BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Corruption is efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefit. Corruption like cockroaches has co-existed with human society for a long time and remains as one of the problems in many of the world’s developing economies with devastating consequences. Corruption as a phenomenon, is a global problem, and exists in varying degrees in different countries (Luna, 2002). Corruption is not only found in democratic and dictatorial politics, but also in feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures are equally bedevilled by corruption (Dike, 2016). In Nigeria, it is one of the many unresolved problems Madichie (2016) that have critically hobbled and skewed development. It remains a long-term major political and economic challenge for Nigeria (Maduagwe, 2012). It is a canker worm that has eaten deep in the fabric of the nation. It ranges from petty corruption to political/bureaucratic corruption or Systemic corruption (Abimbola, 2007). 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, 2016). Corruption is endemic as well as an enemy within (Acemoghi, 2013). It is a canker worm that has eaten deep in the fabric of the country and had stunted growth in all sectors. It has been the primary reason behind the country difficulties in developing 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, 2015). As part of effort at fighting corruption and strengthening the economy, Nigeria embarked on an aggressive pursuit of economic reform that through privatization, banking sector reform, anti-corruption campaigns and establishment of clear and transparent fiscal standards since 2009. The major aim of the economic reforms in Nigeria is to provide a conducive environment for private investment (African Economic Outlook, 2014). The reform process has the following key pillars: improved macroeconomic management, reform of the financial sector, institutional reforms, privatisation and deregulation, and improvement of the infrastructure. The importance of infrastructure for economic growth and development cannot be overemphasized. The poor state of electricity, transport and communications is a major handicap for doing business in Nigeria. The corruption trend in the country is alarming as the list of corrupt practices in Nigeria as well as the people involved is endless. Although, the present civilian Government starting from president Olusegun Obasanjo have embarked on massive war against corruption via Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crime Corruption (EFCC), such effort is yet to have a significant positive impact. Consequently, it seems that corruption has defied all the necessary solution (Folorunsho, 2007). Empirical evidence as to the relationship between capital inflow and economic development exist but such on the relationship between corruption and economic development is lacking hence the choice of this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Also disheartening, is the fact that the volume of development assistance totalling about $400 billion that flowed into the country for sustainable economic development between independence and the collapse of military dictatorship in 2009 was atrociously squandered by the political leaders of the period. The mismanagement of resources of such quantum which was worth six times the resources committed to the rebuilding of Western Europe after a devastating Second World War simply defines the callousness of the political leadership class towards the socio-economic wellbeing of the country (Ribadu, 2007). The World Bank has estimated that over 1 trillion is paid in bribe for business transactions in less developed countries. Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the role of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends (World Bank). It is one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary world. It undermines good government, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to the misallocation of resources, harms the private sector and private sector development and particularly hurts the poor (Transparency International). Empirical studies have shown that African countries exhibit relatively high level of corruption which institute a major constraint to efforts aimed at effectively allocating resources to growth enhancing project. Funds that would have been invested in infrastructural and development projects are seriously depleted through kickbacks, over and under invoicing of contract amounts, etc. which accounts for why the grants and aids which are given by richer and developed countries are suspended or sometimes out rightly cancelled when it was discovered that these funds are embezzled and end up in corrupt hands. In Nigeria, it is one of the many unresolved problems that have critically hobbled and skewed development. It remains a long term major political and economic challenge for Nigeria (Sachs, 2007). Corruption is endemic as well as an enemy within (Agbu, 2015).
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine corruption as a bane to sustainable economic development in Nigeria. Other specific objectives are as follows;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant effect of corruption on sustainable development in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant effect of corruption on sustainable development in Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between corruption and sustainable development in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between corruption and sustainable development in Nigeria.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There is no doubt that the crime of corruption in government threatens the moral integrity of a nation and hampers development, this thus makes the topic of discourse significant especially looking at the global effect of corruption on democracy and development generally. There are a number of reasons for focusing on the scope and impact of corruption in Nigeria and the difficulties in dealing with it. Nigeria occupies a central place in Africa as the most populous country, with an estimated population of over 149 million. It is one of the continent's richest countries and is blessed with a huge diversity of natural and human resources. It is also characterized by a multiplicity of different ethnic groups. Like many mono-cultural economies in Africa, its economy is heavily dependent on crude oil. Paradoxically, it is this important natural resource that sustains corruption in Nigeria. The significance of this study is therefore to expose the acts of the few privileged ones who find themselves in high positions of authority and the ways at which they divert the profits gotten from these natural resources for personal uses instead of using them for public purposes and how this has hampered efforts made on development.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to corruption: a bane to sustainable economic development in Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Corruption: Amuwo (2016) and Obayelu (2007) consider corruption as the exploitation of public position, resources and power for private gain. Obayelu went further to identify corruption as “efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense; or a misuse of power for private benefit.” Corruption covers a broad spectrum of activities ranging from fraud (theft through misrepresentation), embezzlement (misappropriation of corporate or public funds) to bribery (payments made in order to gain an advantage or to avoid a disadvantage).
Economic Development: According to Imhonopi & Urim (2010), national development is the ability of a country or countries to improve the social welfare of the people, namely, by providing social amenities like good education, power, housing, pipe-borne water and others. The components of national development include economic development, socio-cultural empowerment and development and how these impact on human development. Without human development, which is the development of the human capital of a nation or its citizens, national development can be thwarted or defeated.
Bane: Refers to anything that is a cause of harm, ruin, or death.
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