Editorial

Bribery And Corruption: Rationales behind Nigeria’s backwardness

By: Mukhtar Garba Kobi

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Bribery and corruption are the two prodigious factors that derailed Nigeria from the path of progress and harnessing potentials of citizens.

The country became independent in 1960 which was the same year independent countries in Africa rose from nine to twenty-six with over 180 million population and still dwindling in corruption.

According to Corruption Perception Index reported by Transparency International, Nigeria is currently the 154th corrupt nation out of 180 countries sampled; the countries were ranked based on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived to be.

The index brought to limelight the gravity of damages done in the public sector which has been the engine room for sustainable developments.

Looking at the scratch, corruption usually starts from homes where children are born and brought-up, husband gives money to wife for the upkeep of the family, she deducts some amounts and give it to senior son or daughter, they also take lion-share before finally delivering the rest to junior ones. These chains of mistrust and cheating became habits and actions amongst family members, they hardly handle or share money fairly; as children grow, they extend it to peers.

The current administration in Nigeria surprised many in the fight against bribery and corruption, it has tried but still lots need to be done. Corrupt public officials in 2015 fled out of the country but returned after discovering that decamping to the ruling party was the way out.

Similarly, the cases of bribery and corruption could also be found in schools, students that find some courses difficult, unable to pass test or examinations mostly pay specific amounts to lecturers or invigilators and consequently succeed.

Presently, there is an institution where some lecturers tell students whoever want to pass must pay aside from registration fees, any student that refuses to pay end-up getting carryover while some ladies graduated through sex-for-grade practice; those from rich backgrounds suffer not.

Imagine, youths that are seen as future leaders relying heavily on giving money to excel rather than earning through merit and sweat; this shows that the future would be confusious and full of quagmires.

Aside from kidnappings, coming across checkpoints when one is travelling by road is frightful as securities extort money from drivers as well as passengers, some commuters worsen the situation by encouraging drivers to give or offer bribe purposely not to spend long time there.

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Bribe has led to the killings of innocent people by security officers, in 2019, a truck drivers operating along Akure-Owo expressway was shot dead following his refusal to pay N50 bribe to police officer at a checkpoint.

Likewise in 2020, along Bauchi-Jos road, security agent shot a driver that instantly took his life just for declining to give bribe; after the incident, other drivers flying the road blocked it for hours seeking justice for their dead colleague.

In most times, luxury-driven leaders collect huge amounts before approving contracts while contractors execute public projects with substandard materials and nobody will challenge them because they knew or are related to top government officials.

To deal with bribery and corruption, people caught offering or collecting bribe with evidences beyond doubt must be punished, doing this will serve as deterrent to others.

Security agents collect amounts from drivers stating that their remunerations are not enough to solve their family demands, their salaries as well as allowances should be paid to them promptly; these will ginger them to perform optimally and shun bribe.

Ordinary people should be reporting a case of bribe and expose corrupt scandals, but their safeties should be guaranteed.

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