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President Muhammadu Buhari defined corruption as the greatest form of human right violation. The government has tried to contain corruption through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems, but success has been slow in coming. 400 billion to corruption since independence. Theories abound for the different possible causes of the flagrant graft that exists in Nigeria. Some blame greed and ostentatious lifestyles as a potential root cause of corruption. Also, a political environment that excludes favors towards elites or wealthy citizens may also be influenced by corruption.
Wealthy elites may resort to sleaze in order to gain power and protect their interest. However, the bottom line surmised from the views of most Nigerians is that corruption is a problem that has to be rooted out. Many kinsmen may see a government official as holding necessary avenues for their personal survival or gain. A culmination of use of official resources for private gain may lead to further pressures on incoming officials from other kinsmen. However, the fact is, the importation of modern rules on inter-ethnic political relationships is a recent colonial and western initiative that may take time to become the norm, deep allegiance to other ethnic groups for administrative decisions early on was sometimes viewed suspiciously, and an early institutionalization of a unitary system in the country, may also have led to a further familiar groupings induced corruption. Nevertheless, a modern practical approach to leadership and relationships has gradually taken a prominent role in the political process.
The necessity for practical inter-depedence and cooperation is at the forefront of yearnings for good governance in the country. Some analysts have also blamed colonialism for the amount corruption. Thus vandalism and looting of public property was not seen as a crime against society. This view is what has degenerated into the more recent disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public goods as a collective national property. Corruption, though prevalent, was kept at manageable levels during the First Republic. However, the cases of corruption during the period were sometimes clouded by political infighting. The bank was procured to strengthen local control of the financial industry.
Albeit, a report about transactions carried out by the bank showed though Azikiwe had resigned as chairman of the bank, the current chairman was an agent of his. The report wrote that most of the paid-up capital of the African Continental Bank were from the Eastern Regional Financial Corporation. The report led to demand for his resignation as district council head. The Northern Government enacted the Customary Presents order to forestall any further breach of regulations. British authorities to electoral irregularities were discovered. However, informed officials voiced concerns. He was viewed as timid, faced with corrupt elements in his government.
Officials were later accused of falsifying ships manifestos and inflating the amount of cement to be purchased. During the Gowon administration, two individuals from the middle belt of the country were accused of corruption. A situation which may signal a cause for exigent action on corruption. After a military coup brought it to power, the new government sacked a large number of prior government officials and civil servants, many of whom had been criticized for the misuse of power they wielded under the largely uneducated military of Gowon. The first administration of Olusegun Obasanjo was a continuation of the Muritala Mohammed administration, and was focused on completing the transition program to democracy, as well as implementing the national development plans.
Major projects including building new refineries, pipelines, expanding the national shipping and airlines as well as hosting FESTAC was done during the administration. A number of these national projects were conduits to distribute favors and enrich connected politicians. The famous Afrobeat musician, Fela Kuti, sang variously about major scandals involving the international telecommunication firm ITT led by Chief MKO Abiola in Nigeria, which the then Head of State, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo was associated with. A few federal buildings mysteriously caught fire after investigators started to probe the finances of the officials working in the buildings.