Bureaucratic Corruption and Socio-Economic Development
1.1 Background of the Study
The role of the public bureaucracy in fostering a perfect and efficient socio-economic development and administrative system in a country cannot be underestimated. This can be seen from the vital role it plays in the formulation and implementation of policies designed for the development of such country. In Nigeria, the performance of the public bureaucracy has come under severe criticisms and questionings within the context of the gap that exists between its anticipated role and its actual output. The failure of the public bureaucracy to deliver the expected output to the society informed the series of reforms that have come to form the policy thrust of successive Nigerian government since the 1980’s (Gbenga, 2016).
Suffice it to say therefore, that the aftermath of such reforms has been on the need to have an efficient and responsive public service that has the capacity to meet the challenges posed by the domestic and internal environments. The efforts of the Nigerian government have not yielded the much expected results due to the problem of corruption that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society-the public bureaucracy not sparred.
Nigeria represents a typical case of a country whose development has been undermined and retarded by the menace of corrupt practices (Gbenga & Ariyo, 2016). Undoubtedly, corruption has permeated the Nigeria’s society even in the civil service. In the words of Achebe (1988), “anyone who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet become alarming is either a fool, a crook or else does not live in this country”. Achebe’s observation underscores the level of corruption in the Nigerian society. The prevalence of these activities in the various aspects of our administrative activities has a tremendous adverse effect on the quality of life in Nigeria. Urien (2002), noted that the allegation and charges of corruption now play a more central role in our bureaucratic system than at any other. He added that corruption has fallen the careers of world renowned public figures, and reputations of well-respected organization and business firms tarnished on account of it.
Bureaucratic corruption has been identified as a systematic practice that engenders low level of transparency and accountability by civil servant and other government officials as the major source of development failures in Nigeria (National Planning Commission, 2015).
The above notion goes to simply indicate that the effects of corruption on the practice of public administration in Nigeria are enormous. Lipset & Lenz (2018), simply stated that a bureaucratic corrupt government would always shift government expenditure to areas where they can collect bribes. And this is exactly the case with Nigerian State. Corruption can be observed in various forms, such as bribery, embezzlement, extortion and nepotism. Each one of these forms is equally responsible for stunting the growth of the nation. When corruption permeates into bureaucracy, public administration crumbles in so many ways.
Firstly, performance becomes an “eye-service” practice which would consequently bring about sub-optimization and reduces productivity. Secondly, it creates a feeling of frustration on the few incorruptible ones in the system, and low morale. Thirdly, it increases the cost of running of the government. This underscores the reason why Nigeria spends huge sums of money in her public service yet no meaningful result is anchored (Lipset & Lenz (2008).
Bureaucratic corruption deepens poverty and makes it difficult for a smooth running of the system. This is because it undermines the original characteristics of transparency, accountability, impersonality etc. The study therefore seeks to address the issue of corruption with a view of reducing its tom the barest minimum or eradicating it for good.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue of bureaucratic corruption has become a major problem of national development in Nigeria. The practice is widespread at every level, polity, administrative, as well as the upper and lower levels of the administration. Corrupt practices occur in nearly all ministries departments and agencies. The practices are more widespread with each passing day. Corruption has been observed in various forms, such as bribery, embezzlement, extortion, nepotism and favouritism.
Several attempts have been made in the past to identify and proffer solutions, to close loopholes that give rise to this dangerous phenomenon called bureaucratic corruption. However, the difficulties associated with beaucratic reforms have been that of implementers lacked the political will to pursue the reforms in a persistent and courageous manner. The lack of sustained campaign by the leaders against bureaucrats and corruption is at the bottom of the numerous failed attempts at solving corruption in the larger context.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine bureaucratic corruption and socio-economic development in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The study sought to:
- Ascertain the effects of bureaucratic corruption on socio-economic development in sagbama Local Government Area.
- Examine the causes of bureaucratic corruption in sagbama Local Government Area.
- Investigate the problems associated with the fight against bureaucratic corruption in sagbama Local Government Area.
- Suggest measures that can be taken to reduce corruption in sagbama Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study
- To what extent does bureaucratic corruption affect the socio-economic development in Sagbama Local government Area?
- What area the causes of bureaucratic corruption in Sagbama Local government Area?
- What are the problems associated with the fight against bureaucratic corruption in Sagbama Local Government Area?
- What measures can be adopted by the government in curbing bureaucratic corruption in Sagbama Local Government Area.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The beneficiary of this study shall be students, academicians, government agencies, bureaucrats and leaders in public service etc.
The study will make persons, agents as well as bureaucrats and leaders at both national and international level to understand the danger of corruption to national development.
Since leadership is said to be a working instrument through which policies and plains are been executed, if bureaucrats continue to habour corruption as way of life and fails to make the necessary amendments, it will not bring about the needed change in the society and the lives of the masses in general. The study will help the government to know the measures to be adopted top tackle corrupt bureaucrat.