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Corruption, social norms and behaviour change in Nigeria



Corruption in Nigeria

To effectively address corruption, it is essential to delve into the intricate web of societal norms that perpetuate and enable such unethical behaviour. In the fight against corruption, it is crucial to focus on transforming behaviours and fostering a culture of integrity and accountability. This requires active participation from individuals across different sectors.

To combat corruption, a robust and holistic framework and approach are needed. It allows comprehensive reinforcement of institutions, transparency, and citizen engagements. To ensure long-term success, it must include preventive strategies to preempt and mitigate issues, educational initiatives for awareness, and multi-stakeholder collaboration for diversity of perspectives and approaches. This will help address socio-economic factors such as poverty and inequality.

Corruption is an obstacle to fair competition and economic growth in the political and business sectors. It also undermines ethical principles and exacerbates social inequality. Merit, quality, and character often become sacrificed willingly. Hence, multifaceted reforms, integrity culture, accountability, and transparency are needed. It demands persistent dedication and steadfast political commitment. Corruption has grown to be a social norm and is promoted by cultural factors.”Clientelism” and “godfatherism” are pivotal in nurturing corruption because both are built on the swap of favour and manipulation of political decisions. This brings about the “ostracism” phenomenon that compels one to join the bandwagon for acceptance.

The “culture of impunity” has increased; weakening the enforcement of justice and flourishing corruption. This emphasises the need to collectively and closely scrutinise the system and adjoining concerns. Effectively countering corruption requires comprehensive legal and institutional changes, and promoting transparency and accountability, leading to a societal shift that would properly curb prevailing corrupt norms.

A synergistic approach involving public awareness, strong institutions, and the engagement of religious and community leaders is imperative to combat corruption. They synergise to herald potent anti-corruption efforts and ensure societal opposition. So, public awareness is pivotal for any holistic approach as it enables individuals to challenge corruption and demand accountability. Strong institutions promote institutional resistance and essential investigative and adjudicative frameworks. This can only be achieved through conscious educational investments and remodelling from crucial developmental stages. By addressing these fundamental pillars, we can work towards a more inclusive and just society that actively rejects corruption and embraces values of integrity and fairness

Ethical promotion and fostering of accountability are pivotal in combating corruption. However, collaborative actions by civil society organisations, governments, businesses, global partners, and grassroots opinion leaders are needed for the fight. This helps to create a socially subscribed framework for transparency and integrity. In addition, promoting ethical leadership is important in culture-shift as they tend to discourage corrupt practices and set examples that nurture public trust.

Transparent financial transactions, effective legal frameworks, and enforcement are the primary basics of any anti corruption effort in Nigeria, sine qua non; nothing can be achieved. To withhold any iota of social change against corruption, it must be backed by closing socio-economic disparities and reforms, else social cooperation toward the sustainability of these changes would be difficult.

The absence of political determination and effective enforcement mechanisms poses significant obstacles to progress. Corruption, a pervasive issue in societies worldwide, is influenced by the search for wealth, poverty, inequality, and greed, among other factors. Entrenched patronage networks and institutional weaknesses often foster corrupt behaviours.

Citizenship engagement and collective societal efforts are important in anti-corruption fights. Civil society organisations evoke awareness, sensitise citizens to become change catalysts that foster a corruption whistle-blowing culture. So, giving them flourishing platforms will attract definitive policy analysis, research, and impactful campaigns.

Civil society organisations and individuals who subscribe to the fight might face obstacles and opposition from malicious entities. So, it is pertinent to safeguard fundamental rights as well as autonomy. Also, diverse stakeholder engagement can nurture accountability, transparency, and efficiency. This also allows synchronised actions, teamwork, data exchange, and neutralising intricate corruption challenges. Furthermore, a collective approach conveys a strong signal of gemeinschaft to all observers, underlining collective seriousness and commitment to eradicating this societal ill.

Unarguably corrupt practices have eaten into the media space, affecting the representation of truth and misdirecting social perspectives. The media has always served as the token of freedom and hope of transparency, making it a primary go-to institution in the fight against corruption in the country. However, this social centre force is threatened by the ills it is supposed to protect society from. Tainted facts and evidence relayed from vested approaches to score political, economic, and social points have degenerated the trusts reposed in the media from time past. So, it looks quite impossible to fight corruption if the media, which is the mirror of transparency, is broken or laced with corruption.

This is because the agent and driver of social norms and behaviour in contemporary Nigerian society are the media, and as such, complacency in fighting corrupt practices in this sector is more dangerous than other institutional corruption. The reason is that it influences the culture of corruption and fosters the roots of corruption in society. This gives a future for corruption and increases the potency of potentially corrupt practices. It also allows the tolerance and appreciation of corrupt leaders, becoming bedrocks for the culture of “clientelism” and “godfatherism.”

This means that the fights and solutions, as earlier stated, will be a waste if they are not specifically directed towards fighting media corruption in the country. The government and media houses and platforms must develop a collective approach to fighting this phenomenon. This can be achieved by directing this joint effort towards strengthening the regulatory framework for the media to sever its ties with corruption. This would bring about the independence of the media, which must be monitored by committees and councils charged with the sole and main responsibility of ensuring such independence.

In addition, as discussed above, transparency must beam its light into the process of media ownership in the country to reduce undue influence and hidden agenda. This should then be corroborated with the protection of the rights of journalists and freedom of information, especially to report and condemn corrupt practices.

Seeing that the impunity in the media has increased the possibility of the fight against corruption in Nigeria, it must be salvaged in all respects and linked to all sectors. This will take general and strong enforcement mechanisms, even outside the media world. It would also help to properly propagate anti-corruption values through unadulterated social education and social integrity consciousness. Notwithstanding, this does not exclude the engagement of civil society organisations that could lead the front in leading the media toward transparency and accountability. It allows collaborative efforts in breeding societal subscription to ethical leadership and empowers individuals to shape their community.