COMBATING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)
Despite the pervasive corruption in Nigeria, which led to the underdevelopment of its institutions and economy. There still some impediments on its effective administration and tackling of these menace. Which the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) is established to tackle it. The research work attempt to Combating Corruption In Nigeria: A Study Of Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , the research work was prompted by some major problems affecting economic and financial crimes commission in Nigeria such as poor administration corruption, political interference, etc, the objective is to evaluate the viability of economic and financial crimes commission on the elimination of corruption in Nigeria, identify significant measures taken by the economic and financial crimes commission in combating corruption in Nigeria and implication for improvement. The study employed the survey method and data was obtained from primary source using questions, the analyses were based on simple percentages and the hypothesis were analyzed using chi-square, the findings revealed that the activities of economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) have significantly reduce the rate of corruption in Nigeria. The study concluded that corruption will be reduced if economic and financial crimes commission is made effectively and efficiently in its activities. The study recommended that the economic and financial crimes commission from the executive, promptly prosecution of perpetrator of corrupt practices, adequate finding, independence of the judiciary should be available in addressing the issue of corruption in Nigeria.
Background to the Study
Corruption is one of the oldest and most perplexing phenomenon that exist in every human society. It is the most dangerous social ills of any society. This is because, corruption like a deadly virus, attacks the vital structures that make for society’s progressive functioning thus putting its very existences into serious peril. It will take a novice to deny that corruption is by far the greatest problem of governance in Nigeria. Hardly a day passes by in Nigeria without the subject being discussed as the greatest obstacle to the socio-economic development. Between 1980 and 2005, Nigeria almost became a pariah nation in the global community. Many nations, especially among the most highly industrialized ones, tried to severe socio-economic, financial, cultural and political ties with Nigeria. Some of them even treated some Nigerians in their domains with sheer contempt and gross disrespect as well as high suspicion. Their common expressed reason is not far- fetched, it is corruption.
Corruption in all its forms has gone deep into the socio-economic, administrative, political, religious, cultural and educational fabrics of
our nation. It is not uncommon to find a policeman extorting money from motorists on the high ways, management of financial institutions manipulating their balance sheets, some administrative staff of our higher institutions collecting tip-offs from desperate admission seekers, politicians looting government treasury, student’s involvement in examination malpractices, rigging of elections, giving 10% commission on public contractors etc. In fact, corruption has been institutionalized in Nigeria.
Since 1995 the Transparency International (IT) a global anti- corruption body started its rating of the most corrupt countries, Nigeria has regularly been rated among the most corrupt countries (1997 and 2000) or the second most corrupt nation (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004) on the earth. However, with the establishment of the domestic anti- graft bodies like E.F.C.C and I.C.P.C, Nigeria’s ranking has consistently improve since 2006 where Nigeria was ranked 153rd out of 180 countries, ranking 147th out of 180 countries sampled in 2007, 121st out of 180 countries in 2008, 130th out of 180 countries sampled in 2009, 134th out of 178 nations in 2010, 143rd out of 183 nation in 2011, 139th out of 176 countries in 2012, 144th out of
175 countries in 2013 and the latest ranking 136th out of 175 countries surveyed. This means that corruption is a major threat facing humanity; corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and their institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilize societies and exacerbate violent conflicts.
Waziri (2009) lamented that” the preponderances of these crimes have negative consequences on Nigeria, such as decrease in foreign direct investment (FDI), tarnishing of Nigeria’s national image and the collapse of our power and industrial sectors. These crimes reduce the availability of public resources to finance the implementation of development policies.
The late Former Minister of Information and Communication Prof. Dora Akunyili during President Obasanjo regime lamented the Nigerian situation when she said; “pervasive corruption is the bane of our national identity. It was fed for a long time by past government that paid lip service to the fight against it. Because of our reputation as a corrupt country, that Nigerian state has become a liability to its
citizens abroad. So we need to rebrand because the current brand as corrupt state is hard to sell.
Against this backdrop, successive governments since the regime of the military government of General Murtala Muhammad and the civilian administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), have set up an impressive array of anti-graft institution such as War Against Indiscipline, National Committee on 419, I.C.P.C and latest and most prominent among them is the E.F.C.C
The economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) was established by an act of parliament in 2003 under the administration of the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo with the responsibility for the enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws, among other things. Since its inception, the commission has been discharging its constitutional mandates of investigating and prosecuting any corrupt persons. That commits any corrupt activities that fall in the circle of economic and financial crimes like cyber- crimes, money laundering, phone exchange, frauds, bribery etc. It does this by enforcing the following laws; the Anti-money Laundering
Act 1995, the Advance Fee Frauds and Other Related Offences Act 2006, the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act 1994; the Miscellaneous Offences Act and so on.
Nigeria’s dream of becoming one of the world twenty (20) biggest economies by 2020 will remain a pipedream unless corruption is addressed. Nigeria has enough human and natural resources to sustain that dream, but ambitious benchmark can only be attained if this country manages to tame corruption.
Statement of the problem.
