International Journal of Development and Management Review

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Corruption and governance in a plural but fractured society: the case of Nigeria

Ikechukwu Justin Onuoha, Ndukwe Chally Onwuchekwa


Corruption has come to be defined as a phenomenon that has variously affected most societies of the world. The nature and forms of corrupt practices vary among cultures depending on the beliefs and moral orientation of the particular culture or society. This paper examines the impact of bad governance, corruption and value-erosion in Nigeria as a result of the plural and mal-integrated nature of the Nigerian nation-state. Though, some scholars limit corruption to official breaches, this paper tries to look beyond official actions or breaches to explore other forms of corruption. It further tries to find out the role of value erosion and ethnic pluralism on the continuing growth of the phenomenon of corruption in a fractured society like Nigeria. It further argues that apart from mal-integration resulting from colonial experience of the nation-state, corruption is also an outcrop of the integration of Africa into the world capitalist system without proper capitalist development thereby resulting to ''dependent capitalism'' and the emergence of the comprador class that lives in affluence. It also argues that the norm of corruption can only be contained with change in our value orientations, and the government institutions charged with graft war should rise up to the occasion. This can only happen however, if the graft fighters are men of integrity and without their fingers in the cookie-jar.

Keywords: Corruption, Governance, Plural Society, Fractured Society, Value Erosion and Mal-Integration

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