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CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES AND EFFECT

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CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES AND EFFECT

 

 

Abstract: Corruption is not a recent or modern phenomenon, although, it has assumed a frightening dimension in recent times. It has existed from time immemorial. The Holy Bible‟s account shows that because of its evil impact on the society specific injunctions were prescribed against its practice(s). Thus, with respect to the appointment of judges in the Israel of old, the Holy Bible states thus: “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town your Lord God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert the course of justice or show partially. Do not accept bribe for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twist the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may possess the land your God is giving you” Thus, the erudite authors, had posited rightly in our view, that corruption has been ubiquitous in complex societies from ancient Egypt, Israel, Rome and Greece down to the present civilizations, which including Nigeria. Although, corruption had always existed in one form or the other in Nigeria in the olden days, it was not so wide spread and pronounced as it is today. This paper examines the effects and challenges of corruption in Nigeria. The challenge of the offence of corruption in Nigeria is not for lack of legislation to check the endemic aliment, but rather, it is the lack of political will to faithfully apply and enforce the provision of the laws against culprit. There are several anti-corruption legislations in Nigeria to check its menaces. For clarity purposes, they include, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Criminal Code, the Penal Code (these two are the first major penal statues in Nigeria); the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, Public Complaint Commission Act, Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (CPROA), etc. Moreover, Nigeria has also ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption which was concluded in Mexico City in the year 2003. Thus, it is safe to state that corruption strives in Nigeria, not for want of necessary legal framework to check the menace but for want of political will by her leaders to cause the laws to be enforced without fear or favour, ill will or affection. The paper brings to light that corruption distorts the composition of government expenditure, increases the cost of doing business in Nigeria thereby lowers incentives to private investment and above all it displaces merit and excellence and ensures the enthronement of mediocrity in government. The paper also argues in detail that corruption is not a recent or modern phenomenon. It has existed from time immemorial.

Keywords: Corruption, Challenges and Effects.