NASIRU JOSEPH SADIQ
FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY MINNA, NIGER STATE
14TH JANUARY, 2022
HOW TO REDUCE CORRUPTION TO THE BEAREST MINIMUM IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS.
Corruption, a word familiar to many yet its consequences known to few. It is a word as old as man itself. From the dawn of civilization, man has always deemed it necessary to put himself and his selfish interest or desires first without caring about the negative impact this will have on his environment. But what is corruption?
According to Oxfords leaners dictionary, corruption is defined as the illegal behaviour of people especially those in authority. It is there for seen that corruption is a behaviour one that is learned or copied and this has led to a lot of problems in intuitions and the world at large. It will be unfair to talk about corruption without bringing in the word “bribery” into the picture as both of them work hand in hand. It could be said that a corrupt man is one who collects bribery and a bribe collector is a corrupt man.
Bribery according to Oxford leaners dictionary is defined as the act of collecting monies for the sake of providing privileges to individuals especially illegally. Bribery and corruption have been a major havoc throughout the civilisation of man as they have brought about the fall of many a great nations and economical systems around the globe. These acts can be found in our society and surrounding around us, one being an Institution.
An Institution, as defined by Oxford’s learners dictionary is an important establishment that carries out a particular function or duty. E.g a bank e.t.c. The fight against corruption is the duty of everyone as it cannot be left to one individual alone (i.e. the owner of said Institution, its clients and workers therein). An Institution can either be a government owned (public) or private owned (private) establishment.
Due to the alarming rise of corruption and its vices around the globe, there are laid down channels and options that can be taken into consideration to bring about change in the havoc of corruption and bribery. Developed countries like the USA cannot be said to be totally free of corruption, but it can be agreed that corruption has been reduced to a barest minimum, hence the evidence of development. These channels or ways corruption can be reduced to a barest may include;
Family, a family is said to be a group of people or individuals closely related by blood. A family, is the primary influencer of an individual before he or she finds himself in the society. It is therefore necessary that families bring up their children rightly and inculcate in them basic and necessary social values that will prevent them from wanting to involve themselves in corrupt practices in the society. In developing countries like Nigeria where corruption is seen as the daily way of life, it is almost impossible to want to avoid paths that will cross you with an opportunity to carry out corruption but, a child brought up well and thought to uphold integrity and honesty will not want to involve himself in such acts as he knows it will only lead to persecution by the law. It is said “… train your child in the way he should go, and when he grows up, he will not depart from it…”. Apart from wanting to uphold his or her family name among other reasons, a child brought up well will do all he can to avoid the stain of corruption in his life.
Another approach to corruption reduction is religion or religious bodies. A religion can be defined as the belief of a supernatural being by a group of individuals. The population of the world is greatly influenced by the teachings of religious leaders as they all believe in the existence of a God and so therefore, they want to uphold His teachings in order to make heaven. When religious leaders preach about the importance of honesty and integrity, when they talk about the blessings and advantages it will bring to be honest to God and man, many individuals will change their illegal or bad ways and focus on these teachings so as to please their maker. And these will lead to a favourable reduction of anti-social acts such as corruption and bribery.
School or education, a school can be seen as an environment mostly established for learning. Schools when made to take certain courses or subjects to teach individuals who are ignorant about the dangers of being corrupt, will help in fostering said individuals mindset, about what corruption really is. Students are very much influence by what they are taught in school, and when they are taught to see that there is more reward in being honest than corrupt, they will want to uphold certain social values that will bring about praises to them rather than shame and imprisonment. This will bring about a good reduction in corrupt practices as individuals will have the knowledge and information needed to say no to certain persuasion or offers, they come across as they are sent into the society.
