Corruption, A Disease to Nigeria Economy

Yusuf Abdulbasit Hozaifah

Yusuf Abdulbasit Hozaifah

Corruption is the single tremendous obstacle preventing Nigeria from accomplishing its enormous potential. It depletes billions of dollars a year from the country’s economy, stymies advancement, and weakens the social contract between the government and its people. Nigerians view their country as one of the world’s most corrupt and struggle daily to cope with the effects. Yet few logical tools exist for examining the full range and knottiness of corruption in Africa’s largest economy and most populous country. This paper proposes a new, context-specific framework for understanding a problem that will remain a focus of international and domestic Nigerian policy discussions for decades to come.
Transparency International (TI) has issued its Corruption Perceptions Index. As in prior years, its citizens together with a selection of international organizations perceive Nigeria as one of Africa’s most corrupt countries. Nigeria’s ranking—146 out of 180 countries surveyed worldwide—is little changed from years past. TI measures the perception of corruption, not corruption itself, in the public sector. (It does not measure the perception of corruption in the private sector.) The current low ranking is no surprise. Nigerians commonly regard the state as corrupt, and President Buhari campaigned successfully for the presidency in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform.
The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories in the index. People most commonly define corruption as the “abuse of entrusted power for private gain,” and government officials and citizens feel its effects on a daily basis. It is a growing political issue around the globe, but developing countries like Nigeria often struggle deeply to control or combat corruption.
Corruption is a crucial obstacle to business in Nigeria: companies are very likely to encounter bribery and other corrupt practices. Corruption risks are growing throughout all institutions but the oil sector is particularly corrupt. Corruption is criminalised primarily by the Criminal Code and the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act. Accepting or giving gifts as well as facilitation payments are illegal, and individuals can be punished with up to 7 years’ imprisonment. Despite a strong legal framework, enforcement of anti-corruption legislation in Nigeria remains weak: in practice, gifts, bribery and facilitation payments are the norm.
Nigeria has executed a fixed exchange rate for its currency, the naira, in hopes of preventing further inflation from corruption. The naira is currently one of the lower performing currencies in the world largely due to prolonging corruption in Nigeria. This new rate has caused prices of imported goods to double and inflation to impale.
Corruption in Nigeria has neither improved nor declined in score over the past several years. Typically, the country’s score varies from 25-28 any given year. Although there has not been a sharp increase or decrease, Nigeria still ranks below the average of 32 for the sub-Saharan African region.
Nigeria has two major political parties: the All Progressive Congress party (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). These parties are almost comparable in platforms but still oppose one another. Each party often increases corruption in Nigeria by taking up misappropriated public reserves to run obstructing campaigns.
Entrepreneurs generate 50 per cent of the GDP in Nigeria but often face deception and racketeering from police forces. Federal legislators have diverted $433 billion to vague projects in the past several years. This hurts small businesses in the country and allows corruption in the government to continue.
Corruption in Nigeria affects poorer families most severely. These high levels of corruption could cost individuals $1,000 per person by 2030 if the country does not address it. Further, the levels of imbalance continue to increase in the country due to corruption.
Government offices are abused and misused when these individuals at the helms of these government offices gives out payoffs to hijack government policies for personal gains. Irrespective of these, government positions are offended for private gain even though there were no bribery cases. This is because the stealing of state assets and resources has been identified as one of the major means corruptions are measured which creeps into the public sector of any country.

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Professor Jideofor Adibe


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