Background to the Study
One of the greatest threats to economic and political development of any nation is corruption. Therefore, the challenges of corruption remain a major devastating issue facing Nigeria since the colonial period, and this phenomena has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our system (Ademola 2011).There are many unresolved problems in Nigeria, but the issue of the upsurge of corruption is troubling. And the damages it has done to the polity are astronomical. The menace of corruption leads to slow movement of files in offices, police extortion tollgates and slow traffics on the highways, port congestion, queues at passport offices and gas stations, ghost workers syndrome, election irregularities, among others. Even the mad people on the street recognize the havoc caused by corruption - the funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air. Thus, it is believed by many in the society that corruption is the bane of Nigeria. Consequently, the issue keeps reoccurring in every academic and informal discussion in Nigeria. And the issue will hardly go away (Adeyemi, 2016).
Some writers say that corruption is endemic in all governments, and that it is not peculiar to any continent, region and ethnic group. It cuts across faiths, religious denominations and political systems and affects both young and old, man and woman alike. Corruption is found in democratic and dictatorial politics; feudal, capitalist and socialist economies. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures are equally bedeviled by corruption. And corrupt practices did not begin today; the history is as old as the world. Ancient civilizations have traces of widespread illegality and corruption. Thus, corruption has been ubiquitous in complex societies from ancient Egypt, Israel, Rome, and Greece down to the present (Lipset and Lenz 2000). This does not, however, mean that the magnitude of corruption is equal in every society. Some countries are more corrupt than others! As George Orwell notes in his widely read book, Animal Farm: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others (Akindele, 2011).
Since corruption is not new, and since it is a global phenomenon, it is not peculiar to Nigeria. However, corruption is prevalent in Nigeria and in many other African and Asian nations; the leaders as well as the followers are corrupt (Lipset and Lenz 2000). Consequently, it has defied all the necessary medicines. If there is a lack of control of corruption in every sphere in the nation, it is then like the old saying: When water chokes you, what do you take to wash it down (Sen 2001).Perhaps, because corruption has received an extensive attention in the communities, and perhaps, due to the fact that it has been over-flogged in the academic circles, corruption has received varied definitions. Corruption has broadly been defined as a perversion or a change from good to bad. Specifically, corruption or corrupt behavior involves the violation of established rules for personal gain and profit (Sen, 2001). Corruption is efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means private gain at public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefit (Lipset & Lenz, 2000).In addition, corruption is a behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role, because of private gains regarding personal, close family, private clique, pecuniary or status gains. It is a behavior which violates rules against the exercise of certain types of duties for private gains regarding influence (Nye, 2009). This definition includes such behavior as bribery use of a reward to pervert the judgment of a person in a position of trust; nepotism bestowal of patronage by reason of ascriptive relationship rather than merit; and misappropriation illegal appropriation of public resources for private uses (Banfield, 2001).
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration appears to have paid no attention to corruption and its scandalous manifestations. Jonathan’s quest and ambition for second term in office beclouded his sense of judgment and totally bamboozled his political will from fighting corruption to cementing loyalists in all regions of the country through dubious transactions (Akinnaso, Awoyemi, &Nnodim, 2012).Scandalous cases of embezzlements, misappropriation, and diversion of public funds characterized his tenure in office. Jonathan was known to have pampered corruption and had once vindicated his cronies by stating that “stealing is not corruption”. Between May 6, 2010 when Jonathan stood in for late Yar’adua and 2012, over N5 trillion of government funds were stolen. According to the Nuhu Ribadu led Petroleum Task Force Report, Nigeria lost 250,000 barrels of crude oil daily at the cost of $6.3 billion (N1.2 trillion) a year. This puts the total amount lost through oil theft in the two years of Jonathan government at over $12.6 billion (National Bureau of Statistics, 2016).
Still under the Jonathan’s tenure, the former governor of Central Bank Lamido Sanusi disclosed that $20 billion dollars generated from oil sales were not remitted into the treasury. The federal government promptly sacked him, covered its tracts, yet, a staggering $1.48 billion was disclosed to be missing by a foreign auditing firm (National Bureau of Statistics, 2016).The list goes on, which will elaborated on more in chapter two. With such manifestations, is it not folly or foolhardy to address high public functionaries as “Excellences” or “Honourables”? Yet, they shamelessly insist that their subjects continue to be loyal. Several probes and trials are ongoing by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration aimed at recovering stolen public funds of which the most intriguing remains the $2.1 billion arms deals scandal (Ehusani, & Onumah, 2012).
Several top government officials of the Jonathan administration indicted in the $2.1 billion arms purchase scandal have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Some adamant ones like Colonel Dasuki (former National Security Adviser) and Olisa Metuh (Publicity Secretary of the People’ Democratic Party), were tried and remanded on several count charges. Olisa Metuh, though, accused of benefiting N400 million from the arms deal scandal was granted bail with the tone of N700 million by two separate courts. On the other hand, Lawal Jafaru Isa (former military governor of Kaduna State) who was accused of receiving N170 million from the arms deal was set free without trial when he returned N100 million and promised to return the remaining N70 million. Similarly, the presidency has advised those who looted public funds to quietly return them for “soft landing”. It has also been made clear that a quota of the proposed 2016 budget will be funded with recovered looted funds (National Bureau of Statistics, 2016).
