An Assessment of corruption and good governance in Nigerian Fourth Republic
In every society and community, there are certain behaviours, which are very much detested in the course of interpersonal relationships, and group behaviour. The behaviours include cheating, lying, etc. These behaviours which have moral, ethical, legal and religious implications are detested because they are inimical to proper and decent standards. The pattern of that encapsulates all this detested attitude is corruption (Omoluabi, 2007:3).
Corruption is a household name in every society nowadays and the negative impact it has on the socio-economic and political setting of a country can hardly be over emphasized. There has been a global cry and coordinated efforts to tackle this social evil through the creation and implementation of anti-graft laws and policies across nations. Some nations have been successful in their quest to reduce the level of corruption while others are still lagging behind. In this light, Nigeria seems to be an example of a state that failed in combating corruption. From the common man in the street to the highest political figure, corruption is recurrent in almost every transaction in the Nigerian society.
Within the last one decade, the issue of corruption and good governance has taken the centre stage in development discourse worldwide. Corruption is shaking the foundation of the nation as there is no sector that is not affected by this monster. The challenges of corruption remain a major devastating issue facing Nigeria since the colonial period, although, this phenomena has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our system (Muhammed, 2013:120).
Over the years, public sector in Nigeria has been characterized largely by ineffectiveness and inefficiency. The situation is not different in other African countries. High-level corruption has been identified as being responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment and growing crimes rates. It is instructive to note that the Nigerian government and citizens have not totally committed themselves to introducing and implementing measures that can prevent or drastically reduce the extent and consequence of corruption in the country. That is not to say that laws, institutions and programmes for controlling corruption have not been introduced by successive governments. On the contrary, every Nigerian government since 1975 introduced elaborate laws and programmes, only for officials to turn such programmes into fertile opportunity for corrupt practices and enrichment. Consequently, there has been a geometrical growth in the rate of corruption in the country (Etannibi, 2002:2).
Etannibi (2002:9) also claimed that corruption is the source of many socio- economic and political problems that have militated against the attainment of economic development, equity, social justice, political integration and stability as well as democracy in Nigeria. The employment, promotions, postings and deployment processes in the federal service are riddled with corruption, and it was estimated that Nigeria had lost to corruption as much as $400 billion between 1966 and 1999. Yet corruption in Nigeria preceded 1966 and has continued ever since beyond 2007 with
greater ferocity and intensity (Olokor, 2013:2). Since the return of the country to civil rule on May 29, 1999, the Nigerian government has taken a number of measures to address the problems of corruption and bad governance in the country. Despite the successes attained by these measures, the situation remains unacceptable as corruption continues to permeate and pervade every facet of national life in Nigeria.
In this research article, the data for the study were basically selected from secondary materials such as textbooks, internet materials, newspapers, magazines, and journals articles, etc, through a systematic qualitative content analysis.