In a simple definition, corruption is an unholy act of embezzling funds meant for the general good of a state or country.
In Nigeria today, we have seen corruption eating deep into the fabric of our nation. Is so endemic or rooted in our system that almost every body is involved.
Instances abound of corrupt government officials who stole huge sums of money and little or no punishment is melted on them. What this simply means is that the country has over the years experienced a backward development in the midst of plenty.
Why the problem of corruption? What are the causes? How do will address the problem to destroy this social evil?
Firstly, greed is the number one cause of corruption in Nigeria. The need or urge to acquire, to be a millionaire has run the country. For instance, millions and billions of Naira have been stolen from the country by our corrupt leaders. This is a very sad and unhealthy for social, economic and political development for our country.
Secondly, indiscipline is another cause of corruption in Nigeria. Most of the government officials are not discipline; hence they loot or embezzle the money meant for the general good of all.
Thirdly, the laws of the land are not hard enough on our corrupt leaders. This is why they take an advantage of the loopholes created by the laws to steal stinkingly from the country knowing fully well that they can in most cases go scot free. For instance, we have cases of corrupt Nigerians who looted our treasury and they are going about freely in the streets.
Fourthly, another cause of corruption in Nigeria is putting square pegs in round holes. This has destroyed merits and put mediocres in key areas and ultimately, a destruction of social, political and economic setting.
The right caliber of man are not appointed to the right place. This gives room for looting, bribery, embezzlement and other social vices in the country.
Lastly, the high rate of poverty and unemployment are strong causes of corruption in Nigeria. Many don’t have jobs, roaming the streets. Even those working are poorly paid with dependants on them very high. So, with the general poor state of things across the country, an average Nigerian is prompted to accept bribe, loot and engage in other social vices.
What are the remedies to this social evil? How can this problem of corruption be reduced to the barest minimum?
- The greed rearing the heads of most Nigerians to acquire and acquire much wealth to the detriment of the country should be discouraged. There should be re-orientation towards our value system. Those behind capital flights, looting our treasury and embezzlement should put a stop to this nonsense.
- Discipline should be the bedrock for social and economic transformation process. Discipline or patriotism will surely make you rise above corruption since it is a social evil that destroys.
- The laws of the land should be hard on our corrupt leaders or government officials. The various agencies assigned to fight corruption in Nigeria should be re-organized and strengthened. EFCC, ICPC, Judicial system and other relevant bodies should wage strong wars against corrupt culprits. Those who are guilty of corruption should be arrested, jailed and their looted funds confiscated.
Lastly, we should be re-oriented to shun corruption at all levels of government. We should learn to do things right rather than looking for a way to sabotage. We should embrace values rather than things that will destroy our nation.
In conclusion, the war against corruption in Nigeria should be fought holistically. All loopholes that give room for corruption should be sealed up so that Nigeria can make progress politically, socially and economically. All hands must be on deck in the nation building.