Every Nigerian knows how deep corruption has its roots across all sectors of the country. Fighting corruption in Nigeria needs modern and unique approaches. In Nigeria, Parents pay money for special centres so their children can pass WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations. Lecturers in higher institutions demand money or sex from their students in exchange for good grades in their examinations.
In like manner, Police officers and other law enforcement personnel extort Nigerians on many fronts. For instance, policemen demand as low as ₦50 on highways from road users. Ignoring things like the proper search of any suspicious vehicle and criminals.
In the judiciary, judges declare judgement in favour of the highest bidder even in the face of glaring evidence against such judgement. Media organizations in Nigeria are not only corrupt but also serve as a medium for promoting corrupt practices. That is why media houses are always falsifying information and forming public opinions to suit their political sponsors.
Corruption in public service in Nigeria is both historical and historic. Public and civil servants award their ministries, departments and agencies’ (MDAs) contracts to their privately-owned companies. Making the bidding process stipulated in the Public Procurement Act 2007 no effect.
Politicians are the most perpetrator of corrupt practices in Nigeria. They lack principles and integrity that can make them not to use public resources entrusted into their hands for private gains. Nigerian politicians have a history of abusing public resources. The reason being that the major political parties lack principle, no integrity, and lack value. This is a country where what a politician or political party did yesterday has a low impact on his or its future success. So far those politicians or political parties can pay money to gain people supports again, they will still progress.
The private sector is corrupt, too. Private business collaborates with government officers and MDAs either to convert public treasures to private one or to stay away from financial responsibility like paying taxes.
In addition, faith-based institutions have grossly lost their moral grounds. They are using spiritual gifts to accrue material things and they are preaching mainly on such things that lack virtue.
Anti-corruption fight in Nigeria
The above examples of corrupt practices in Nigeria are just a few out of many corrupt incidents being perpetrated daily in the country.
Apparently, corruption encapsulates Nigeria. What do you expect of a society that has lost its values and morals where virtues like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, spirituality, diligence, service, courage, justice, patience, industry, modesty, and the golden rule are virtually lost to vices like greed, manipulation, over-ambition, impatience, laziness, materialism, forgery, blackmail, embezzlement, nepotism and favoritism. What you get is a corrupt society and that is the situation in Nigeria.
Yet, there is still hope for a corrupt-free Nigeria if the federal government is ready to take the lead in a transparent anti-graft war. The war which discourages bullying of selected corrupt individuals and businesses. Fighting corruption in Nigeria will be successful if members of the public do not perceive it as bias or one-sided. The credibility of this fight is when the institutions saddled with the responsibility to fight corruption in the country perform their duties with fairness and objectivity.
Fighting corruption in Nigeria is far beyond setting up the Presidential Committee on Anti-corruption and heading it with a professor of law. Or coming up with a whistle-blowing policy, and witch-hunting of past public office holders and members of opposition parties.
However, it requires a systematic approach that embraces the basic principles of good governance. These principles are bolstering commitment, enhancing coordination and encouraging cooperation from both state and non-state actors. In addition, integrity serves as underlying mechanism for these principles. This is a better way of fighting corruption in Nigeria.
To be continued…