Ethnicisation of corruption in Nigeria

Published date27 July 2020
Date27 July 2020
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorDare Ezekiel Arowolo
Ethnicisation of corruption
in Nigeria
Dare Ezekiel Arowolo
Department of Political Science and Public Administration,
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the ethnicisation of corruption in Nigeria. This paper
examines the roleof ethnicity in promoting corruption, the impact of ethnicity on corruptionand the challenge
it poses for its combat.
Design/methodology/approach The study uses descriptiveanalysis and evidence-based research.
Findings The paper found evidence that corruption was deeply rooted in various ethnic groups that
people Nigeria,and this is the major factor militatingagainst measures to combat it. The f‌indingsare relevant
for understandingthe dynamics of corruption and strategiesto combat it.
Originality/value The papers uniqueness is its departure from the overly researched problems,
consequencesand causes of corruption to a new area of linking ethnicity to the virulentnature of corruption in
Nigeria.It shows a number of evidences of ethnic dimension to corruptionescalation in the country.
Keywords Development, Governance, Corruption, Ethnic groups, Dimension, Ethnicisation
Paper type Conceptual paper
Introduction and the problem
Corruption seems to be a universal phenomenon regardless of geography and forms of
government (Warf, 2017).But what perhaps varies are the severity and consequences (Warf,
2017). As it is found in poor countries,its semblance is noticeable in rich countries as well. It
is a phenomenon that def‌ies potency of law and attacks moral sense and decencyof society
(Lumumba, 2014;Nduku, 2014;Warf, 2017). One of the challenges of human race is
corruption. It is a universal threat, causing want in the midst of plenty (Nigeria), rendering
government incapable of delivering services (Somalia), reducing funding for public budget
and provision of essential services (Ethiopia), instigating political instability (Kenya),
prolonging conf‌lict (Angola) and encouraging patronage system through militarised
kleptocracies(Sudanand South Sudan) (Kristof, 2015;Malaquias, 2001;Nduku, 2014;Warf,
2017). Scholars are in consensus thatin the case of Africa, the severity and pervasiveness of
corruption are incomparable to anywhere in the world (Jones, 2006;Lawal, 2007;Lawson,
2009;Manga, 1999;Mbaku,2008).
Africa is vulnerable to excruciating corruption causing retarded growth, endemic
poverty and illiteracy (Matti, 2010;Mwangi, 2008;Plummer, 2012;Tangri and Mwenda,
2006). Transparency International(TI) (2018) painted a gloomy picture of deleterious effects
of corruption on the African continent. According to the TI (2018), about 80% of Africans
live on less than $2 a day, while $50bn in asset is being stolen from Africaon yearly basis,
and 75 million people in Africa had had to pay bribes in 2016 (TI, 2018). This moneycould
be used for provision of jobs andcritical social services. This perhaps explains the pervasive
lack of development being experienced in almost all parts of Africa, from Zimbabwe to
Libya. Corruption reinforces and perpetuates poverty and want. Africa presents a hapless
situation in terms of f‌ighting the scourge(Hanson, 2009;TI, 2018). Accounts of corruption in
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.29 No. 1, 2022
pp. 246-257
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-06-2020-0106
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