Bribery and Corruption on Students Academic Performance
Bribery – The oxford Advance learners Dictionary defined bribe as offer or promise to bribe in order to influence or persuade him in favour of the giver. Bribery is giving or taking of bribes. The same Dictionary expatiated on corruption as somebody being corrupt.
In tracing the origin of the subject area that is bribery and corruption in IMT chapter. It is not far from its origin in the Nigerian society at large in our macro society (Nigeria traced as the field of initiation and operation. The existence of this act in our institution of high learning is not far from Igbo assertion that says, if the spring river source is contaminated it spreads across the whole stream of river because “a lion does not give birth to a dove”.
Bribery and corruption in Nigeria has been explained on different angles. It has been suggested that traditional values predispose towards Bribery and corruption. The complexities of modernity and the fact of cultural transmission have resulted in an unsettled value system.
Firstly, the unsettled value systems must be explained in the content of the Nigerian culture, value, economic and histories. A review of historical environment becomes necessary at this point. Traditional Nigerian society who fairly well organized around such social values and ideas as honor, prestige, respect for elders and for constituted authorities, integrity and public interest rather than selfishness. These values regulated individuals and group conduct of private and public lives. There were well organized and bureaucratic and political systems with political and executive powers concerned in the hands of the kings, Sultan and his court, the feudal lords, and a few powerful individuals and group. The political process was some what conditioned by socio-religious imperatives; hence the political conducts of officials reflected the interpretation of religious value and ritual, which found expression in secular rules. This is not to say that they were totally devoid of some form of corrupt practices.
Achebe (1990) posited that during the period of colonial rule, Nigeria was subjected to political, economic as well as socio-cultural colonization. On the process, Nigeria inculcated values and behaviour patterns that reflected those of Britain, sometimes distorted. The Nigeria officials did imbibe the values of the Britain which the emergence of literate Nigeria officials, especially in the southern parts of Nigeria where there was no institutionalized chiefdom and the growing administrative structures in Northern Nigeria. Access to government began to depend on the socio-economic position of individuals and groups. In this circumstances, these person and groups became exposed to all kinds of corruption through various means. For instance, court used their privileged positions to appropriate wealth for themselves as exemplified in the television play “Ichoku”. The court clerk’s interpreters were bribed with goods, chicken, yam, jars of palm wine. This act was committed in order to pervert justice.
However, at this period, corruption was parochial and characterized by a system in which kingship and other parochial has determined access to the favours of this new system community leaders, interpreters, court clerks etc. At this period, Nigeria were introduced to new institutions various codes of behaviour and standard of conduct.
Corruption was more or less introduced in Nigeria by colonialism. Corruption in politics, administration and business in Nigeria has is counterparts in a similar tendency by the clerk to extract a bribe for a file to be moved through a process to he administrator.
Secondly, this cankerworm of bribery and corruption can also be traced to take its origin from the generalized poverty of Nigeria. The structure of Nigeria economy has acquired its habits on accounts of its colonial and neo- colonial past. The structure of the Nigeria economy is a social accounting reality.
John Akpan (1988) posited that in Nigeria, there is uncontrollable inflation, retrenchment, disengagement, unemployment, factory closure, aroused by drastic decline in investment and divestment. Moreso, there is a sharp decline in the purchasing power and the value of naira, collapse of social services, low capacity utilization of industries and job security. Nigerians are living below poverty line. Nigerians posited as an under-developed nation has not changed even with the flow of money from the sale of oil.
As earlier discussed, the basic defects in Nigeria economy is the base for political instability and the national community receives no essential services living the people uncatered for in terms of water, transportation, high cost of living and frustration. The political-economic systems seem to infected by unrestrained personal ambition and greed, patronage, favours, divided loyalties and group / kingship pressure. These conditions foster and sustain corruption in different tenets of Nigerian institutions.
Thirdly, the problems of bribery and corruption have been related to have originated from the non-existence of social services. The extended family system in Nigeria was a resource in terms of social stability. Nevertheless, due to the instability in Nigeria State, bribery and corruption are the easy method to receive large unearned profits, in order to be secured in the case of any eventuality such as ill-health, job retrenchment or death. This is no national system of social security, health insurance or employment benefits.
In our different Higher Institutions for example, students give bribe to lecturers in order to pass their examination. They indulge in several immoral acts to obtain benefits in the school and so on.
The Nigeria Baptist Convention say it would collaborate with the media to fight the ills of society such as corruption cultism, ethnic violence, political hugging nepotism and mediocrity. According to Solomon / shoal, general secretary of the convention, the church and the media need to work hand in hard to publish what is preached on the pulpit and expose those involve in corrupt practices in the country irrespective of their social status.
He commended the media for what he termed “investigative Journalism”. This way, the country can be sanities and every individual will become a good manager of god’s resource and the misuse will attract god’s condemnation. He argued them to sanities the people on their voting power so that they can elect dependable leaders who will look out for the nations growth and development. Ishola, who was speaking at a media lunching for editors, encouraged journalist not to relent in their fight for equity and justice.
Gamaliel Onosode, politician and business man advised that both the church and the media should contribute their quite by imparting on the society through their writing and preaching respectively.
Herbeth Obieze, military governor of old Anambra State on the occasion of the launching of New Direction of WAIC and the crusade Against Squandermania on Monday September 15, 1996. it the polo park Enugu, said that “we are gathered here today to launch the new direction of the (WAIC) war Against Indiscipline and corruption in accordance with the national programme and also to launch a crusade Against Squardermamia which may be regarded as Anambra State own sub-theme of the New direction of WAIC.
He reiterated that this period in our national history is a most trying one, every one, old and young, men and woman including in a very special way the youth of this great tend is deeply concerned about the present and the future socio-economic well-being of our country.
The youth may be said to be particularly disillusioned and restless if not totally cynical about what the nation may have in store for them. They are concerned about what seems to them the injustice in our national life, about the rising tide of unemployment, high cost of living, crime and other symptoms of an unhealthy society. Consequent upon the declaration of war Against Indiscipline and corruption by Head of State and commander in chief of the Armed forces general Sani Abacha on September 10th the governor Herbet Obieze said committee on national consciousness and mobilization now known as “war Against Indiscipline and Corruption” here been set up at national, State and local government levels.
Speaking on September 12th, at the State House of Assembly in Enugu, while formally launching the war against indiscipline and corruption (WAIC) in the state, governor Obieze said that the aim of the committees is to get every sector of our society involved in the struggle against indiscipline and corruption. He said, he expected the citizen of the country to rise, in arms, and fight indiscipline and corruption, which he described as a “social malady”. He urged citizens to fight the war in all fronts through the churches, schools, social groups, adding that the government was determined to fight the war intensively. This, he said was the root cause of the country’s present “paralysis and bankruptcy.
The governor added that it was because of military administration’s firm resolve to salvage the country that the chief of staff supreme Headquarter Brigedier Tunder Idiagbons inaugurated the national war against indiscipline in March 20 1984 in Lagos.
While speaking at the closing ceremony of the conference of the National council on information and culture in Lagos on Tuesday, March 25, 1996, chief of general staff general Oladipi Diya, observed that the evils of indiscipline and corruption among Nigeria, and the lack of faith and commitment had eaten deep into the nations fabrics and rendered our country almost economically bankrupt, this he had declared an intention to launch a total war on indiscipline in the country’s public life. Some of the vices which he pledged to eradicate include greed dishonesty, impatience, discourtesy, vandalism and robbery, drunkenness, tribalism, ostentation, selfishness and insensitiveness to filthy surroundings.
He pointed out that the society, such a situation world degenerate into a jungle where respect for law and order is disregarded; a situation which he observed, make lives and property insecure. He then appealed to all those charged with the responsibility of public information to resist government in creating the right atmosphere for better understanding and mutual respect among Nigerians. Diya said, that was the only way to lay the foundation for the Nigeria of tomorrow, where discipline self reliance, harmony, peace and national pride will prevail.
He also said that this dream of a discipline and corrupt free Nigeria would remain elusive except we begin by drawing public attention to little but important everyday manifestations of indiscipline & corruption such as bribery drawing on the wrong side of the road, littering the streets, taking undue advantage of scarcity to inflate prices for quick monetary gains and devoting little or no time to the upbringing of our children.
Only recently the national assembly emerge in the exercise of repeating the corrupt practices and other related offences Bill 2003, yet to be assented by the president, chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The purposed repeal of Act 2002 and the passing of the Bill 2002, by both the senate and the House of representative, has generated so much controversy and acrimony, that it is expedient that the tempo and momentum of the on-going discussions must be sustained and kept alive at every for a – including market place, tertiary institution meeting, social gathering, clubs and other association meetings. The issues of corruption and corrupt practices touches all.
Justic Mustaphor Akambi in the fell magazine said that as the generalissimo, it is only but meet and proper to share my thoughts and experience with you. The malaise of corruption can be devastating and as far as Nigeria is concerned, it has done so much havoc to our national psyche that many believe that my talk about wiping out corruption is mere balderdash. A great many have come to accept corruption and bribery as a way of life and the usual way of doing business.
In many years before and immediately after independence, Nigeria was not that known to be highly corrupt nation “honesty is the best policy” indeed, conviction of public funds cheating and fraudulent acts attracted public odium and condemnation from relations and neighbours.
Unfortunately according to Akonbi, following the various coup d’etat in this country and the long year of military rule, our value judgment changed honesty and integrity were relegated to the background. The rule of law gave way to the rule of force. The craze for wealth, ill-gotten gains escalated or gained ascendancy. We become more and more materialistic so much so that it was no longer possible to convince the average Nigeria child that he can achieve greatness and position of respectability without necessarily being corrupt or take bribe. As the year rolled by, so overwhelming was the situation that for some the worship of money became the order of the day. Flamboyance and ostentation took over and today we are in a “fix”.
During the election campaign of 1998 president Obasango promised to tackle corruption head-on and in fulfillment of that promise, in June 1999, he sent an anti-corruption bill to the national assembly. The bill was passed into law after almost a year and the president gave his assent to it on 30th June 2000.
Over the years, there were laws and policy frameworks put in place to address the issue of corruption with varying degree of dedication and commitment. In the North, the penal code (1960) and the earlier criminal code (South) contained provision, which dealt with the case of bribery and corruption, gratification and other matter. But these provision are not as comprehensive, as those setout in the ICPC Act 2000. Argument have been advanced by critics of the act 2000 that both the criminal code and the penal code contain adequate provision to deal with any case of corruption and that the promulgation of any Anti-corruption Act is otiose and unnecessary. Justice Akonbi said, with all sense of responsibility that the penal code and the criminal code are not all encompassing, or as comprehensive as promulgated corrupt practice and other related offences act.
China Achebe in his book titled “The trouble with Nigeria” posited that corruption in Nigeria has passed the darning and entered to fatal stage, and Nigeria will die if we keep pretending that she is only slightly indisposed.
The weekly star of 15th May 1983 has this on its front page under the title “The Nigeria and corruption” that keeping an average Nigeria from being corrupt or out of taking bribe is like keeping a goat from eating yam. Nigerians are corrupt because the system under which the live today makes bribe & corruption easy and profitable, they will cease to be corrupt when bribery and corruption is made difficult and inconvenient.
This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic
“IMPLICATION OF BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
(A CASE STUDY OF IMT ENUGU)”