CORRUPTION; AM I CORRUPT?
Nigerians are a very funny and jovial people and most times I am amazed by our way of getting over things. But, one problem that Nigerians have been battling for a very long time is CORRUPTION. Even before our independence the corrupt tendencies were already in Nigerians. Mind you, it is not like a default setting, but, we've been enclosed by
corrupt practices. Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefits, corruption may include bribe and embezzlement.
SCALES OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: Corruption can occur in different ways from the normal checkpoint (Police/Petty) corruption to the massive looting that is being carried out by those in positions of power (Grand), corruption.
1. PETTY CORRUPTION: Occurs at regular intervals here in Nigeria, it is basically carried out by officials of both government and private establishments, the take undue advantage of their offices to exhort money from the poor masses before rendering
services that are demanded of them, examples are the police force, nurses/doctors, teachers and officers at various ports, many other Nigerians are engaged in this act of corruption.
2. Grand Corruption: This refers to corruption that occurs in the highest levels of governance, form the Local Government Secretariat to our Presidential abode, usually, it comes with the subversion of the political, legal and economic system in a state, this is also very common in Nigeria, from the Power sector scandals to the NNPC palaver, and the most recent Dasukigate, etc.
3. SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION: This corruption is primarily due to weakness of organizations, for example, the weakness of our Police force, road safety, Immigration and other agencies, these weakness over the years has lead to a corrupt infection that infects almost all who are employed by these agencies.
4. POLITICAL CORRUPTION: This is the abuse of public power, office or resources by elected or appointed political office holders, for personal gains, by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes in other to have their way, unfortunately, this is a very common phenomenon in Nigeria. The are also other scales of corruption but we shall consider the following.
Political corruption is a persistent practice in Nigeria, according to president Buhari, Corruption is the greatest form of human rights violation, since the creation of modern public administration in the country, there have been several cases of misuse of funds and resources by political office holders. The rise of public administration and the discovery of oil are seen as the events that has lead to increase in corrupt practices in the country. It is estimated the we've lost about $400 billion to corruption since independence.
DYNAMICS: Theories and philosophies abound for the possible causes of the seemingly insurmountable corruption in Nigeria. Some blame greed and ostentatious lifestyle as potential root cause of corruption. To some, our society is the main cause of corruption, our love for materialism and flamboyant living is not also helping and I see this as a driving force of corruption, for instance in Nigeria we tend to celebrate the rich not minding the source of his wealth, people can acquire properties at will without having to state their source of endings. The "make it by all means" mentality has contributed wholesomely to this menace, I postulated that we are the cause of corruption in Nigeria, yes you! Because leaders are chosen from citizens and the kind of citizens you have reflect in the leaders you have. If we cannot be honest in our little corners but will crucify public office holders are we not the same, Market women, who will even swear while telling a lie to convince buyers are you not corrupt, students who will always shout our leaders are corrupt but engage in various forms of malpractice are you not also corrupt? Almost all Nigerians encourage or aid corruption in one way or the order and we need a very serious overhaul of our systems form the highest to the lowest, form The leaders to the lead, a massive program that will discourage all forms of corruption, a task force that seeks to change
the people's mentality while providing opportunities, massive rehabilitation of all corrupt culprits, a house to house sensitization that the country has never seen, and hope for a better country.
ARE YOU CORRUPT?
Comrd Ubong Usoro