See the 15 ways to tackle corruption in Nigeria. Here you will find the many definitions of corruption, types of corruption, causes of corruption, effects of corruption and ways to combat it.
Most parts of the world see Nigerians as “fantastically corrupt” to quote Mr. David Cameron the former Prime Minister of Britain. This belief hinders you when you travel and carry out international trade.
In the paragraphs below, you will see the ways to tackle corruption. We will define it; examine the types, causes, and the ways to tackle it.
By the end of the article, you will be able to spot the effect a change of attitude by political leaders has in transforming your life, behavior of citizens and the image of Nigeria.
Keep these thoughts on your mind as we begin.
Corruption is lying for personal gain, giving or taking bribe, committing fraud by deceiving someone to get money or other gain, favoring relatives and friends with jobs they are not qualified to do.
Other definition of corruption includes misuse of funds for a project, altering facts and figures on purpose and inducing others to commit a wrong act.
There are many types of corruption. They are political, economic, bureaucratic, judiciary, moral and electoral.
Let us clarify the various types of corruption.
There are many causes of corruption. Some causes are greed, poverty, and lack of moral values, economic insecurity, un-patriotism, and unusual desire for material wealth.
The effects of corruption include lack of development, high crime and prostitution rate, and lack of moral value in the society, poor image of the country, dishonesty, unemployment, and poverty to mention but a few.
The following are ways to tackle corruption in Nigeria. If you use them, you will see quick results.
To stop corruption have good leaders in government. If leaders lead with conscience, their followers will copy their good qualities and behave well.
To tackle corruption, pay living wages to employees in the private and public sectors.
Employees live on salaries. If the salary is poor, this will make some of them to find other ways (i.e. collect bribes) to make ends meet.
For example, the minimum wage for public servants in Nigeria is N18,000.00 and inflation rate is over 18% per annum as at January 2017. With high inflation rate, employees earning N18,000, will find it very hard to survive.
Efficient tax collection process will encourage the private sector to pay tax easily, produce more goods and services to employ more people.
Government earns major revenue by taxation. If the tax policy is fair, collection and payment process simple, corporate organizations will pay tax without paying bribe to tax officials.
If the roads, railways, waterways, and airways were in good order, most companies would not transport goods by road.
You are aware that security forces mount checkpoints on roads for your safety. If you move goods by road, it is a nightmare you want to wake quickly from, as you must pay bribe each time you pass.
To tackle corruption of security forces, government should make other means of transportation functional so that there will be few uniformed men on our roads. Even the airport and seaport, is no better.
Government should pass a law for tenants to pay monthly rents to their Landlords. To carry out this policy and make it succeed, government must build more houses to create a competition in the property market.
Secondly, government must set up an enforcement unit to make sure all Landlords comply.
The present system of taking yearly rent from employees that earn monthly salary contributes to corruption. This is unacceptable.
Giving housing loans to workers to get their own houses is one way to block the strong pull for corrupting activities.
If private and public service employees are, sure, they can work and get a mortgage (i.e. credit facility) to own their houses, corruption will drop in a huge way.
Giving employees health Insurance is another way to tackle corruption in Nigeria.
Government and companies should register their employees with health management organizations (HMO’s), so that when they fall sick, they have a hospital to go to without worrying about settlement of hospital bills.
Government should provide social security or welfare for unemployed citizens and the elderly, to give them basic needs of food and shelter.
This program will be able to stop employees from stealing at all cost to save for their retirement years.
You must punish offenders for breaking the law. A country that has laws but fail to enforce it is like one without any.
In Nigeria, some politicians and government officials steal from the people but no one will prosecute them, talk less of punish them. Because you fail to punish those caught committing corrupt acts, followers become shameless and commit the same crimes.
The most effective way to tackle corruption in Nigeria is to punish offenders. You must punish corrupt public officials caught in the act. There should be no sacred cows.
You must amend the constitution to make political appointments unattractive, if we want to tackle corruption in Nigeria.
We must reform the presidential system of government, and make it less flashy and the legislature part time.
Secondly, we should select Leaders who are ready to serve humbly, and make sacrifices.
Thirdly, the revenue mobilization and fiscal committee (RMAFC), should fix politicians pay, in line with the economic realities in Nigeria.
Finally, we should amend the requirements for contesting all leadership positions from councilor to president, to screen out morally unfit individuals who seek to lead solely for the benefits of office and as a means to wealth.
One more way to tackle corruption is to amend the constitution to make payment for expression of interest form to contest an election free.
If parties demand millions of naira from members to collect forms to contest an election, where would young adults and academicians who desire to contest for office, get the money to not only buy form but also campaign for the position they seek.
Remember that he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
If things remain the way they are, it means that whenever a candidate wins an election and enters office, he is already indebted to those that financed his or her political contest.
To stop this form of political corruption, all parties must make collection of form to contest for political office free.
The electoral body must probe all political party funds and restrict amounts parties can receive and what individual contestants, can use for their campaigns.
Secondly, political parties must disclose names of individuals who donate money to them and send list to the electoral body.
If the electoral bodies live up to their responsibilities, it will reduce corruption.
Nigeria should imitate the United States of America where we borrowed the presidential system of government, to include a clause for independent candidate in the constitution.
Doing this will reduce role of godfathers and a situation where a leader after assuming office, is indebted to some people that sponsored his or her elections and must give them over inflated contracts, and make donations from public money.
We should strengthen government agencies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Code of Conduct Bureau, with the powers to tackle corruption.
To succeed they must be independent.
To make the institutions independent, amend the constitution to provide for the appointment and removal of their principal officers by an independent body, and not by the president.
Government should mount campaigns to tell the people what corruption is, why they should run from it, how to report any corrupt public official and the reward for being a patriotic citizen.
If the campaigns continue and government officials do as they say, the attitude and behavior of many Nigerians will change for the better.
Citizens know the ways to tackle corruption in Nigeria but fail to change, because political leaders preach but refuse to do as they preach.
To tackle corruption, these four factors stand out; political leaders must lead by example, amending the constitution would help a great deal, you must punish offenders, and citizens can change if leaders change.
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