versus Resources Management in Nigeria:
What hopes for the 21st Century
Being a paper
delivered by Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor at the 2005
personnel psychology lecture series of the Department of Guidance and
Counselling, University of Ibadan on Friday February 11, 2005.
IT offers me immense pleasure to be here to
present this paper on one of the greatest scourges besetting our country. I have
chosen to speak on "corruption versus resources management in Nigeria" for two
reasons. One is the composition of the immediate target audience which is made
up of adults who are Masters degree students in Personnel Psychology. The
academic community remain the intellectual policy base of any society and thus a
suitable environment for exchange of idea and concepts.
Secondly, corruption, as it is, has
become a major problem that stares us in the face in this country today and thus
required to be tackled frontally in the spirit of the present government's anti
corruption war. I am one of those who strongly believe that all available fora
should be explored to combat the cankerworm which corruption had become in our
I had earlier stated that this is an academic environment, Ipso facto is it
germane that we should have conceptual frameworks for proper elucidation,
comprehension and direction of the topic of discourse. I consider two concepts
as key in the given topic. I shall attempt to define and explain them in the
following order Resource Management and Corruption.
What is resource
Kiragu (20002:68) identified six key objectives of effective resources
management as follows:
proper planning and budgeting;
effective and efficient
administration of government revenues;
proper use of budget resource;
effective control of public
accounting and reporting on
public finance; and
full accountability for all
This description pre supposes that resources management entails availability of
resources, mobilisation of resources and expenditure of resource. It is
pertinent to state that resources is not synonymous neither could it be narrowed
down to fiscal conflagration alone. Resources could be human or personnel, it
could be fixed such as land, it could be collateral such as securities, stocks
and bonds and so on and forth. However, my emphasis in this paper shall centre
around fiscal resource management.
From the above therefore, I want to
define resources management as a conscious aggregation, mobilisation and
deployment of materials for the accomplishment of set objective(s).
Section 162(1) of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 states that:
"The Federation shall maintain special account to be called "The Federation
Account" into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of
the Federation, except..."
One of the certain Federal Bodies established for the Federation by Section
153(1) therefore is the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The basic power of the commission is to, among the others, monitor the accuals
and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account.
In essence, it is being said that the
mobilisation and deployment of resources in Nigeria is crucial and as such the
fiscal aspect is significantly regulated by statute. This assertion could be
reinforced by the several agitations over resource control, sharing of the
national cake and the hues and cries about marginalisation all of which had
found their ways into our lexicon of daily usage.
It is therefore opposite to put the concept of corruption into conceptual
perspective from the on-set in order to facilitate an objective grasp of the
subject matter of this discourse from multi-dimensionary perspectives.
The Longman dictionary of
contemporary English define corruption as:
"Dishonest, illegal or immoral behaviour especially from someone with power".
Otite (1982:12) in the book Nigeria:
Corruption in development posits that corruption takes place;
"When at least two parties have interacted to change the structure of processes
by the society or the behaviour of functionaries in order to produce dishonest,
unfaithful or defiled situations".
Also Seidman (1974:2002) defines
corruption as: "The invocation of private viewing considerations in public
Seidman further explained that
corruption like law, truth, beauty etc has no agreed definition.
According to Gboyega (1965:50) in
Corruption and Democratisation in Nigeria, Corruption "involves the giving or
taking of a bribe, or illegal acquisition of wealth using the resources of a
public office, including the exercise of discretion. In this regard, it is those
who have business to do with government who are compelled somehow to provide
inducement to public officials to make them favours".
Furthermore, the British Department
for International Development in its Nigeria; Country Strategy Paper (CSP") for
the year 2000 stated that:
"Poverty persists in Nigeria because of the mismanagement of resources and
corruption, found particularly but not exclusively in the public sector".
Against the background of these
multi-dimensional perspectives which have established the pervasive extent of
corruption in Nigeria, further efforts have been made to categorise acts or
practices that could be described as corruption, at least in Nigeria's context.
