Anyone who wants to tackle corruption must be willing to go all the way. There are no shortcuts – Oby Ezekwesili.
This essay explores corruption in Nigeria, its negative effect, and the fact that it’s becoming accepted almost as an everyday norm. Though it remains controversial as many argue if Nigeria will ever leave this clothing of corruption she has so carefully woven and worn for so long that it’s a trademark. This essay explains that no revolution is impossible in Nigeria if inclusion is built on. Therefore, this essay discusses how comprehensive support against corrupt practices together with other methods put into place can reduce corruption and how youths can become agents of change.
A pattern of corruption may be said to exist when a power holder breaches the laid down system, to favour an individual providing a reward. In this case, the one charged with responsibility through his action damages the existing structure- could be a government or socioeconomic institution (Friedrich, 1972). This practice aforementioned is no news in Nigeria, for various forms of it occur almost every day, at the turn of every street.
Corruption is one of the most pressing issues that Nigeria suffers from, so much that growth in various sectors of government has been shortchanged while development in everyday life of average Nigerians is stunted due to corruption. Barely any industry is left untouched by this infiltrating disease which sums up to wreck the nation at every opportunity.
Corruption leaves Nigeria as 144 on the corruption rank of least corrupt countries, with a Corruption Index Perception (CPI) score of 27 (World Population Review, 2019). Progressively though, the ranking, as reported in 2019, has improved compared to the previous year (Adekunle, 2019). This proves further that Nigeria can eradicate corruption to the barest minimum steadily if all hands are on deck to do so.
Corruption is dangerous and inimical to the systemic existence of any polity. It is a socio-political, economic and moral malaise that may permeate and cripple, as a result of its contagiousness and malignancy, the nerves of any polity (Akindele, 2005). Since forever, corruption has been one of the household practices of the public and private sectors. It has existed for so long in various forms that it is rarely frowned at and seem to have been accepted. From bribery to theft, kleptocracy, and extortion to nepotism, many a Nigerians are involved in various forms to better themselves and enrich their pocket. Opportunities are dashed out based on connections, rather than ability, for returns to be the yield, budgets are inflated, funds are intercepted and reduced.
Of course, this constant practice did not fail to have its effect on the nation and national growth; neither is it secret or unknown. Various individuals vying for positions in Nigeria have been known to make several promises as to demolishing this act. Yet, citizens are deprived of road and water projects, alleviation schemes, opportunities, and a lot of other advantages they ought to enjoy, by corrupt leaders and other shady individuals. Even the nation’s economy glaringly suffers though Nigeria is known to be rich in natural resources and manpower, as the most populous black nation. With resources alongside corruption, the GDP is barely one a nation such as Nigeria can be proud of. Though plans and projects are being inaugurated every day, still Nigeria ranks high as a poverty capital, leaving many of its lower and middle class citizens in abject poverty, hunger and a low standard of living.
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