experience has soured. Parents are leery of sending their children to higher institutions because when they finish school, there will be no job for them. What is it that brought Nigerian’s educational sector to this pathetic stage?  The reasons are not far fetched.  They include the following: Lack of adequate funding, corrupt ministry of education officials, payment for admission, attitude of the teachers, attitude of the students, parents’ nonchalant attitude, and sex for grade.

Lack of adequate funding

There is a saying ‘whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing very well.’ When corruption became institutionalized in Nigeria, the funding of education suffered. The political class decided that the money meant for education would be put to a better use if it is converted to personal or party use. The political class did not see education as a necessary tool in the development of the economy. Education became a privilege and no more a right for the citizens. The money to pay teachers became easy money for the political class. School buildings were left to decay and libraries and laboratories became nonexistent. Even school fees paid by students were embezzled by the political class or civil servants. This led to strikes or threat of strikes. Unfortunately for Nigeria, the world is a small village and the news of what is happening in the educational sector is known worldwide and that has affected the reputation of Nigerian schools especially the tertiary institutions.

Corrupt ministry of education officials

In addition to the political class underfunding education, the corrupt ministry of education officials makes educating the citizens difficult. The political class, because of the level of their corruption does not have the moral courage to police what is going on at the local government level.  The ghost worker situation is so pervasive and government auditors are willing to look the other way for pittance. Some headmasters are told to prepare the payroll in pencil and when the final payroll comes from the ministry in ink with different number of staff and different amount no body questions the discrepancy. Does anybody care? Who gets the money paid to non-existing staff?

Payment for admission

The amount of money that a prospective student is required to pay for admission to a university depends on the type of course the student will pursue. Students who want to become medical doctors are charged more than students who want to study any of the liberal arts. What does this say about the educational system? This means that in some cases the best and brightest students would not be given admission because they cannot afford to come up with the enormous amount required from them. Everybody loses, the student would not get admission because he/she does not have the money to pay and the economy loses because it is denied the services of its best. I am at a loss as to why this has been going on for some time without the government intervening.

Attitude of the teachers

I was shocked about the stories some students in the tertiary institutions told me. Even though the story that I heard may not be happening in all the tertiary institutions in the country, when it happens in one school, it is one school too many. The students told me that after they write their papers, they are expected to ‘Sort’ it. When I inquired what they mean by ‘Sort’, they told me that the student must give the teacher money for the teacher to grade the paper otherwise, the student will fail. I asked them what happens if the student is very smart and the answer was that it does not matter. One student said the more money you pay, the better your grade. My own relatives confirmed the story.

Some teachers insist that unless the student buys his/her teaching materials, the student will not pass the class. This type of arrogance has led to the demise of quality education in most of the tertiary institutions.

Attitude of the Students

Some of the students contribute to the degradation of the educational system. Since some students know that all it takes to pass a class is money, they will rather pay the money than attend classes and acquire sound education. The student is the greatest loser while the country also loses in terms of reputation and loss productivity. Some of these students end up in foreign countries and when they are employed based on their academic qualification they cannot produce at the desired level. This tarnishes the reputation of the country’s educational system.

Parents’ nonchalant attitude

Cultism and college prostitution may be reduced to a barest minimum if parents question their children on their abhorrent behavior or question them on how they come up with money to pay for their lavish lifestyle. Poverty and the level of corruption in the society have eroded the moral stand of many parents to question their children when they exhibit certain immoral behavior.

Sex for Grade

Sex for grade has been an issue that has bedeviled the educational system. While this may not be peculiar to Nigeria, the Nigerian situation is troubling because of the brazen nature with which the teachers approach this phenomenon. This sex for grade is directed mostly to the lady students. While most ladies find this repugnant, some actually enjoy it because of the power it gives them and the fact that they do not have to study to pass the class. The government cannot wish this away or pretend that it is not happening. It is happening and must be stopped. The moral implication for the country is enormous. Unless this is stopped, it will be self perpetuating and will have disastrous consequences for the education system, the economy and the family.

