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15 Causes of corruption in Nigeria

Corruption has been a plague in Nigerian economic growth and development. In this post, we will look at the 10 possible causes of corruption in Nigeria. 

Nigeria Corruption Index and Statistics 

Transparency International annually publishes its Corruption Perception Index. It includes a range of countries, from the least corrupt to those with the most widespread corruption. Nigeria has continued to rank high on corruption and low on transparency in the world.

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The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) In the year 2000, Transparency International carried out a survey on the corruption levels of 90 countries, including Kenya, Cameroon, Angola, Nigeria, Côte-d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, India, Venezuela, Moldova, and others. At the end of the ranking, Nigeria was seen as the most corrupt in that ranking because the country occupied the 90th position in terms of transparency. Nigeria was the most corrupt country in the year 2000.

In 2001, Nigeria was ranked the second-most corrupt nation in the world out of 91 countries, falling only to Bangladesh. This shows that corruption in Nigeria improved by one step when compared with that of 2000.

Still from the same source, in the year 2002, Nigeria has again ranked the second-most corrupt country in the world, after the organization surveyed 102 countries. Nigeria was seen at the bottom, occupying the 101st position in terms of Confidence Interval (CI).

In 2003, Nigeria received the same ranking, making no improvements from 2003.

2004’s ranking showed a little improvement when compared to the past four years. Nigeria was ranked the third most corrupt country in the world in that year, performing better than Bangladesh and Haiti. That year, 146 nations were surveyed.

The record on the corruption in Nigeria really improved in 2005. The number of countries surveyed by the Transparency International was 158. Nigeria was ranked eighth most corrupt.

More countries were surveyed by Transparency International in 2006. 163 countries were surveyed that year. The results showed some improvement, and Nigeria was ranked the 21st most corrupt country in the world. Haiti was the world’s most corrupt nation that year.

Among the 180 countries surveyed in 2007, Nigeria ranked 147 on the table along side with Angola and Guinea-Bissau. This result shows that Nigeria was 33rd most corrupt country in the world.     he country scored 27/100 and was ranked 136th in 2016.

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Definitions of Corruption 

The New 7th edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines the term ‘corruption’ as: ‘1- dishonest or illegal behavior, especially of people in authority; 2- the act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral standards of behavior’.

Wikipedia puts it this way ‘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.’ This menace has eaten so deep into the Nigerian fabric that it is even regarded as the norm, and integrity the exception.

In any activity to be carried out in Nigeria, you are offered two options, that is, the normal and slow ones or grease the palms of the people with authority for a quick and possibly favorable response. As Wikipedia notes, Corruption in Nigeria is characterized by bribery and embezzlement.

The effect of corruption on the nation is slow or no growth in the Nigerian economy. Causes of corruption include but are not limited to: Poverty; Acceptance by the people; Personal greed; Poor Education; Poor youth empowerment; Unemployment; Love for ostentatious lifestyle; Colonialism; A lack of morals; Resources scramble; Ethnic difference; Poor pay and incentives; No sense of service; Lack of courage; Slow Judicial process; Lack of transparency.

Read Also: War against Corruption in Nigeria – Success so far, Challenges and Prospects

Causes of Corruption in Nigeria.

1. Poverty: When an individual is unable to provide even for his or her basic needs, that is, food, clothing and shelter, the get-rich-quick way of corruption becomes alluring.

2. Acceptance by the people- Corruption in Nigeria is so high it is almost regarded a norm. The people have accepted it to the society so, no one raises brows at the corrupt practices of others; in fact, not being corrupt is surprising. This is often the case where we see individuals who have been convicted of corruption with public titles and awards.

3. Personal greed: A desire to amass wealth and power either by hook or crook, without a care for law or rights is another cause of corruption in Nigeria.

4. Poor education: Either as a result of poor education or illiteracy, many people in the Nigerian society have no knowledge of the law, their duties and rights which makes infringement an easy task.

5. Poor youth empowerment: When the youths of the nation are left on their own to their own devices, they become tools easily manipulated by corrupt and powerful officials.

6. Unemployment: a lack of jobs and consequently pay leaves one on the brink of poverty, so in the desperate attempt to escape, one may indulge in corrupt practices.

7. Love for ostentatious lifestyle: A society with love for expensive items and flashy goods may indulge in corruption for continued maintenance of its ostentatious lifestyle.

8. Colonialism: a disregard for public goods and property is said to have stemmed from the colonial era when their goods were not seen as ours, as such destroying them was not regarded a crime.

9. Lack of morals: morals are standards or principles of good behavior. This lack can be seen in schools in form of examination malpractice; in politics in form of electoral malpractice. When the people lack a sense of a moral code of conduct, corruption reigns without inhibition.

10. Resources scramble: The discovery of crude oil in several states in Nigeria has led to a scramble for the wealth it offers. The environment is destroyed and people’s lives put at stake in a bid to mine and excavate.

11. Poor pay and incentives: underemployment and overexertion at work results in poor pay and incentives. It seems the level of work does not equate the pay. So in desperation and frustration, other methods to make money, be it illegal is sought.

12. No sense of service: There is no sense of service especially in government offices. The popular mindset of ‘ it is neither mine nor my father’s’ has left people with the mindset to work haphazardly and get as much money as possible while at it.

13. Lack of courage: There is a general fear to go against corrupt practices especially when it seems to pay to conform or there is a threat to life and property at any agitation.

14. Slow judicial process: The phrase goes ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. The slow judicial process of the legislative arm serves as an avenue for continued perpetuation of criminal acts since there is no swift action taken against corrupt practices.

Don’t Miss: 15 Ways to Tackle Corruption in Nigeria

15. Lack of transparency: Nigeria ranks low on the transparency range and if leaders have no one to answer to, they can perpetuate crimes without inhibition.

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Jessica Ezenagu

Jessica Ezenagu is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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