What is Corruption?

Corruption is an act of manipulating figures or data, dishonest or someone claiming what does not belongs to him/her. It can also be explained as any form of misappropriation.

Corruption is also a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person enthrusted with position of authority, often to acquire personal benefits.

Stephen D. Morris, a professor of politics, writes that corruption is the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest.

Corruption are concurrently used in all sectors with similar aims in different activities like; Bribery, Embezzlement/ Theft and Fraud, Extortion and blackmail.

BRIBERY:Bribery involves the improper use of gifts and favours in exchange for personal gain. This is also known as kickbacks. The types of favours given are diverse and may include money, gifts, sexual favours, company shares, entertainment, employment and political benefits. The personal gain that is given can be anything from actively giving preferential treatment to having an indiscretion or crime overlooked.

EMBEZZLEMENT, THEFT AND FRAUD: Embezzlement and theft involve someone with access to funds or assets illegally taking control of them. Fraud involves using deception to convince the owner of funds or assets to give them up to an unauthorized party.
Examples include the misdirection of company funds into "shadow companies" (and then into the pockets of corrupt employees), the skimming of foreign aid money, scams and other corrupt activity.

EXTORTION AND BLACKMAIL: While bribery is the use of positive inducements for corrupt aims, extortion and blackmail centre around the use of threats. This can be the threat of violence or false imprisonment as well as exposure of an individual's secrets or prior crimes.
This includes such behavior as an influential person threatening to go to the media if they do not receive speedy medical treatment (at the expense of other patients), threatening a public official with exposure of their secrets if they do not vote in a particular manner, or demanding money in exchange for continued secrecy.

corruption can occur on different scales, which are;
PETTY CORRUPTION: this scales of corruption ranges from small favours between a small number of people.
GRAND CORRUPTION: It is the corruption that affects the government on a large scale.
SYSTEMATIC CORRUPTION:(Endemic Corruption) is corruption which is primarily due to the weakness of an organization or process. It can be contacted with industrial officials or agent who act corruption within the system.

Corruption can best be defined as a culture, because, it occurs in different sectors. It occur in any sectors; whether public or private or even NGOs.
Corruption is also practiced in the following sectors;
Public sector
Political Corruption
Police Corruption
Judicial Corruption
Corruption in Education system
Corruption within Labour unions
Corruption in Religion

According to a 2017 survey study, the following factors have been attributed as causes of corruption:
Political instability
Gender inequality
Low level of Democracy
Low level of Education
Weak law enforcement
Misguided social values
Low press freedom
Low internet access
Low level of government decentralisation

Corruption in every sectors could be effectively reduced if the systems satisfy the broad principles in that they should be Fair, Accountable, Simple and Transparent, giving rise to the acronym FAST, which provides for a simple set of working tools for examining public systems so that potential problematic areas identified could be suitably addressed to safeguard the system against corruption and malpractices.

FAIR SYSTEM: In public administration, particularly in resource allocation, the fundamental principle to be observed is fairness, which means that every eligible applicant who is entitled to thepublic service has a fair and equal chance of receiving it.

ACCOUNTABLE SYSTEM: All officers involved in a system havea roleto playand each is expected to perform to the best of his/her abilities with the resources given, in accordance with laid down instructions and within any stipulated timeframe. Cases should besubject to random supervisory checks and managerial supervisors aware of any prevailing issues affecting the performance of the system.

SIMPLE SYSTEM: Any system which is highly complicated with elaborate procedures, involving a large number of authorities or departments, is bound to attract middlemen and the likelihood of anxious applicants resorting to corrupt means to expedite the process. Hence any system should be made simple as far as applicants are concerned

TRANSPARENT SYSTEM: With rising public expectations on accountability in public administration,members ofthe public are entitled to know and question public policies, decisions and actions. From the corruption prevention angle, transparency is essential to allowing public monitoring on government systems and the associated decisions and actions.

it is crystal clear, that, corruption has done more harms to our country, because, corruption has created the opportunity for the increase of inequality, reduced the return of productive activities and, hence, made rentseeking and corruption activities more attractive. This opportunity for the increase of inequality does not only generate psychological frustration to the underprivilege but also reduces productivity growth, investment and job opportunities.
The activities of corruption can not be eradicated in our country but it can only be minimized by joining hands together to fight against corruption. We can't wait for a benevolent leader, CEO to take us out of corruption activities, because, if we wait for whoever to take us out of corruption, we may wait forever. So, everyone needs to look into the mirror and smoothed out the rough edge which blights his or her beauty. Let put fairness, honesty, transparency and integrity in whatever we are doing, so that, we can have a better Nigeria.

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