Corruption, according to Khan (1996) can be defined as an act which deviates from the normal rule of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of public authority because of private rewarding motive such as wealth, power or status.
Corruption is a persistent phenomenon which has spread largely to so many facets in Nigeria. Corrupt nations are perpetuated with vicious circle of poverty, lawlessness, indiscipline and distortion of facts and figures. Corruption activities are not limited to developing or developed nations but cut across board. In our case study-Nigeria, it is evident in misappropriation of funds, breaking the rule of law, not following due process and delivery, over invoicing, employment racketeering by syndicates, denying of persons rights in the dispensation of justice.
Every sphere of our national life has one form of corruptive tendency or the other. Cal it the press, education, ministries and parastatals, paramilitary MDAs and Police force, universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and the likes. Even policy maker finds it cumbersome to fashion out workable instruments to curtail the spread of corruption
In the works of Benjamin (2007) he postulated that corruption in Nigeria could be traced to the colonial era, when Nigerians were bribed with foreign goods for local products in exchange for slaves. The illegitimate taking over of government by various military regimes via coup d’etat is corruption in full glare. Here the government in power wants to use corruption to check corruption thereby making the economy more corrupted.
Corruption includes virtually bribery, smuggling, fraud, illegal payments, money laundering, drug trafficking, falsification of documents and records, window dressing, false declaration, underpayment, forgery, aiding and abetting of any kind to the detriment of another person. Corruption also could be youth based among which includes Cybercrime (yahho yahoo), thuggery, permutation, pilfering, drug peddling, paid assassins, kidnapping, prostitution, militancy, Boko-Haram and 419j syndromes, plagiarism to mention but a few.
The menace of corruption cannot just come into play but is fuelled by certain factors. The first factor is poverty: When a man is struggling in the doom of penury and sees his fellow man living in affluence, he will be desirous of being like him without even knowing his source and means of income thereby increasing the rate of corruption.
Another is Greed: When the desire for accumulation of wealth is widespread, then corruption is said to be at its peak. The political post is tagged as being associated with power, wealth and authority; materialistic individuals will by all means want to attain this office. And when they succeed, their desire to continue holding that office will be high. In their quest to maintain this office, they will resort to doing anything possible thereby increasing the rate of corruption.
Corruption is as aged as the existence of the economy itself. Corruption and economy have been inversely related with each other causing undue arousal or doom among the people. Corruption gives room for diversion of the limited public funds, undermines economic progress and impedes policy changes required for development. On the whole, corruption hampers growth and also erodes the already established economic value system in Nigeria. This devastated effect of continuous corruption practices in Nigeria has gone so bad and it is worrisome as several but unsuccessful measures have been put in place to checkmate its menace.
Corruption and development are immiscible in an economy therefore one should be abolished for the glory of the other. Howe4ver as much as the president and governors are working to improve the nation and put it on the map of greatness, it also wants to develop and improve the country for our generation yet unborn. In this perspective, every Nigerian should stand to fight this canker worm that is slowly eating up our economy “Corruption”.
Josephine Inido Sunday SS 3 student, Destiny High School, Ediene Ikot Obio Imo, Uyo