Effective leadership panacea for controlling greed and corruption in Nigeria.

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1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria was colonized by the British in the 18th century, but later got its independence in 1960. Prior to that time, Nigeria was noted for its richness in agricultural produce through which she earned its foreign exchange, and built its reserve. In the 19th century, Nigeria was the world‟s largest exporter of cash crops such as cocoa, groundnuts, palm-oil and food crops like cassava, yams, and sugarcane (Claude, 1996). In the late 60s, petroleum was discovered in Nigeria, coinciding with the military coups and rule. At this time, the military regime hindered economic development in Nigeria by ushering in bribery and corruption, mismanagement, looting of treasury, killing, maiming, and nullification of elections (Shobola& Nicholas-Omoregbe 2012). The discourse on the delicate future of Nigeria is strictly connected to the failure of governance and leadership. The human and infrastructural development curve of Nigeria is on the downward drift, in spite of the increase in oil revenue over the past three decades. Obviously, the actions of economic and political managers who are highly dependent on oil lease have exposed the Nigerian State to oil resource spell (Iyoha, Gberevbie, Iruonagbe&Egharevba 2015; Nyeswusira&Nweke 2014).There is an agreement among policy makers, development scholars, and institutions that the wealth of a nation has strong relationships with its type of governance, leadership and social policy framework (Kaufmann 2013; Bardhan 2005). Leadership is important to demonstrating better-quality governance, which enhances societal development, because it is a process of influencing the actions of a structured group towards the setting and attainment of goals.

1.2 Statement of the Study

The limited resources at the disposal of the government vis-à-vis the glaring lapses in the nation‘s socio-infrastructural status against the backdrop of overridden level of fraudulent/corrupt practices in the public sector has become a thing of worry to both government and the citizens ever than before, particularly in view of the teething effect of the recent global economic downturn on world economies (Nigeria inclusive) and other present harsh economic climate confronting Nigerian economy like Naira devaluation, fall in oil revenue, etc; prudent management of available public resources thus becomes inevitable if the economy must survive.

Nevertheless, fraudulent and corrupt practices have long been features of Nigeria‘s economic and political landscape; systemic corruption which engenders low levels of transparency and accountability by public officers has been identified as the major source of development failure (National Planning Commission, 2005 in Nna and Jacob, 2012). The effects and implications of this ugly scenario in Nigeria‘s social, political and economic development are myriad. Achebe (1983) in Chukwuemeka, et al (2012) observed that generally, as much as sixty percent of the wealth of Nigeria is regularly consumed by corruption. The Transparency International specifically reported that over 500 billion dollars has been removed from the coffers of the Nigerian government through corruption between 1960 and 2009 (Chukwuemeka, et al 2012). As a consequence, Derin (2007) in Chukwuemeka, et al (2012) asserts that corruption in Nigeria constitutes a serious barrier to effective resource mobilization and allocation as it diverts resources away from activities that are vital to poverty eradication and economic and sustainable development. This has warranted a significant reduction in the quality and quantity of goods and services available to the public as evidenced by poor infrastructures, poor quality of education standards, poor health facilities and high cost of living and rising social insecurity. Hence, Osisioma (2012) asserts that fraud has stultified growth and national development, subverted the nation‘s values and norms, and generated a culture of illegality and impunity in public service while Okoye (2011) opined that fraud has become one of the greatest threats to the world economy. Fagbadebo, (2007) in Nna and Jacob (2012) believed that the evil which corruption portends are many: it stunts growth and development, creates political instability, destroys the social economic life of the nation, undermines the legitimacy of the state, makes fiscal planning almost impossible, places the wealth of the nation in the wrong hands and leads to an uneven distribution of the amenities and perquisites of life.

Premised on the above, one can be sure that huge funds that would have warranted massive developmental boom and outstanding economic growth if properly utilized have hitherto gone into the hands of fraudsters in the disguise of government officials; the consequence of this on our nation‘s economy cannot altogether be wished away.

The concern of this study thus bothers on the real essence of the existence of and the justification of the jumbo annual budgetary provisions and allocations to the various anti-graft agencies of government in view of the prevailing incidences of economic and financial crimes in the economy, particularly the public sector, as typified in the case of the recent forensic audit on the activities of NNPC which reported a missing (unremitted) sum of $1.48bn (Onuoha, 2015) with no serious measures taken by the financial/economic crime control agencies to nail the culprits. One therefore wonders whether these crime fighting agencies of the government are better regarded as ―toothless dogs‖ that only bark but cannot bite as asserted by Olurankinse and Bayo (2014).

It is in the light of the above highlights, that the study therefore seeks to establish the relevance or otherwise of the existence of these anti-graft agencies, as it evaluates the implications of the agencies‘existence on the Nigerian economic development. On the other hand, many studies on the subject area focused on the effect of fraud and/or corruption on the economic development of Nigeria; little or no attention has been paid on the real contribution of the various anti-graft agencies on the economic development of the Nigerian nation. A closely related attempt in this regard was the study conducted by Olurankinse and Bayo (2014); however, their study assessed the effectiveness of the external control institutions (anti-graft agencies) on public fund management, taking Ondo state as a reference point. Thus, there is an obvious research gap in the area of the real impact of the operations and activities of these economic and financial crime control institutions on the general economic development of Nigeria. This study thus targets to bridge this gap.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine effective leadership panacea for controlling greed and corruption in Nigeria and the specific objective are:

(i) to ascertain the place of good governance and leadership as necessary catalyst to satisfactory development of any society;

(ii) to establish leadership commitment and good governance as fundamental to the survival and progress of any nation;

(iii) to offer solution to poor governance as well as ineffectual anti-corruption policies in Nigeria;

(iv) to offer useful recommendations which policy makersat the various tiers of government will find beneficial when faithfully implemented.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The researcher hopes that the finding and suggestions of this study would enable for effective leadership panacea for controlling greed and corruption in Nigeria.

The study will enable government of higher institution to identity how to manage the Nigeria fundin other to boost and develop the country.

It will also be of benefit for policy makers in various forms of curbing corruption by anti-graft agencies. It will be of immense guide to future researchers who intends to exploit and understand further concepts of effective leadership panacea for controlling greed and corruption in Nigeria.    

1.5 Scope/Limitation of the Study

The scope of this study is center on examining the effective leadership panacea for controlling greed and corruption in Nigeria, in carrying out this research many factors served as constraints:financial limitation and inadequate time, time factor constitutes the major limitation of this research study. It relates to the fact that the time for research work was short because it was combined with lectures, studies and examination.

1.6 Definition of the Study

Leadership: Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.

Corruption Panacea: a solution or remedy for all corruption.

Corruption: In general, corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit, or, abuse of entrusted power for one’s private gain.

Greed: or avarice, is an inordinate or insatiable longing for material gain, be it food, money, status, or power. As a secular psychological concept, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs.

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