Official corruption and poverty reduction in Nigeria: a critical assessment (2003-2010)

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Arts & Sciences
Title Official corruption and poverty reduction in Nigeria: a critical assessment (2003-2010)
Volume 6
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 305-329
Poverty is an endemic issue ravaging Africa as a continent. In Nigeria, poverty has been
described as pervasive owing to the fact that as from 1981, the nation has witnessed a
persistent increase in poverty level. This persistent rise in the nation’s poverty level prompted
the introduction of poverty alleviation programmes as from 1986. Though the nation has
implemented not fewer than eight of such programmes, available data reveals that over 50% of
the nation’s population is still categorized as being poor. Countries like China and Vietnam
whose poverty level was higher than that of Nigeria for about two decades ago have their
poverty level between 5% and 20% as at today. It is being argued that corruption which has
been seen as a way of life in Nigeria is largely responsible for the continuous poverty
situation. This paper is anchored on the social exclusion theory and the feedback theoretical
frameworks. The paper brings to the fore the synergy between official corruption, the efforts
of the government and those of the citizenry in order to have a society free of poverty. We
have attempted to evaluate the impact of corruption on the nation’s poverty situation.
Precisely, the paper tries to establish the extent to which official corruption has contributed in
worsening the nation’s poverty situation. In doing so, we employed historical analysis
supported by empirical evidence. The paper has been able to establish that official corruption
has negatively affected the operations of poverty reduction efforts in the country. Corruption
has not only robbed the nation of finances that should have been used for development that
will benefit all citizens including the poor; but in some cases led to hijacking of funds meant
for the poor by the privileged class thereby denying the poor the opportunity to grow out of
poverty. It is the position of this paper that one of the feasible options that can bring an end to
official corruption in the country so as attain the needed level of economic development which
is capable of reducing and possibly eradicating poverty in the country is capital punishment
(death penalty) since all other options implemented so far have not been successful.

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