Like any household name, “corruption” has been a cancer-worm and an inimical issue that has eaten deep into Nigeria fabrics. This seemly problem that been experienced over the years and still in existence today has really been a cub in the wheel of progress of the nation, thereby reproducing itself in all other facets around all sectors of the nation.
Bearing this in mind and the various “indelible ugly marks”, this evil has left the country with reproducing all sort of bad offspring like poverty, economic and financial crimes, unemployment, low standard
of living and many more vices, effort has been made by government to establish some institutions and important among
them is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to carryout laudable functions in order to kick this “evil” from our nation, the E.F.C.C has done a lot in investigating all financial crimes ranging from advance fee frauds, money laundering, counterfeiting etc. co-coordinating and enforcing all economic and financial crimes, adopt measures to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate proceeds derived from related offences, examine and investigate all reported cases of such crimes and even trial victims and if convicted enforce appropriate measure on such person or body in order to set out country free from corruption.
Despite these a whole lot of activities and efforts made by the commission in ensuring to set the country free of corruption and all its facets, what seems still inherent in the society are cases of public embezzlement, bribery, money laundering issues by top government officials and politicians, high level of poverty, massive rigging of election results, internet frauds, political crises and many more. Why these products of corruption and corruption itself are still in existence
in our nation, in spite of the numerous effort of the commission is the problems and some ways of tackling it this project tries to look.
- To what extent does the objective of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) help in combating corruption in Nigeria?
- To what degree has Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) so far reduced the rate of corruption in Nigeria?
- To what degree does corruption affect the commission while carrying out its statutory role?
- To what degree of proportion does Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is more effective in fighting corruption?
Objectives of the study
- The major objective of the study is to critically assess the viability of economic and financial crimes commission in combating corruption in Nigeria between 2004 to
- To determine the extent to which the economic and financial crimes commission reduced the rate of corruption in Nigeria.
- To measure the extent at which corruption affect the commission while carrying out its statutory
The hypothesis postulated in this research states that;
- The activities of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have significantly reduced the rate of corruption in
- When carrying out its statutory role, there is no significant effect of corruption on the commission.
- The activities of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have not reduced the rate of corruption in
Significance of the study
Researchers and general administrations are expected to benefit from this study as it adopts a pattern of presentation of facts that may provide the need impetus for further research on the topic or other related ones.
Also, it will serve as a source of material to practitioners in both private and public organization as a means of making a complete raid on institutionalized or corporate economic and financial crimes.
This work is expected to contribute towards tackling corruption which has been seen as a major problem of Nigeria and outline measures in which Economic and Financial Crimes Commission can adapt.
Finally, the recommendations made should serve as a means of enlightening the policy makers and general public about the causes and evil of corruption in our society thereby helping to build an economic system or come out with a policy devoid of crimes.
Scope and limitations of the study
The scope of the study will focus on the viability of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in combating corruption in Nigeria an implication for improvement, with more emphasis on public sector. The reason for this study is to have a critical analysis of the commission as a perceived number one anti-corruption fighter in Nigeria.
This research is committed for the period of eleven (12) years (2003- 2014) and was limited to the headquarter office in the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T) Abuja. The reason for choosing this time frame is to have a proper assessment of the commission and because of high rate of corrupts practices that were experienced during the period.
Of course, some factors really serve as hindrance to the research on the basis of sourcing materials. Since some materials are not accessible because of the confidentiality of the information and fear of being quoted.
Definition of Terms
The following are the key terms that will be used most often in this work. Therefore, it is very necessary to defined them;
- Corruption – Operationally, corruption means action that is perceived to be contrary to public opinion, against the law and against the public interest.
- Commission – Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (E.F.C.C).
- Economic crime – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act of 2004 defines economic crime as that non-
violent criminal and illicit committed with the objectives of earning wealth, illegally either individually or in a group thereby violating existing legislation governing the economic activity of government and its administration.
- Financial crime – financial crime as defined by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act of 2004 is any conduct as malpractices or a criminal act, which is detrimental to the interest or development of the financial sector of the economy which are prohibited and are punishable by laws of the
- Crime – Ogunsakin, A (2006) defined crime as any conducts acts or omission prohibited by law and backed by punishment or punitive sanctions. This work however, sees it to mean any deviant and as offence by any societal or legal definition punishable by such
- Cyber-crime – It is unlawful acts of using the computer as tool or target or both. Those acts are engaged through network of computers (internet) with different technologies that operate beyond the traditional territorial boundaries (cyberspace).
- Money laundering – money laundering (prohibition) Act 2004, defined it as a process of passing (or transferring) illegal acquired money through a legitimate business or bank account in order to disguise it illegal origins. It is used in this work to mean the process of criminal activities, by concealing their true origin and ownership and introducing them into the stream of legitimate commerce and finance.
Scheme of the chapters
The study is divided into five chapters, chapter one is an introductory one and encompasses the background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study, hypothesis of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitations of the study and definition of terms. The second chapter is dedicated to the review of literature while in chapter three research methodology will be discussed, which comprises introduction, research design, population of the study, sampling technique and size, source of data, administration of questionnaire, method of data analysis, and hypothesis testing method.
While chapter four will covers data presentation and analysis. Chapter five discusses the summary, conclusion and recommendations.