Corruption in the Nigerian Public Service: Imo State Civil Service (1999-2012).


One of the fundamental problems of contemporary Nigeria is corruption. It  has  thrived;  progressed and flourished unabated. Corruption has been institutionalized to  the  point  of accepting it as part of our system.

This study examined the incidence of corruption in the Nigerian Public Service with particular focus on Imo State Civil Service from 1999 to 2012.

Specifically, the study investigated whether motivational incentives provided for civil servants contributes to their greater involvement in corruption in Imo State from 1999 to 2012.

The study also examined the impact of weak internal control mechanism on the incidence of looting of state treasury by politicians in Imo State within the same period.

We predicated our analysis on The General Systems Theory, adopting David Easton’s Political System theory.

As  for  method  of data collection, the study employed qualitative and quantitative method of data collection. As for sources of data, we principally relied on primary and secondary sources.

The data so generated were analyzed accordingly using Likert measurement  scale.  The  findings  reveal  that motivational incentives provided for civil servants contribute to their greater involvement in corruption.

Based on the findings also, weak internal control mechanism was identified to have contributed to incidence of looting of state treasury by politicians in Imo State.

We therefore recommend adequate motivation of civil servants through improved salary,prompt payment of all their entitlements and good working condition, government should strengthen internal control mechanism to forestall incidence of looting of state treasury which could have been averted.

These recommendations if properly implemented would be a panacea for eradication of corruption.


Background of Study

One of the greatest problems of Nigerian public service is the prevailing incidence of corruption. Corruption therefore has become a persistent cancerous phenomenon which bedevils  Nigeria public sector.

Misappropriation, bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and money laundering  by public officials have permeated the  fabric of the society.

Any attempt to understand the tragedy of development and the challenges to democracy in most developing  countries  (Nigeria  inclusive), must come to grips with the problem of corruption and stupendous wastage of scarce resources.

This is not to suggest that corruption and prodigality are peculiar to the developing countries. Certainly, corruption is neither culture specific nor system bound. It is ubiquitous.

However, the severity and its devastating impact vary from one system to the other. The impact     is undoubtedly more severe and devastating in the developing world with weak economic base, fragile political institutions and inadequate control mechanisms.

According to the Executive Director, Office of Drugs and Crime at the United Nations, Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, about US

$400 billion was stolen from Nigeria and stashed away in foreign banks by past corrupt leaders before the return to democratic rule in 1999 ( Most people would argue that poverty definitely contributes to corruption.

In many poor countries, the wages of public and private sector workers is not sufficient for them to survive (Otive, 2008).

It is ironic that Nigeria is the sixth largest exporter of oil and at the same time hosts the  third largest number of poor people after China and India.


Ademolekun, L. (2002) Public Administration in Africa. Spectrum Books Limited.

Asika, N. (1991) Research Methodology in the Behavioral Sciences. Lagos: Longman Nigeria.

Banjoko, S. A. (1996) Human Resource Management. Lagos: Saban Publishers.

Easton, D. (1965) A Framework for Political Analysis. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Eaglewood Cliffs,

Ezeani, E. (2003) Public Accountability in Nigeria: Perspective and Issues. Enugu: Academic Publishing Company.

Gboyega,  A.  (1996)  Corruption  and  Democratisation  in  Nigeria.      Ibadan: Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Agbo Areo Publishers.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *