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1.1 Background to study
One of the problems facing most third world, developing and or underdeveloped countries including Nigeria today is corruption (Lawal, and Oladunjoye, 2010). This to a large extent affects development. In Nigeria for example, this problem has become endemic such that the entire fabric of the society is affected. Past administrations be it civilian or military had in the time past, put in place machineries to curb and or curtail this menace. Presently, there are institutions established with the sole aim of eradicating corruption. Yet, the disease has refused to go away or die.
Corruption is an ethical and moral problem not subject to a consistent theoretical construct, because it varies from place to place, time to time, culture to culture and with the level of development in given country (Aremu, 2013). While one can say that corruption is a global phenomenon, the degree of corruption varies. For example, the incidence of corruption is less in developed countries with good welfare system; it is high in countries and or less developed economies with poor welfare system and income. It is less on socialist countries than in capitalist countries. The machineries or structures put in place in the fight against corruption are either faulty and or defective thereby making the whole exercise a mere jamboree at the start.
Corruption is the greatest bane of local government administration in Nigeria. Corruption is an ethical and moral problem not subject to a consistent theoretical construct, because it varies from place to place, time to time, culture to culture and with the level of development in given country (Aremu, 2013). Political or grand corruption takes place at the high levels of the political system. It is when the politicians and state agents, who are entitled to make and enforce the laws in the name of the people, are themselves corrupt. The roots of political corruption in Nigeria are generally agreed to have emanated from Nigeria’s history of colonization. Prior to colonization, the territory that now comprises the state of Nigeria was made up of more than 250 different tribes, clans, and social groups (U.S. Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs 2011).
One of the fundamental problems of contemporary Nigeria is corruption. It has thrived, progressed and flourished unabated. Corruption has been institutionalized to the point of accepting it as part of our system. Albeit corruption is ubiquitous, it is found all over the world, but the degree of its manifestation varies from system to system (Lawal and Oladunjoye, 2010). These discrete entities had their own customs, organization, and social functioning. Europeans first came to Nigeria as slave traders. Eventually Britain outlawed the practice and companies began trading in agricultural goods. During the 19th century, the British government took control of relations between British trading companies and various ethnic groups in Nigeria, creating both a Northern and a Southern ‘protectorate’. In 1914, Britain formally declared the territory a colony, naming it Nigeria and it remained so until October 1, 1960. Shortly before regaining independence, the British government designed a federalist form of democratic government around ethnic territorial divisions, as the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group was dominant in the North, while the Igbo inhabited in the East, and the Yoruba resided in the West. The federalist system was initially designed to give substantial autonomy to the South while retaining federal power in the North.
Political corruption occurs at the top level of the state, and it has political repercussions (Mikail, 2012). Political corruption not only leads to the misallocation of resources, but it also affects the manner in which decisions are made. Political corruption is the manipulation of the political institutions and the rules of procedure, and therefore it influences the institutions of government and the political system, and it frequently leads to institutional decay. Political corruption is therefore something more than a deviation from formal and written legal norms, from professional codes of ethics and court rulings (Mikail, 2012). Political corruption is when laws and regulations are more or less systematically abused by the rulers, side-stepped, ignored, or even tailored to fit their interests. Political corruption is a deviation from the rational-legal values and principles of the modern state, and the basic problem is the weak accountability between the governors and the governed (Mikail, 2012). In particular in authoritarian countries, the legal bases, against which corrupt practices are usually evaluated and judged, are weak and furthermore subject to downright encroachment by the rulers. Therefore, this study will focus on Political corruption and National development in Nigeria, A study of the National Assembly from 2007-2018.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Certainly, corruption is neither culture-specific nor system bound. It is ubiquitous. However, the severity and its devastating impact vary from one system to the other (Lawal and Oladunjoye, 2010). The impact is undoubtedly more severe and devastating in the developing world with a weak economic base, fragile political institutions and inadequate control mechanisms. Nigeria today is at a critical stage since independence. The country faces a severe crisis in its economic, social and political development that is not unconnected to the problem of pandemic corruption (Agada and Atelhe, 2014). The manifestations of the crises are clear, the remedies much less so. Therefore, for a country awakening to democracy after long years of military authoritarianism, endemic corruption and stupendous wastage pose greater challenges. Since 1999 when the country returned to civil rule, there is no doubt that corruption has been the bane of democratic stability and survival. News about corruption is no longer stunning (Agada and Atelhe, 2014). This vindicates consistent rating of Nigeria by Transparency International (TI), the global watchdog on corruption, as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. All anti-corruption strategies by the various successive governments have had trifling impacts. The pathological effects of corruption are democratic instability, low level of governmental legitimacy, voracious poverty, infrastructural decay, electoral crisis, contract killing, political assassination, insecurity and generally, developmental problems- have been very devastating. Regrettably, those who claim to be the right physicians, as the previous and current revelations have shown, have come out as patients (Preye, 2011).
The existence of political corruption in a democratic society (Nigeria inclusive) is perceived as an aberration. This is because the actual practice of democratic principles rest squarely on the legal code of society. Thus, the existence of high incidence of political corruption tends to have more serious consequences on democracies more than any form of government (Mark, 2007). This is so because it poses dangerous omen to the principles of democracy. There is a strong consensus among scholars that suggests that political corruption does no good to democracy. Consequently, political corruption erodes and corrodes the meaning, mechanisms and the very essence of democracy. Again, political corruption breaks the link and people’s power to influence collective decisions, contribute input into the system, affects voting pattern, generates general apathy for meaningful participation (Mark, 2007). By way of extending the argument from the foregoing, since political corruption is a deviant behavior that inhibits the rules and tenets of democracy, it also poses dangerous threat to the consolidation and objectives of democracy in Nigeria. Hence this study is poised to examine the effect of political corruption on national development.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of this study is to examine the political corruption and National development in Nigeria: A study of this National Assembly from 2007-2018. The specific objective of this study include the following:
1. To examine the evolutional root and causes of political corruption in Nigeria.
2. To ascertain the influence of political corruption on National development.
3. To find out the impact of corruption in the National assembly on the development of Nigeria.
4. To investigate the ways to tackle political corruption In Nigeria.
1.4 Relevant Research Questions
The following research questions guide the objectives of this research.
1. What are the evolutional root and causes of political corruption in Nigeria?
2. What is the influence of political corruption on National development?
3. What is the impact of corruption in the National assembly on the development of Nigeria?
4. What are the ways to tackle political corruption In Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be of great benefit to students, researchers, Policymakers, Academics, Economists, Civil Societies, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Government.
To the Policymakers, Academics, Economists, civil societies, NGOs, this study would provide valuable information that could be used to make sure that the rate of political corruption in Nigeria is reduced to the barest minimum and usher in vibrant development in the area of provision of social amenities that would bring about a high standard of living.
This study will expose the government at different levels to the implication of political corruption on the development of Nigerians and the standard of living of the people so as to formulate policies that will help tackle corruption in Nigeria.
Finally, this study will serve as a guide and reference for students and other researchers that will embark on the same research.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will examine political corruption and National development in Nigeria: A study of this National Assembly from 2007-2018, this research work will also unravel different active causes and consequences of political corruption.
Secondary sources of gathering data will be largely employed for this study. This research will be based on content analysis, which involves a critical review of related materials, literature, journals, magazines, and textbooks, it will also involve sourcing or browsing the net for materials. Communication with authorities in the field will also not be overlooked in this research.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Corruption: corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit
Development: Economic development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Political Corruption: Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain
National Assembly politically is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries.