Corruption; The Anomaly We Should End

The article portrays how corruption has already become an easy inroad in our society. Meaning of corruption, corruption in each sector and its drawbacks, and a possible way forward were all reviewed in this article.

To start with, corruption is diverting scarce public resources into private pockets. It is the misuse of political power for private profit; it is a way of legitimizing unholy political actions to benefit vested interests. It can also be seen as an improper way of doing things, all for personal gains. Although it is a worldwide phenomenon, the issue of the upsurge of corruption in mostly third-world countries is alarming. This is because morality in most third-world countries has been relaxed and makes becoming corrupt almost unavoidable. 

Corruption in the case of Nigeria is multidimensional and all-encompassing; it has eaten deep into the fabric of each of her sectors and her people in its entirety, both in petty and grand forms. This ranges from top to bottom. The web of corruption does not only revolve around the rich alone but captures the poor as well. Corruption has already become an easy inroad in our societies. Corruption has become a way of life in Nigeria. This phenomenon has destroyed the country's fabric in its entirety and has virtually become a commonly accepted way of life. It seems to have been institutionalized already; this is evidently because anybody caught in this act is no longer frowned upon. In the areas of corruption, immorality, and debasement of social values, all sectors of the country are as bankrupt as the country itself. Bribery, gratification, election rigging, acquisition of wealth/properties through fraudulent and/or illegal means, non-remittance of funds into the federation account, contract scam, oil theft, nepotism, among many others, have already been legitimized as part of normal life activities. 

The damage these unscrupulous, corrupt individuals (specifically the politicians) have done to this country is incalculable and mind-boggling. Let's take, for example, how the value of naira to dollar skyrocketed high to the sky and nearly plucked down the moon. A naira was said to be equivalent to $1.25 in 1984. But unfortunately, within the shortest period ( I.e., in 1999, a dollar was equivalent to #103), it gradually depreciates and gives way for the dollar to surpass its value. Till today, the naira has become a mocking quirk to other currencies of the world.

Despite being abundantly endowed with vast natural resources, the country still finds it impossible to enjoy the dividends of democracy but is instead classified among poor countries in the world, as the phenomenon has already eaten deep into the fiber of the country. Her resources which, if judiciously utilized, would be enough to bring about sustainable development, were being recklessly managed. This is a result of her leaders, those who were supposed to bring about genuine development to the country, only prioritized their own selfish and personal interests. Instead of randomly investing in every sector to bring about genuine and comprehensive development to the country, the so-called leaders select specific areas of interest, leaving the rest to totter. Each regime jettisoned the policies of its predecessor and started afresh with new policies and staff. 

With each passing day, the economy deteriorated as corruption ran through the veins of our leaders; the greediness in them made them treat the country's treasury like a hapless cow that is about to be milked to death. They continue raping her for genuine development and gradually change her story into a tragic one which even an infant can foretell how the ends will look like. Without gainsaying, the anti-corruption measures of the Nigerian government have proved futile. This is because the masses' priorities are turned upside down, hard work is not rewarded, but rogues and ill-gotten wealth are often glorified. Granting favors that poison the growth and development of the country, embezzlement of the nation's posterity, glorifying the success or triumph of dishonesty, among many other anomalies, point to how far corruption has reached in the society. 

Recently, I doubt if there's anything good to write about the country, as each sector keeps on nursing one pain or the other. The price of crude oil plummeted upon having four sick but able to cure refineries in the country. It is frightening to observe that within years the menace keeps on doubling up instead of declining. When it comes to the education sector, this is where one will be flabbergasted as to how the sector's situation is baseless; like a calabash on a lake with no sense of direction, it may not sink; it may keep drifting. The incessant feuds between ASUU and Federal Government, leaving the students hapless and weak like a rag being beaten by rain, should have spoken it all. A visit to any university bookshop in Nigeria tells the story of empty bookshelves. The rot in the university system in Nigeria is permeating: it runs deep in the academic sphere as well as in social life, and discipline has ceased to function not only among the students but also among their teachers. The educators are in dire need of education. Integrity and learning, which operate as the essential standards previously used for the award of a university degree, have since faded away.

Government tight-fisted in releasing funds, dilapidating infrastructures, unqualified manpower, mass abduction of students and staff, conditional sale of handouts to students, irregular admission of students, and sometimes sexual harassment and examination malpractice remains the order of the day. All these are being executed by those liable for breeding and molding the character of the country's future leaders. Hence we can, to some length, maintain that the future of Nigeria is at risk. 

Even the hospitals are now a shanty town, a sort of slum as Professor Bello Osagie had once regarded it, with the majority of their equipment no longer functional. Our health care centers that should be there to cure the sick themselves are sick and need to be cured. Poor governance, shortage of highly skilled personnel, misuse of political power, private gain at public expense, contract scam, and oil theft, among many other monstrous acts, remain the major dwindling force in our societies. The atmosphere in our communities is not congenial to the production of leaders who will deliver this nation from its present economically depressed state.

We all must go back to the basics, to those things that have sustained us over the ages. Immorality in society should be severely dealt with and shunned at its highest. Anyone caught engaging in any act of corruption should be brought to book and dealt with accordingly, irrespective of their social status. Many of our institutions, laws, and regulations are in serious need of reform. This is because each sector at the moment is just like the butcher shops that are being guarded by vultures. A strong rope should be used instead of this present fragile rope that is too weak for the big politicians committing grand thefts. Good skills should not be left to waste, and also honest efforts should be adequately rewarded. These, among many more, will go a long way to controlling the upsurge of corruption in our society.

Sorry before I go, what do you call the selling of jobs? Or is it collecting money before giving work to people? Don't mind me; it was something I experienced myself a week ago. No amount of prayers can change this country if we, the people in it, won't change. Corruption was a monster we made; it was being molded wholly by us and was not necessitated for us by eternal forces. By the same logic, we can change what we have made. There's nothing we are experiencing now that is exempt from our capacity to alter. This is to say that ' where the causes spring from resides the cure' human beings can change what human beings have made. 

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