Nigeria corruption has emanated from historical, economic, political, geographical, cultural and social factors. In all of these, corruption, and in particular official corruption remains a controversial issue in all typologies of governments since her amalgamation in 1914. Therefore, there exist unresolved approach in the policies of past governments to fight and minimize corruption both in the public and private sectors. The fact that section 15(5) of the extant constitution of 1960 mandated the Head of State to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of powers while the 1999 constitution, in section 23, itemized “national ethics” that are antithetical to corruption and section 88 and 89, empowered the national assembly to expose corruption, inefficiency and waste in government through probe and investigations while Buhari’s partyAPC constitution in item No.4 takes clear position on strict enforcement of anti-corruption laws. It is disheartening to note that corruption hasn’t been killed or minimized. Thus, this paper attempts to analyze “Buhari’s anti-corruption policy” and his vow to combat corruption in Nigeria no matter whose ox is gored-if it’s a reality or an illusion. The theoretical framework that underpins this study is Moral development, which states that morality refers to the goodness of people as it is reflected in their behavior and beliefs. The major finding among others is that Buhari’s fight against corruption should be holistic and transparent while the recommendation including others is that the Nigerian populace and indeed the electorates that voted for change of Buhari’s government must assist the government and challenge it if need be, to fight corruption as promised during his electioneering campaign and his inaugural speech.








1.1     Background to the Study

One of the major problems confronting the world is corruption. It has become one of the symbols of popular discontent across the globe. Corruption is not in any way a new development. In fact, it is tempting to say that corruption is simply a part of the human condition. Stories of corruption dominate the media in both developed and developing countries. It has also become the focus of policymakers, watchdog groups, and scholars, most of whom share a more or less explicit assumption that corruption is inimical to good governance and economic productivity (Daniel, 2007, p.54). Corruption has been described as one of the most dangerous social ills of any society, which like a deadly virus, attacks the vital structures and obstructs society’s progressive functioning, thus putting its very existence into serious peril (Gire, 1999, p.1). The effect of corruption varies, depending on a country conditions. Although its spread and depth vary across the world, the effect of corruption is most obvious in developing countries in that limited but valuable funds and resources that are initially earmarked for industries, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructures are either out rightly embezzled, misappropriated, or otherwise severely depleted through kickbacks and over-invoicing by agents of government (Ibid.). As the former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan puts it, this evil phenomenon (corruption) is found in all countries —big and small, rich and poor—but it is in the developing world that its effects are most destructive. Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately—by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid. Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance, and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development. In other words, no country is immune from corruption. The difference is that it is more evident in some countries than others because those countries with less obvious corruption have put the necessary checks and balances in place to prevent or prosecute, while the others most likely lack the political will to put it under check.


Like many countries, Nigeria has a serious problem of corruption. It is very widespread and it manifests itself in virtually all aspects of national life. Practically every government since the 1960s came into power with a promise to address corruption. In its Annual Report for 2012, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) observed that corruption in the public sector remains a sore spot in Nigeria’s quest to instill transparency and accountability in the polity. The failure to deliver social services, the endemic problem of the power supply and the collapse of infrastructure are all linked with corruption. It is a pointer to the fact that the citizenry’s quality of life is negatively impacted on by the high rate of corruption in Nigeria. A report by Amundsen (2010), observed that “corruption pervades all levels of government in Nigeria, and the country is infamous for its high levels of corruption, and for the international effects of organized financial crime originating in the country” (Amundsen, 2010). Also, at a public lecture, former President Olusegun Obasanjo summed the state of corruption in Nigeria thus: The story of my country Nigeria is fairly well known. Until 1999, the country had practically institutionalized corruption as the foundation of governance. Hence institutions of society easily decayed to unprecedented proportions as opportunities were privatized by the powerful. This process was accompanied, as to be expected, by the intimidation of the judiciary, the subversion of due process, the manipulation of existing laws and regulations, the suffocation of civil society, and the containment of democratic values and institutions. Power became nothing but a means of accumulation and subversion as productive initiatives were abandoned for purely administrative and transactional activities. The legitimacy and stability of the state became compromised as citizens began to devise extra-legal and informal ways of survival. All this made room for corruption. (Obasanjo, 2003) Heilman and Ndumbaro (2002, p.2), in their study on Tanzania, noted that corruption can occur within two different types of social, political and economic milieu. According to them, the first is a situation where individuals misuse public office for personal gain. This type of corruption takes place in a modern, rational, Weberian bureaucratic system, where there is a clear division between public and private life. Societal norms support bureaucratic procedures that emphasize equal treatment based on the unbiased application of laws. For example, merit criteria are used for hiring, promotion, and dispersing service. In such a system, corrupt behavior violates bureaucratic procedures, organizational norms, laws, and larger societal expectations for the appropriate behavior of its public officials. With the second situation the problem is not rogue individuals but, rather, a system where corruption is embedded in society. In this situation, corruption is institutionalized and becomes the norm rather than the exception. The extensive literature on “patronage” and “big man” politics stands as testimony that, for many observers of Africa, corruption is a core element of the state and society. In short, the patronage networks—to which public officials belong-uphold the value of appropriating resources from the state to further the collective interests of the family, clan, ethnic group, region, or religion.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

President Buhari’s much-advertised fight against corruption has degenerated into a demolition derby. As happened with many previous efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria, different outposts of power and influence in the president’s coterie appear determined to use anti-corruption as a cover to settle intra-palace scores. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by an acting Chairman, is pursuing the prosecution of the President of the Senate before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). While those proceedings pend, the Senate, whose President is accused of corruption by the EFCC, has declined confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC citing a report by the State Security Service (SSS), which accused the nominee of abuse of power and of human rights. These allegations of human rights abuse against the EFCC’s acting Chairman are made without any hint of irony by an SSS that has earned a dismal reputation for respecting only court orders that it likes or in favor of only those it approves of. Meanwhile, the judiciary, many of whose senior-most officers have become objects of ridicule at the instance of the EFCC and the SSS, must somehow bring itself to arbitrate with a straight face the winners and losers in this squalid mess.