Onimode 2000 in
Overview of Corruption and organised Crime in Africa has been able to
categorise the phenomenon into six concrete types:
"One is looting of funds and wealth kept secretly aboard, which he describes as
'Capital flight'. Two is misappropriation of public funds. Three, money
launderings i.e. acquired through fraudulent means (as stipulated in section 419
of the criminal code) drug trafficking, illegal arms deals etc. Four is
gratification which involves monetary, pecuniary, material or physical favour as
a condition or 'reward' for performing official duty. Five, abuse of office in
which an official violates an oath of office and or debases official procedure
for personal gains. Six is nepotism which confers underserved favours and
advantages to one's kinsmen.
Against the background of these
expositions, Ayua (2001:8-15) has illustrated the phenomenon of corruption in
Nigeria by compartmentalising it into the various sectors of the nation state as
Corruption in the private sector
Corruption in the private sector involves the following: Bribery by
multinational companies, serious fraud in the financial institutions where
sometimes criminals completely take over the banks, widespread evasion of taxes
by incorporated liability companies; insider trading-illegal use of confidential
information to make profits in the stock market; private operators who engage in
insider trading are actually stealing on other private investors; payment of
bribe in order to get contract for public works; exemption form regulation and
so forth. This Ayua (ibid) deduced that the deviant motivation for private
sector corruption is often undue financial advantage and or control of
monopolisation of economic opportunities.
Corruption in the
Ayua (ibid) contended that bureaucratic corruption has been the main target of
most definitions of corruption. It arises when for example under handed deals
are made between public authorities and elements in the private sector in order
to get special favours (fiscal). This include for instance, the design or
selection of uneconomical projects because of opportunities for financial
kick-backs; procurement fraud, including payments, kickbacks, collusion,
overcharging, misrepresentation, the delivery of substandard goods and services;
and illicit payments and or receipts of 'spend money'... Bureaucratic corruption
also includes extortion, misappropriation of funds, nepotism and favouritism,
personal use of official and government secrets, any improper exercising of
power or even time wasting or sleeping on the job.
Ayua (ibid) described Political Corruption as basically the use of political
power for financial gain or the use of financial power to buy political favours
or even to secure political power. The manifestation of political corruption
vote buying in an election,
illegal campaign contribution by the wealthy and other special interest
groups to influence public policies, laws and regulations, and of course
the use of public funds to reward
friends of the ruling party;
the use of ruling party as an
entrepreneurial political organisation by which through secret channels, it
corners lucrative contrasts thereby becoming a source of political and
economic corruption. In such a situation the political party ceases to serve
the people and the democratic institutions and becomes instead a contractor
with the capacity to cheat; and
creation of certain government
jobs to enrich individuals... Not only jobs are distributed, decorations
such as national honours and special favours are dished out on political
It is further opined that political
corruption is very dangerous because it transforms power into a means not of
governing for the common good but of enriching those in power and or spreading
all manners of rewards among loyal supporters at taxpayers expense.
corruption in Nigeria
On February 26, 1952, the Emir of Gwandu moved the following motion in the
Northern House of Chiefs:
That this House, agreeing that bribery and corruption are widely prevalent in
all walks of life recommends that Native Authorities should make every effort to
trace and punish offenders with strict impartiality and to educate public
opinion against bribery and corruption (Adebayo 1986: 19).
And yet 11 years later, writing in
1963 Ronald Wraith and Edgar Simpkins (1963) were able to observe that "in
Africa,, corruption flourishes as luxuriantly as the bush and the weeds which it
so much resembles, taking the goodness from the soil and suffocating the growth
of the plants which have been carefully and expensively bred and tended. The
forces ranged against it are negligence".
The corruption which Wraith and
Simpkins observed about 30 years ago is mere chicken feed compared with
corruption now prevalent in Nigeria today. It has grown beyond imagination and
to a degree, which boggles the mind. Corruption is a common word and has become
part of everyday usage.
As the foregoing analysis has clearly demonstrated, corruption is indeed a
frightening problem in Nigeria. It pervades every segment of the national
atmosphere and has overwhelmed all levels and all branches of government. It
undermines the goals of development. Public funds are often arbitrarily handled,
used for private purposes or deposited in personal accounts including fattening
of foreign bank accounts. Consequently governance and social economic conditions
have badly deteriorated.
