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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.

1.7       Methodology

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.

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