RELIGIOUS CORRUPTION

In South and Central America, the churches were and are still the advocates for social justice and equity. In Nigeria, some of the churches themselves have been compromised with money from corrupt politicians and even blood money. Why is this happening? Some of the churches or religious leaders are the products of the defective educational system that I have discussed in this article. When I go to church here in the U.S., I spend no more than one and a half hours but when I come back to Nigeria, the church goes for at least 4 hours. Every 30 minutes or so, there will be one form of fund raising or the other. Some of the old women who bear the brunt of the fund raising can hardly feed themselves and yet they overextend themselves because they have been meant to believe that their salvation depends on how much money they contribute. It is amazing that the almighty naira has found its power even in the church.  The psychological game being played on these wretched women is very unfortunate and when the country decides to change the level of corruption in the country the churches should not be spared.

ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL CORRUPTION

I will discuss the economic/financial corruption from the public and private sector perspective.

Public Sector Perspective

Unless Nigeria comes to grip with corruption, short term, medium term or long term economic planning will amount to nothing. As a result of the uncontrolled corruption in the country, money earmarked for projects are embezzled or misapplied. This process repeats itself project after project. That is the reason why energy a key component of economic development has been in disarray. The money and attention put in energy development would have yielded the desired result but for corruption in the public sector. No country can honestly aspire to develop without adequate supply of electricity. Electricity powers the manufacturing, telecommunication, educational and even the service sector. Nigerian manufacturers will continue to be placed in a competitive disadvantage unless the energy sector is developed.

Although, I am yet to fully understand how Nigeria plans for its economic development, however, this much I understand. Planning is mostly based on what makes sense ethnically instead of what makes sense economically.  In any well planned economy, diversification is emphasized. In Nigeria the opposite is the case. The congestion at the Lagos/Apapa Sea Port is as a result of poor planning. There is no reason why Calabar, Port Harcourt and Warri Sea Ports could not have been developed to international standard and ships diverted to those ports to ease congestion at the Lagos/Apapa Sea Port. Furthermore the much talked about dredging of the River Niger to make Onitsha and Lokoja inland sea ports have long been overdue. The economic multiplier effect to the entire economy could only be imagined.

Expanding the number of international airports in the country has also economic ramifications. In the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, there are three international airports all within few miles from each other. There is one in San Francisco, one in Oakland and one in San Jose. Nigeria must learn to let economic benefits to the country drive economic planning. There is no reason why a big country like Nigeria cannot have at least one fully functional international airport in each of the six zones. Nigeria needs a diversified economy not only to move away from one commodity economy but to increase revenue generation from other sources. In risk assessment, a company with one source of revenue or supplier is considered high risk because of what will happen to that company if either the supply source or revenue base is affected. If any natural disaster hits Lagos, Nigeria will suffer irreparable damage to the economy because of the concentration of industries in that one location. Diversifying the economic and industrial base in Nigeria does not only make economic sense, it is also a national security issue.

Private Sector Perspective

Like the public sector, the private sector has its own share of blame. For corruption to take place there must be willing participants. The political class would not have perfected this monster if the private sector is not giving them a helping hand. Who moves the huge amount of money that these people steal from the public from one location to another? The financial institutions have been willfully blind when it comes to the amount of money that flows into and out of their institutions. Part of this willful blindness could be traced to nepotism, cronyism and similar vices but greed among the financial institution employees is also a factor. The laundering of money through the financial institutions must be checked if Nigeria intends to wage honest war against corruption.

My Recommendations to Drastically Reduce Corruption

Nigeria knows exactly what to do to drastically reduce corruption but the political will is lacking. The political will is lacking because those who benefit from corruption are the ones who are looked upon to eradicate it. I have the privilege of talking with some members of the society who should do something about corruption. I have even met some of them here in the U.S. when they attended the Anti Money Laundering Conference in Las Vegas.

Short term Solutions:

Restructure the law enforcement and regulatory agencies that are charged with enforcing the laws against corruption in Nigeria. There are too many overlap, for example, the ICPC and EFCC have almost identical assignments. Some times these agencies are more interested in fighting the turf war than fighting to eradicate corruption. Secondly, it appears that the EFCC has its tentacle in every mundane financial crime in the country. When non financial institutions are quarreling the EFCC should not get involved. This type of issue should be handled by the police. The EFCC should concentrate its efforts on those in the political class that are stealing Nigeria dry and those in the financial institutions who are collaborating with them. The EFCC should redouble its effort to sanitize the financial institution in order to prevent them from being used both by the political class and others to launder money. The civil monetary penalty against UBA by U.S. regulators which has happened two years in a row is a slap on the Nigerian regulatory agencies. It shows that the Nigerian regulators are not doing their work otherwise UBA would not have exported its sloppy anti money laundering regime to the U.S.

The Chairman of EFCC should be appointed based on knowledge of what it takes to fight corruption and not restricted to individuals with law enforcement background. This will increase the pull of knowledgeable people that could be appointed to head the agency.

The CBN and other regulatory agencies must revamp, retrain and reorient its examination staff. Based on the level of corruption in the country, the examination staff should be at least doubled if not quadrupled to enable it perform optimally. The salary of the examination staff should be enough to discourage them from engaging in activities unbecoming of the level of professionalism expected of them. All the financial institutions in the country must be examined by these well trained and highly motivated examination staff no later than 2010. Thereafter, depending on the rating assigned to each financial institution, the frequency of future examination could be determined.

Nigeria should establish an agency that will be shrouded in secrecy with the responsibility of conducting undercover review and sting operations of both the examination staff and the financial institutions’ management staff who may want to compromise the examiners. This same agency will also have the same responsibilities over public officials. Nigeria is not the only corrupt country in the world, the difference is that while Nigeria celebrates public officials who loot public fund, many other countries jail or execute such people. After I retired and became a consultant for financial institutions I was surprised when some management staff of some of the institutions told me that it is good to have me on their side. They confessed that they are afraid of the unknown whenever examiners come to examine them. Nigerian regulators should evoke such fear on the regulated instead of being cozy with them.

Nigeria should use the undercover agency to flush out educators that either ask for money before grading students’ papers, demanding sexual favors from students before grading their papers, or demanding money from prospective students before offering them admission.

There are too many ghost workers in the system. Each ministry in order to entrench transparency must establish a crack team of auditors that will conduct surprise audit of the agency that they are charged to oversee. These auditors should also be monitored by the undercover agency.

Long term solutions

The primary school and high school curriculum should be updated to include discussion on the evil effect of corruption on the country. Nigerian children should learn from the early stages that corruption is bad.

The law enforcement and regulatory agencies should start to match the lifestyle of the political class and the top management of the private sector with how much they are paid. If there is a discrepancy between the two, the undercover agency should be alerted to conduct undercover operation. If the individual is engaging in activities unbecoming of his/her office, the individual should be arrested and the arrest widely publicized to serve as a deterrent.

Conclusion

This article is not intended to provide solutions to all of the problems ailing Nigeria. However, my intent is to highlight some of the negative effects that the cancer of corruption has wrought on Nigeria and to offer a few suggestions on how to combat it. There are many other negative effects that can be traced to corruption such as loss of respect among nations and lack of patriotism by the masses among many. God has endowed Nigeria with both human and material resources and until Nigeria arrests the runaway corruption in the system, Nigeria will continue to be mired in perpetual underdevelopment.  Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest threat to national security and the political class who are eager to accuse everybody else but themselves about the threat to national security would be wise to honestly and truly fight corruption in order to better the lots of the people.

About the author.

Amadiebube Robert Mbama is the founder and owner of MBAMA & Associates LLC, a USA based Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, Office of Foreign Asset Control and other regulatory consulting company. He is a certified public accountant, an associate chartered accountant (ICAN), a certified financial forensic and certified anti money laundering specialist. For more information please visit www.mbamaassociates.com.

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