Though the former president displayed the political will to combat corruption, his objective and intention appeared to be misguided. Recovering stolen funds from corrupt public officials is not a fight against corruption but rather a fight against the manifestations of corruption. This can only culminate in public officials adopting more stringent measures aimed at covering their tracts while they keep on raping the country dry (Ogunseye, Okpi & Baiyewu, 2012).
It is in this premise that this research seeks to evaluate the effect of corruptionin former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration on Nigeria’s economy.Corruption will be measured as a whole in this study while Nigeria’s economy will be measured using such parameters as: unemployment level,infrastructural facilities and poverty level/rate.
Statement of the Problem
Adeyemi(2016), avers that the federal government and other agencies in position of trust are more vulnerable on the issue of corruption, their integrity are jeopardized by public officials who use the resources of their office for personal, professional, or financial gain. Nigerians suffered because corruption made it hard to run government transparently. Scandals became rife, Projects were plagued by corruption which even seeped into some many private areas of people’ lives. Obsession with materialism; compulsion for a shortcut to affluence; glorification and approbation of (ill-gotten wealth) by the general public are among the reasons for the persistence of corruption(Adeyemi,2016). It will be difficult for anybody in true conscience to accuse successive administration in Nigeria of not doing enough to let everybody know that corruption is a major problem in the polity. Almost all past governments have delivered in the area of tackling corruption through enlightenment campaigns and effusive rhetoric, yet corruption is seems to be perpetuated (Anatus. 2014). Without the full involvement of public relations principles, efforts and strategies, other efforts of instituting probe panels will only work for a while. Nigeria is a society where national priorities are turned upside down; hard work is not rewarded; but rogues are often glorified. Arthur Schlesinger said of America in the 60s, “the trouble with Nigeria is not that our capabilities are inadequate. It is that our priorities which means our values are wrong” (Odugbemi, 2011).
Max (2013), opines that scandals associated with corruption sometimes have the effect of strengthening a value system of a society as a whole. This is probably true in relation to Nigeria. The scandals associated with the Abacha era looting of the treasury and human rights violations, not talk about Patricia Etteh the former House Speaker, Tafa Balogun, and Dieprye Aliiamesyia etc, and have given the nation some food for thought(Agbiboa & Egiegba, 2012).Nigeria is still perplexed and reoccupied with the issues of how to strengthen the nation’s essential governmental structured to avoid the reoccurrence of these kinds of looting and atrocities in future. However, in some cases, how people behave in a society depends on how they see and perceive others behave. If the prevailing behavior in a country is bad, others could imitate the behavior which is the worrisome issue that necessitated this study.
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is toevaluate the effect of corruptionin former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration on Nigeria’s economy. The specific objectives of the study are:
From the above objectives, the main research question will be; what is the relationship between corruption and Nigeria’s external relations? This will be further be broken down into the following research sub-questions:
Hypotheses of the Study
From the above research question, the following hypothesis will be drawn to test the effect of corruption on Nigeria’s external relations:
Ho: There is a significant relationship between corruption andNigeria’s unemployment level.
H1: There is no significant relationship between corruption and NNigeria’s unemployment level.
Ho: There is a significant relationship between corruption andNigeria’s infrastructural facilities.
H2: There is no significant relationship between corruption and Nigeria’s infrastructural facilities.
Ho: There is a significant relationship between corruptionand Nigerians poverty level.
H3: There is no significant relationship corruption and Nigerians poverty level.
Scope of the Study
The present study seeks to evaluate the effect of corruptionin former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration on Nigeria’s economy, the study will tend to examine, the level of corruption in Nigeria informer President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, and how corruption have affected Nigeria’s economy during former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration. A survey research design will be adopted in this study. Random sampling technique will be applied in order to select samples from the population. A well-structured questionnaire will be used to obtain data for the study. The data obtained will be analyzed with correlational and regressional tools.
Significance of the Study
The paper examines the phenomenon of corruption in Nigeria in former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration and its associated effect on Nigeria’s economy. It is argued that the crisis of corruption seems to have defied all the solutions put forward by governments over the years in the country. In spite of all the rhetoric about a war on corruption, the phenomenon has shown so much resilience that it seems to have become norm in the country.
The study will educate as well as enlighten the government and her agencies on how to properly checkmate corruption and give more support to already existing financial crimes commissions to reduce corruption to its barest minimum. This study will be of immense benefit to students, privately owned businesses and public corporations, specifically, it will be of great significance to directors, managers and executive officers in all business organizations. The study will also be beneficial to government agencies, students and research fellows.Finally, students, including research fellows will find the study very beneficial in the area of future studies and referral reports.
Definition of Operational Terms
Corruption:Refers to dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
External relations:Refers to a set of political goals that seeks to outline how a particular country will interact with the other countries of the world.
Economic relations:Refers to internal and external relations that influence economic stability and growth.
Political relations:Refers to relationships that involve power, authority, influence, conflict, co-operation, selfishness and altruism between nations.
Social relations:Refers to the sum of the social interactions between nations over time.
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