Employment and development are another approach to corruption reduction in these institutions. When a country is developed, they will surely be employment opportunities for individuals who are willing to work in order to earn a living and name for their selves. Most individuals caught in certain anti socials acts like bribery and corruption do so in order to survive as they don’t seem to have any form of job or career opportunities to rely on. A man that is hungry will do almost anything to satisfy his hunger. This is why corruption is said to be due to the greed of man, that is why it is believed that finding a way to reduce the greed of a man is finding a way to reduce the spread of corruption in our institutions. Developed countries makes sure their citizens are provided with opportunities to contribute to the welfare of their economy and this has brought about a fruitful result, as individuals who are not idle, instead working and learning everyday are distracted from the temptation of wanting to involve themselves in wrong or illegal behaviours. Like it is said “… an idle mind is the devil’s workshop…”
Government policies and rule of law is another approach to curb corruption and its vices in our institutions, when there are laid down rules and laws that are enforced, individuals will be scared to want to involve themselves in corruption or corrupt practices as they know they will be duly punished or persecuted for it. When there are laws being backed up by the Rule of Law, which is said to be the law above the law of the land, individuals will want to coherently obey laid down laws of the land as they know they are not immune to the punishment of the rule of law. They should be policies laid down by the government so as to bring about an effective enforcement of the laws in order to fight against corruption.
Lead by example, this is a very important task for the government of the land as followers will want to emulate the ways of their leaders. No follower would want to do the right thing if he sees his leader doing the wrong thing. In order to create a change, the leaders enforcing this change has to portray significant quality of that change theywant. When the leaders of a country, organisations, or establishments e.t.c. show good qualities of anti-corruption, they will help in influencing their employees or followers to want to emulate such qualities, thereby reducing corruption to a barest minimum in such establishments.
Anti-corruptioncampaigns and awareness is also necessary to help in reducing corruption, as many individuals involve themselves in these acts without knowing the negative impacts or effects it has on the environment they find themselves. Certain NGO’s and campaigns should be established every now and then in order to sensitiseindividuals of the dangers of involving their selves in corrupt practices and the negative effects it has on their environment. Organisations such as the Integrity Organisation, founded by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the year 1995, the host of this essay, has helped in sensitising individuals of the society about the importance of upholding integrity and honesty through several means such as seminars, lectures, essay competitions but to mention a few, and these has brought about a commendable improvement in the fight against corruption in institutions, organisations and the country as a whole.
Over the years of civilisation, there are individuals such as; Martin Luther Jnr, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela to mention but a few, who have stood up for the fight against corruption and unlawful practices found amongst individuals and organisations. These individuals may be gone, but their impacts on humanity have never been forgotten as every now and then, they are celebrated across the world. It is believed all humans wants to be praised and, when these notable individuals are celebrated, people are inspired to want to stand for what is right and true. Individuals will want to be remembered in the sands of time, they will want to make impact around the globe and when this is achievable, it will bring about a favourable reduction in corruption in institutions and the world at large.
Whistle blowing, this was an act introduced by the Nigerian government under the administration of His Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari, the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,in order to help to drive out and also catch individuals who have involved themselves in corruption and corrupt practices, to the full wrath of the law. This act of whistle blowing had proven effective as individuals who were found guilty were brought down to face the law and it led to a favourable reduction in corrupt practices and acts as individuals were discouraged to want to involve themselves in any practice that will bring about their public humiliation and persecution by the law.
Corruption, is a word that has eaten deep into civilisation; hence it could be said to be as old as man itself. It has brought about the fall of many a great nations and individuals across the globe due to its nature of “take and no return”. Corruption is a maggot and has to be fought by every individual as it is not a respecter or race, gender, age or social class. The fight against corruption is the responsibility of everyone, every day of existence, as long as the greed of man exists. Individuals who have fought against corruption have never been forgotten and their impacts have still remained effective even until this present age we find ourselves. That is why government and leaders are encouraged to enforce the fight against corruption by being notable examples themselves so as to foster and intimidate followers to emulate their actions. It may seem impossible to eliminate corruption but, like every deadly virus, it has a weak link, it is curable as long as individuals are ready to join the fight against this deadly disease that has brought about so much destruction and havoc throughout its existence.
In conclusion, let us all stand up for the fight against corruption, as it is said, it is not a respecter of any individual no matter where he or she finds himself in the society at large. Although seen as a deadly disease, but like all diseases, it is very curable and can only be achieved by the joint efforts of individuals to get rid of it. Corruption will surely be eliminated as people are being made to see on a daily base that it brings nothing but destruction to everywhere it finds itself.