1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Corruption is conscious attempt to secure wealth, power and misuse of public power through illicit means to satisfy a selfish interest at public expense. Corruption like insects has lived with human society for a very long time and has remaineda major problem in many of the world’s developing economies with harmful consequences.Corruption as a popular event and a severe challenge facing every country.It exists and functions in different degrees in various countries. It is not only found in democratic and dictatorial politics, but also in feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. The practice of corruption is not an issue that just begins today; but the history is as old as the world.
Corruption is a critical issue in Nigeria. President MuhammaduBuhari launched an anti-corruption drive after taking office in May, 2015. Corruption affects the public finances, business investment and also the standard of living. Presently, corruption scandals have pointed out the large amounts that have been stolen by people of different calibers in the country and outside the country. But little if not nothing, has been done to carefully investigate the vigorouseffects of corruption that affect the countries capacity to achieve its potentials in the long run.
The dishonesty, conversion, diversion and theft of peoples funds and resources, has done more harm than good in the country, leaving us (Nigerians) with a bad reputation and a negative perception of being a mistrusted and dysfunctional country. This fact have been seen to be beyond human understandingthat Nigeria, the giant of Africa, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and a country with numerous natural resources till date has 70 percent of its population living below the poverty line, as an outcome of corruption and economic mismanagement. Majority of Nigerians appear to have no other choice than to approve and accept corruption as a conventional way of life; it is now like the food that nourishes the body in the country. Irrespective of the hardship begotten by corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s resources, the relationship between corruption and underdevelopment is infrequently made by the citizenry and this makes the suspended hangingwar against corruption more difficult to tackle. Corruption is a very disgusting violation of citizens’ human rights and needs to be looked into as such. Calls have been made for a completely look into the judicial system; enactment of very strict, productive laws and the reinvestment of proceeds recovered from corrupt individuals in the development of much needed infrastructure to foster the nation’s economy. It is obvious that public officials need to be promoted to a higher level of accountability and the infliction of punitive measures that providedeterrence need to become strict in the system.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is known to be one of the most acknowledged anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria in charge of fighting and reducing the high rate of political corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria. In recent times, their activities and performance have aroused the people’s curiosity and also heightened endless debate and intellectual disputes on whether they have actually carried out their duties or not based on the achievement of their statutory mandate since their creation. For this reason, there is no agreement among scholars and commentators on the performance of EFCC when it comes to fighting corruption (war against corruption).
In Nigeria today, it is one of the numerous unresolved problems that have significantlyslowed the movement and skewed development. This still stands to be a long-term major political and economic problem for Nigeria. It will continue to eat the fabric of the nation if not properly taken care of. It starts with little corruption and matures into political / bureaucratic corruption or Systemic corruption. World Bank studies put corruption at over $1 trillion per year accounting for up to 12% of the Gross Domestic Product of nations like Nigeria, Kenya and Venezuela (Nwabuzor, 2005). Corruption is growing rapidly; it is an enemy within. It is a canker worm that has eaten deep in the fabric of the country and had stunted growth in all sectors (Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), 2005). It is the main reason behind the countries inability to develop fast. This is evident in Transparency International’s has consistent rating of Nigeria as one of the top three most corrupt countries in the world (Ribadu, 2003). Nigeria has therefore fallen back on asevere pursuit of economic improvementdue to the willingness to fight corruption and strengthen the nation’s economy.
1.2. Statement of the general problem
Corruption is the major challenge facing the Nigerian Economy, and its menacing ancillaries such as graft, nepotism, embezzlement, looting, abuse of office, etc. These factors have stunned the economic growth and development of the country. In order to curb the menace cause by corruption in Nigeria, former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2002, in an attempt to declare total war on corruption instituted the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC. Abumere, quoted in Ezeani and Elekwa (2006:339), recollected that President Obasanjo had declared in his inaugural speech on May 29, 1999 that “corruption, the greatest bane of our society today will be tackled head on at all levels and there will be no sacred cows; nobody, no matter who and where, will be allowed to get away with the perpetuation of corruption”. Unfortunately, corruption is pervasive in Nigeria and has been institutionalized such that not only that, officials are corrupt, but corruption is official (Clark, 1995:125). Corruption has taken different forms and shapes in Nigeria such as endemic planned and developmental corruption (1991:47), to comment with obvious impatience that these forms of corruption, notably; endemic, planned and developmental corruption is a classic vicious circle capable of destroying Nigeria completely. However, the effect of corruption in any given society can never be overemphasized, especially as in the case of the contemporary Nigeria.
1.3. Aims and objectives of the study
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of the war against corruption on the economy of Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
- To examine the level of corruption in Nigeria.
- To determine the relationship between corruption and the economic development in Nigeria.
- To determine the ways of improving the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
- To examine the level of success of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
- To recommend better ways by the EFCC in fighting corruption.
1.4. Research Questions
- What is the impact of the war against corruption on the economy of Nigeria?
- What is the relationship between corruption and the economic development in Nigeria?
- What are the ways of improving the fight against corruption in Nigeria?
- What is the level of success of the fight against corruption in Nigeria?
1.5. Research Hypotheses
H0: The war against corruption does not influence the economy of Nigeria.
H1: The war against corruption influences the economy of Nigeria.
H0: Corruption does not impede the economic development of Nigeria.
H1: Corruption impedes the economic development of Nigeria.
1.6. Significance of the study
The study would be beneficial to the Nigerian government in strengthening the war against corruption as it would reveal the implications of the war against corruption in Nigeria. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further research on the subject matter.
1.7. Scope of the study
The study is restricted to the impact of the war against corruption on the economy of Nigeria having a case study on the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC).
1.8. RESEARCH METHOD
The method to be employed by the researcher will be helpful in extracting the necessary information for the study.
Sources of information shall consist of
- Primary source of information which will consist of information gathered from questions answered by the respondents were administered by with questionnaire to give responses in relation to the research topic.
- The secondary source however will extract relevant information gathered in various available literature materials that are closely related to the topic of research. The relevant information will be extracted from journals, textbooks, newspapers and relevant speech papers that effectively discuss related issues to the combating of corruption in Nigeria especially as spear headed by the economic and financial crimes commission in Nigeria.
- Other sources of information shall be based on the researcher’s personal knowledge and information accumulated over the years.
1.9. Operational definition of terms
EFCC: Economic and financial crimes corruption.
ICPC: independent corrupt practices commission
CORRUPTION: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)
ECONOMY: the process or system by which goods and services are produced, sold, and bought in a country or region.