1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of about 140 million and more than one-fifth of the continents total population. It is also the second largest economy in sub-Sahara Africa after South Africa with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about $133 billion in 2005 (Abisoye, 2008). Potentially, Nigeria possess the human and material resources to make it one of the richest states on the African continent and a major player in the global political economy. Despite the country’s vast oil wealth and abundant human resources, endemic corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s resources have undermined Nigeria economic progress and resulted in about 60% of her population living in poverty.
Successive administration in Nigeria have succeeded in plundering the economy to the extent that as at 2007, the Transparency International ranked Nigeria among the five most corrupt countries of the world. (T.I. Corruption Perception Index, 2007). Sadly, corruption is now a major issue in Nigeria. Its perpetrators cut across politicians, judicial officers, state security apparatus, military and police, business executives, and bureaucrats. It has worsened to a state that it is now believed that one cannot successfully carry out any transaction in Nigeria without paying bribe.
In 1996, a study conducted by Transparency International (T.I.) and Goettingen University ranked Nigeria as the most corrupt nation among 54 nations listed in the study with Pakistan as the second highest (Moore 1997:4). In the 1998 Transparency International Corruption perception Index of 85 countries, Nigeria ranked among the most corrupt countries pooled (Lipset and Lenz 2000:113). In 2007, Nigeria slipped down in CPI as it ranked 2nd among 91 countries pooled with Bangladesh coming first. In 2007, out of 120 countries pooled Nigeria with a score of 2.2 ranked 5th with countries like Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Buarus, and Congo Republic coming before it. From the above, no observer need to be told that Nigeria has ever fared better as far as corruption is concerned. Consequently, Nigeria’s image in the international commity of nations have been greatly tarnished. This is what led to president Obasanjo juncketing the globe in an effort to create a better international image for Nigeria during his tenure as president of Nigeria.
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CORRUPTION IN THE NIGERIAN CIVIL SERVICE