EFFECT OF MAL ADMINISTRATION & CORRUPT PRACTICE IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Background to study
Corruption undermines the legitimacy of government, democratic values, human rights and respect for the rule of law (Nigerian experience 2003). The effects of corruption on development have left many African states grappling with what is today regarded as an international problem (Columbia Journal of Asian Law 2013). Indeed, corruption is viewed as an impediment to good governance and the rule of law in Africa.
Good governance entails accountability, transparency, enhanced public participation in decision making, strengthened public sector and civil society institutions and greater adherence to the rule of law (NEPAD 2005). Corruption results in grave violations of socio economic rights, condemns people to extreme levels of poverty and often leads to social unrest (Mboya, 2004). Curbing corruption is therefore critical to the achievement of good governance and the rule of law in many countries such as Nigeria. Although most legal systems in Africa prohibit corruption, the practice is significantly different as is exhibited in this dissertation.
Some of these countries have even ratified international and regional conventions against corruption. Nigeria for example, which will be the main subject of this dissertation, was the first country to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption in December 2003. The country has also signed the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption but has ‘unreasonably’ hesitated to ratify it (East African Convention 2006). The two Conventions seek to promote and strengthen the development of anti-corruption mechanisms. The observance of these Conventions entails that the principles of the rule of law and good governance be upheld. However, the extent to which the standards envisaged by these conventions are adhered to, remain a mirage for most countries in Africa.
In Nigeria, corruption has been a major social, political and economic stumbling block such that in 1998 corruption was said to have permeated the institutional beacon of democracy- the judiciary. Indeed, in October 2003, there was a major purge of members of the judiciary on allegations of endemic corruption.6 Other high-profile corruption cases in Nigeria include the infamous Goldenberg scandal and recently the Anglo-Leasing scandal. The Goldenberg scandal ‘involved a fictitious export compensation scheme allegedly to export gold and diamonds while the most intriguing aspect of the matter is that Nigeria has little or no gold mines and diamond fields’ (Anassi 2003). The Anglo leasing scandal hinges on a government tender involving amounts in excess of 90 million Nigeria shillings allegedly awarded to a non-existent company..
Statement of problem
Nigeria is rich in natural and human resources, with a population of over 150 million people; the most populous country in Africa. At the time of her political independence, on 1st October 1960, Nigeria excelled in production of agricultural produce such as groundnut, palm oil, cocoa, cotton, beans, timber and hides and skins