By Ogunseye Odunayo
Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa” because of how populated the country is. Since inception, Nigeria has been blessed with various natural resources, most especially, crude oil, which ought to make life easy and enjoyable for all citizens.
It is quite disheartening to see how deteriorating the standard of living in the country has been despite having these resources in place. Put differently, one cannot be wrong to say that Nigeria is one of the poorest country in the world as the level of poverty keeps getting worse as years passes by and as new leaders emerges.
As a country, Nigeria is known to be faced with many perennial problems which include: terrorism, embezzlement, inadequate funding, security challenges, epileptic power supply, bad leadership, injustice, and etcetera.
However, it is not surprising that the bedrock of these problems exist through a national concern named – corruption. Corruption remains on the priority of concern to the Nigerian government and her people. Not only does corruption affects the political aspect of the system, it also undermines the social-economic development in the country.
All subsequent regimes -military and civilian- have been pervaded by corruption. There have been scandalous wealth generated among the ruling class with growing poverty, misery and degradation among the masses. The political life has been defined as the ‘winner takes it all’ while other aspects are in decay.
Corruption is the single greatest obstacle preventing Nigeria from achieving its enormous potential. It is a major obstacle to the development of sustainable development goals. In Nigeria, corruption is being seen as a norm. It is seen as a wrong attitude to be an uncorrupted seed in the political sphere in Nigeria. It is frustrating to see that making transactions with any public official cannot be successful without an iota of bribery being involved.
Not only is corruption seen in the highest echelons of government, but it is not farfetched from the lowest level of the civil service; both at national and local levels. It is quite disappointing to know that the ones put in position to improve the standard of the country are being self-centered and full of pretense.
The phrase in the national pledge, “to be faithful, loyal and honesty”, has been stated ironically by the ones the masses entrusted their trust in. It is not surprising to know that the lack of transparency and accountability has made it quite impossible to improve the system which has further resulted into economic slavery and underdevelopment.
Globally, Nigeria is seen as the “black hole of corruption”. This problem has cut off so many opportunities for her citizens locally and internationally. Gaining the trust of a Non-Nigerian when it comes to business is quite impossible because of the corruption records of Nigeria.
Annually, millions and billions of naira are being passed as budget in disguise of improving the standard of living in the country. Instead of executing the plans being put in place with the money, the budget are being transferred to carry out individual and personal agendas.
The unimproved educational sector, the rotten health sector – where most lives are lost instead of being saved due to of lack of facilities- and other unimproved sectors are the way they are because the money budgeted for their upgrade are being disbursed for something else.
There have been cases of corrupt public servants being charged for embezzlement, however, instead of being found guilty and charged, they were being discharged and acquitted! It’s really difficult getting justice against rich and powerful personalities in Nigeria because with their dough; they only make laws that suit their actions. Can we say the judicial system had failed the masses in Nigeria? It’s quite disheartening to know that the ones who know how the laws work are the one making the country a lawless one.
It is no longer news that many organizations and individuals gave out relief funds and other palliative to ensure that the citizens stay okay during this covid-19 period. However, 90% of the citizens only heard of this but they did not see any form of relief materials either in cash or other forms.
The high level of unemployment cannot be overemphasized. Without connection, despite having the highest grade, it is always hard to get job opportunities that would worth the stress and grades. In Nigeria, a PhD holder is happy that he has a job of #40,000 while a BSC holder is sad that he is being paid #100,000 for the job he got through connection and not what he has to offer.
The level of corruption in Nigeria has affected greatly the masses and this has made them lost trust in the system. Should we say the level of corruption keeps increasing because the masses do not know who the right one to vote for is or the low participation in the political sphere is the reason for it?
Power is being sought, morals are being disregarded. It is not wrong to say that the people put in position of power are self-centered and power drunk. The system has failed citizens and killed dreams and visions of the citizens. The trust in the system has vanished and everyone is hungry for power, fame and money.
This has made people believe in a popular phrase: “In this life, just have money” because it is believed that money will always find ways in which illegal actions can be carried out without being punished for it. Can we make it right again? Can we make an uncorrupted and untarnished image of this country?