Furthermore, corruption has adversely
affected the stability of government. Loyalties are fragmented by consideration
of personal gain, national unity is damaged, as corruption becomes an instrument
for promoting untoward tendencies in the country and thus undermining
relationships and destabilising the institutions of state.
Finally, corruption has retarded
economic development in Nigeria. According to the World Bank (1995), between
1973 and 1993, approximately US$200 billion was invested in Nigeria with very
The Yakubu Gowon
The eradication of corruption was among the "Nine-point programme of Gowon"
without which the 1976 hand-over date would be unrealistic.
Indeed, the Public Officer
(Investigation of Assets) Decree was promulgated during the Gowon era. There was
forefeiture of corruptly acquired assets by culprits in accordance with this
legislation. His regime was however overthrown because of its lack of capacity,
among other factors, to combat corruption. This reinforces the view that
corruption generates political instability.
The Murtala/Obasanjo administration instituted the legal frame-work for
combating corruption under the Corrupt Practices Decree No 38 of 1975.
Indeed, the first anti-corruption war
was launched by General Muhammed on 16th September, 1975. He set up a three man
panel to investigate and examine all the assets of certain former officers to
ensure that such officers have not abused their office in the acquisition of
such assets. This led to the retirement of very senior public officials and the
much talked about mass purge. His regime which initiated the making of the 1979
Constitution provided for a code of conduct for public officers; a Code of
Conduct Bureau for the enforcement of the prescribed behaviours, and a Code of
(Regime of Alhaji Shehu Shagari 1979-1983)
The Shagari administration launched an anti-corruption programme christened
"Ethical Revolution" and even appointed a Minister of Cabinet rank for national
guidance, following his lamentation about the state of corruption in Nigeria.
This was to raise awareness and hopefully change deviant behaviour into a
conforming one. Inspite of this, however, one of the key reasons why his
government was toppled was because of its weakness in controlling corruption.
The regime of Buhari-Idiagbon launched an anti-corruption programme called "War
Against Indiscipline". The government exhibited seriousness to fight fraud,
corruption, abuse of public office or graft and other similar vices. The regime
matched its pronouncements with action by not only promulgating draconian
legislation to control and prevent corrupt practices but brought to book people
considered to have been fraudulent of corrupt.
The Babangida regime initiated definite measures to combat corruption. The
regime set up the National Committee on Corruption and other Economic Crimes in
Nigeria with the following terms of reference:
identification of causes and the
possible extent of corruption in Nigeria;
examination of deficiencies in
the existing legislations on corruption and the economic crimes; and
(a) suggestion of remedies which would lead to the curbing of the incidence
of corruption, including suggested improvements to the existing legislation.
The committee came up with the
Corrupt Practices and Economic Crime Decree 1990.
This Decree expanded the definition
of corruption to encompass the private sector. It also improved and widened the
scope of economic crimes. It further provided for the establishment of an
Independent Commission Against Corruption that is similar in composition and
function to the current Independent Anti-Corruption Commission. It also provided
for private investigations and the corrupt practices court.
Unfortunately however, in spite of
its far reaching provisions, the decree never went beyond the draft stage, thus
there was really no strong legal system on ground to effectively control
corruption during that era. It was compounded by the fact that people who were
hitherto convicted on account of corrupt practices were not only freed but
pardoned. Properties confiscated were also returned to such people.
Abacha's regime 1994-1998
- The late General Abacha's regime produced a draft anti-corruption legislation
titled Indiscipline, Corrupt Practices and Economic Crime (Prohibition) Draft
Decree 1994. The draft Decree was largely and in substance, a replica (except
for few changes in nomenclature) of the Babangida's 1990 Draft Decree on corrupt
practices and economic crime.
democratic government 1999 till date
The enthronement of a democratic government after more than two decades of
military rule in Nigeria has posed a formidable challenge particularly along the
direction of combating corruption which has become the biggest obstacle
confronting national development.
The Obasanjo administration appeared
to have a full awareness of the disturbing nature of the enigma. The first bill
proposed to the National Assembly within a few months of its assumption of
office was the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Bill 1999 which
later was passed and became the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act
2000. It needs be stated that the Act drew significant inspirations and
technicalities from the Corrupt Practices and Economic Crime Draft Decree 1990.
Although certain statutes such as the criminal and penal codes had been in
existence in the Nigerian Legal System before the ICPC Act, it is not
contestable that the Anti-Graft Law 2000 demonstrated serious commitment to
fight corruption in Nigeria.
The Act comprises of 71 sections. The
functions of the ICPC are stated in Section 6 of the Act as follows:
(a) where reasonable grounds exist for suspecting that any person has
conspired to commit or has attempted to commit or has committed an offence under
this Act or any other prohibiting corruption, to receive and investigate any
report of the conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit or the commission of such
offence, and in appropriate cases, to prosecute the offenders;
(b) to examine the practices, systems and procedure of public bodies and
where in the opinion of the commission, such practices, systems or procedures
aid or facilitate fraud or corruption, to direct and supervise a review of them;
(c) to instruct, advise and assist any officer, agency or parastatals on
ways by which fraud or corruption may be eliminated or minimised by such
officer, agency or parastatal;
(d) to advise heads of public bodies of any changes in practices, systems
or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of the duties of the
public bodies as the Commission thinks fit to reduce the likelihood incidence of
bribery, corruption and related offences;
(e) to educate the public on and against bribery, corruption and related
(f) to enlist and foster public support in combating corruption. In
addition to the ICPC, the present administration also established the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which also possesses statutory powers to
fight corruption in Nigeria.
What hopes for the
President Obasanjo, on assumption of office as President in May 1999 made it
known that he will prosecute drastic war against corruption. According to him,
the 2000 Anti-Graft Law had sufficient provisions and had empowered the ICPC
with enough muscle and sharp fangs to combat the menace. For instance, any
citizen now has the right to apply to court asking that a corrupt governor or
minister or any other public officer be investigated.
President Obasanjo had however blamed
us all for not coming up with figures and documents to prove that other rulers
were corrupt. He said it was not enough for Nigerians to lament, in private and
public discussions, without being willing, ready and able to prove suspicions.
Another fact that may not be
contested is that the 2000 Anti-Graft Law has been able to raise the level of
consciousness of Nigerians on the menace of corruption and its debilitating
effect upon all sphere of our national life. The menace now occupies the front
burner in public and private discourse in Nigeria. No other subject had
attracted public attention like that of the evils of corruption in Nigeria in
the last five years.
Finally, it is observed that
corruption will thrive in the face of poverty, adversity and hardship. It is
therefore incumbent on government to create an enabling environment for
improvement in social welfare system through the payment of appropriate wages
and general improvement in the living conditions of the people. The Obasanjo-led
government in Nigeria deserve kudos for introducing a minimum living wage on
assumption of office and the several poverty reduction and eradication
programmes it had instituted. Similarly, the present administration had
introduced a Due process Unit in the Presidency to ensure that extant
regulations are complied with in the award and execution of government
In Ekiti State, a due process unit is firmly in place along the model of the
Federal Government. Similarly, my administration has instituted several poverty
reduction programmes and strategies to checkmate the menace of corruption in the
state. Upon my assumption of office, my administration had ensured the payment
of arrears of salaries and allowances that were owed public servants by the
previous administration. Further to this, public servants in Ekiti State now
receives their wages on the 20th of each month.
My administration had also purchased
and distributed vehicles and motorcycles for intra and inter state
transportation, thereby ensuring the employment of able bodied men and movement
of persons and goods. Furthermore, my administration had purchased tractors and
other implements for mechanised agriculture in Ekiti State while we have
embarked on an integrated poultry scheme which has the capacity of employing
about 1,500 workers across the state.
Also, we have embarked on several
turn around infrastructural development projects in intra and inter-township
roads, electricity supply and water distribution newtork with a view to
improving upon the standard of living of our people. These are to mention but a