by Solomon Essien Udofe, NYSC, Ibadan.
Corruption can be viewed from political angle. Political corruption occurs when an office holder or Government employee act in an official capacity for personal gain; Stephen D. Morris, a Professor of Politics says.
On the other hand, Lan Senior, an Economist sees corruption sees corruption as an action to secretly provide a good or a service to a third party so that he or she can influence certain action which benefit the actioner, a third party or both, in which the corrupt agent has authority.
Thus in broad terms, corruption can be performed during Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, Religious and Educational activities by persons in positions of authorities in the aforementioned domains.
The scale of corruption range from petty corruption small favour between a small number of non-official people, through grand or large scale corruption that affects government, corporations or companies officials, to a corruption that has become part of everyday structure of the entire society otherwise known as systemic corruption.
In Nigeria, corruption is one of country’s biggest challenges because it has grown systemic and found in every sector of our society. It affects the citizens who travel to other nations because all the migrating citizens are viewed as corrupt.
Corruption is epitomized along diverse continuum ranging from kidnapping of fellow citizen for killing for money ritual purposes by the corrupted or perverted mind, to hijacking of election ballot boxes to manipulate the election figures outcome to enable preferred candidate to win election for ” benefits. It is so bad that of recent (not so in the past) the educational system that is expected to build the foundation to produce medical experts, engineers, financial analysts and so on have had its foundation rocked by desperate students and parent seeking examination success through cheating.
The consequences of such educational cheats on human life care, technological failures and economic planning are better imagined. No wonder, financially comfortable citizens seek Medicare abroad so as not to be murdered by these examination cheats, no wonder construction organisations including the Government seek foreign technicians who acquire knowledge with curiosity instead of our examination cheats who desperately seek to acquire paper certificate.
The ‘gown’ or University and Polytechnic leaderships where expectations of thoroughness are high have themselves been pervaded by the turbulent corruption ravaging the ‘town’ or society exhibited by labour unions strikes and protest alleging financial improprieties against significant University and Polytechnic leaderships.
The Judicial and law enforcement processes are themselves hatching corruption with scandals in allegations of bribery, intimidations, extortions and sometimes sexual harassments of young inmates in detentions cells or prisons.
What about the corruption of match fixing in sports, or those in the Nigerian heavenly terrain of mosques and churches? Which of these corruptions should we not discourage?
Indeed, corruption is not in anybody’s interest, be it individual, groups or government. Much as it is impossible to eradicate corruption because of its magnitude, spread and deep entrenchment in our complex society, it can be curbed significantly.
It is in this wise that I want to advocate new ways of tackling corruption in our country as follow;
- Increasing salaries of workers most especially Policemen, Judges and their officials so that they will not easiy succumb to bribery.
- A policy that would provide a certain percentage payable incentive to any government agency for any project completed within time and budget. Such money would be shared to everyone in that agency. This is expected to go a long way in preventing jobs to wrong contractors for monetary gains.
- Integrity should be made rewarding. Government should reward diligent servants as a motivation for those still on duty. In the same vein, Government should give incentive for evry case that is settled within allotted time.
- Politics should be made unattractive by reducing the salaries of politicians.
- Parents, civil and religious societies have a role to play by teaching honest and moral behavior right from childhood.
- There should be social education on the limit of greed in daily social life.
- Employment generation for the teeming population is another means of curbing corruption. Government and capable hands should endeavor to generate more jobs for the citizens. A busy hand may find it more difficult to engage in fraudulent and criminal acts of internet scamming, kidnapping, cultism and armed robbery.
- Government should make provision for proper funding of schools to enable acquisition of useful skills for self-employment and productivity.
- Equal treatment of caught corrupt officials, the rich and poor in the society.
- Finally, anti-corruption institutions such as ICPC, and EFCC should be empowered to carry out their work adequately and independently to ensure transparency and decency in the system.