1.3     Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is find out the effect of APC/Buhari Administration corruption fighting on Nigerians, specifically the study seeks to;

  1. Find out the causes of corruption in Nigeria
  2. Find out if the fight against corruption has any effect on the wellbeing of Nigerians
  3. Find out if the fight against corruption by the presents government truly counts of just a show off.

1.4     Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria
  2. Does the fight against corruption has any effect on the wellbeing of Nigerians
  3. Is the fight against corruption by the presents government truly counts of just a show off.

1.5     Significance of the Study

This study will expose the general public to the problem of corruption in Nigeria, corruption is what has effected all the parts of the country, in every sector of the country, corruption has eaten up the mind of our leaders, almost all the heads of different organizations both in the public and private sector are corrupt, so this research will proffer some reasonable solution to the problem of corruption in Nigeria economy. Also this research work will vividly examine if the present government are truly fighting corruption like they claim to, and if their fight against corruption has any effect on the Nigerians.

1.6     Scope of the study

The research work covers everything about corruption in Nigeria. The study will review the effect of corruption Nigeria, the causes and the solution to corruption will be reviewed in this research.

1.7 Literature Review

The massive corruption allegations that characterized President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in Nigeria form 2010-2015 prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to declare in his inaugural speech that “he belongs to no body and he belongs to everybody”. The President has vowed to combat corruption in Nigeria no matter whose ox is gored. Indeed, his perceived stand by Nigerians as a strong character made his victory and that of his party possible in the 2015 general election as the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was accused of timidity and lack of will to solve Nigeria’s problems especially corruption. Thus, Nigerians believe that the

“national ethics” as itemized in section 23 of the Federation of Nigeria, 1999 constitution that deals with discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, characteristics that are antithetical to corruption and which, if imbibed and practiced by Nigerians, high and low, will check corruption and restore the nation to path of greatness could have been one of the legal frameworks among others-like, The Nigerian Constitution of 1999, section 88 and 89 that empowered the National Assembly to expose corruption, inefficiency and waste in government through probe and investigations; The Nigerian extant Constitution of 1960 section 15(5) that deals with abolishment of all corrupt practices that was assumed to have influenced Buhari’s formation age, are indeed the legal frameworks that made President Buhari to declare war on corruption as vowed. In addition, the constitution of his ruling party – All Progressives Congress (APC), in item No.4 takes a clear position to fight corruption if voted into power as it is now. Albeit, after a year of President Buhari’s administration; war against corruption and corrupt practices, Nigerians are beginning to ask questions if the policy is a reality or an illusion?

Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society and no economy strives in it. It involves the violation of established norms and rules for personal gains and profit. According to President Buhari, “corruption is the greatest form of human right violation” while to Oxford Learners Dictionary, corruption means “dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority”. It connotes a behaviour which deviates from the formal duties of a public role, because of personal or private gains. This behaviour includes bribery, use of a reward to prevent the judgment of a person in a position of trust, nepotism and misappropriation or illegal appropriation of public resources for private uses. It implies any act of wrong doing, act of violating public norms or deviation from honesty to dishonesty. For example, examination malpractice committed by invigilators, parents or students is regarded as corruption, irrespective of the level of involvement. Before the Buhari administration, preceding administrations have instituted various legal instruments, measures and policies designed to combat corruption in the country. Some of these include the criminal code: The Penal Code (applicable in the North); The criminal justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree 1996; The Corruption Practices, Decree 1975, which established the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau; The ethical Revolution of President Shehu Shagari; The War Against Indiscipline (W.A.I) of Buhari/Idiagbon; Mass Mobilization for Social Justice, Self-Reliance and Economic Review (MAMSER) by General Babangida; The code of conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Cap 56, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990); The Recovery of Public property (Special Military Tribunal Act (Cap. 387, Law of the Federation of Nigeria) as amended in 1991; The War Against indiscipline and Corruption of Late Gen. Sani Abacha; The Failed Banks Recovery of Debts and Financial Malpractices in Banks, Decree 1994 as amended in 1999; The Recovery of Public Property Special Military Tribunal Act, Cap. 389, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, as amended in 1999 by Gen.

Abdulsalami Abubakar, and many others.

Paradoxically, all these remedial measures merely rendered the issue of corruption in Nigeria, virulent. The reasons for this are varied. First, the compromised sincerity of the policy makers and those entrusted with its enforcement. Second, the penal codes apart from their complex wordings which created technical problems of interpretation and application, restricted the offence of corruption to members of the public service, which gave the impression that nonpublic servant could get away with active collaboration in and commission of acts of corruption. Thus, it was not surprising that despite the plethora of laws, decrees and strategies, corruption still remains the bane of the Nigerian society which graduated from being an aberration into a national norm. This is to the extent that public officers who have enriched themselves in corrupt practices are celebrated through the award of national honours and red-carpet receptions in some cases.

The question, therefore, is whether the fight against corruption and corrupt practices in Nigeria by President Buhari is a reality or mere rhetoric, a gimmick to deceive the populace again like his predecessors. And, what would be the impact of this war on the masses who have been impoverished by the political leaders through the act and science of corruption that made him, President Buhari to state that ”if Nigeria does not kill corruption, this number one enemy may eventually kill Nigeria” Buhari (2015).

1.8     Research Methodology

This study is basically on the problem of corruption in Nigeria. The study therefore adopts one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c.

1.9     Limitation of the study

The challenge of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.


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