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IMPACT OF CORRUPTION ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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The study examined the Impact of Corruption on the Socio-economic Development in Akwa Ibom State, with specific attention on Ikot Ekpene local Government Area. To achieve the stated objective, the study adopted a descriptive and survey design method and thus, data were collected from both the primary and secondary source. The hypotheses of the study were subjected to statistical test using the chi – square tool and analyzed within the limit of available literature. Findings revealed and among others, that corruption has a negative Impact on Socioeconomic development in Ikot Ekpene local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. That embezzlement of public funds by the administrators or officials of the council impedes the allocation of scarce resources (social amenities) in Ikot Ekpene local government area which does not allow for a commensurate development evidence to justify the huge disbursement from the Federal allocations. It was recommended among others, that officials of the local government Council caught in the act of Corruption should be tried in the court of competent jurisdiction and if found guilty, such officials should be jailed and their accounts or assets frozen by the government to serve as deterrent to others. Funds provided to local government for Socio-economic development should be monitored effectively to avoid reckless use of council’s resources in inappropriate, wasteful purposes and reckless abused of cash advance, contrary to the financial regulations of the council. This can be achieved through reinforcing the auditing unit of the council with people of high integrity. 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

One of the major crises confronting the world today and has greatly undermined or perverted the actualization of the projects of development, democracy, human right and so on, is the burning issue of corruption. In many countries, the phenomenon of corruption has assumed an unprecedented front burner in National discourse in terms of its study, discussion, analysis, explanation, impact and so on. Incontrovertibly, corruption has gained recognition as a multidimensional (economic, political, social, bureaucratic etc), all-encompassing phenomenon with multiple manifestation and

consequences (insecurity, abuse of human rights, ethnic conflicts, capital flight, poverty and enormous wealth inequality etc) upon the entire humanity. 

Generally, corruption is seen as a pestering sour of epic proportion that has deeply weakened the socio-economic and political fabric of the society.

The fact remains that, it has been identified as an evil that needs elimination. To this end, a lot of attention has been drawn and efforts made by various experts, public administrators, political scientists, groups, organizations and institutions, as well as international bodies to properly diagnose and understand it, in order to achieve the objective of curtailing, even eliminating or preventing the evil. Thus, the most intractable and troubling dimension of corruption is seeming indefatigably, resilience or rapid speed. 

If corruption is global phenomenon, then in Ikot Ekpene local government area, it could be said that the vice marks a new epoch in its incidence as well as impact which more than elsewhere has proven to be more damaging, deleterious and completely obstructive of the development process. The point is made that the development process in Ikot Ekpene local Government Area has in the past and still continue to be undermined by corrupt practices to such an extent that the very existence and future viability of ikot Ekpene local government area are at risk. 

In fact, there is no gain saying the fact that the multifaceted crises (cultism, insecurity, nepotism unemployment etc) in Ikot Ekpene local government is the logical result of the deeper crisis of ethical validation perpetrated in corrupt practices. 

The issue of corruption has been over-flogged by scholars, academias and the general populace and has at various occasion recommended solution to curb the menace. The fact is that the solution on how to curb corruption is not too difficult to figure. The problem lies on the lack of audacious attempt by leaders to curb corruption. All over the country, seminars and symposiums are being held in order to “figure out a solution to curb corruption “. However, the actual fact is that they (the political elites at all helm of affairs of governance) know the actual problem bedeviling the country. With the emergence of a new government in the year 2015, many Nigerians were having great faith that corruption in the country will be minimized. In that year, power left the hands of People's Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressive Congress (APC). One of the campaign promises made by the present President Muhammadu Buhari was the “ massive eradication of corruption in the country”. Irrespective of the campaign promises, Nigeria ranked low in transparency and high in corruption in that year. In the year 2015, out of the 168 countries surveyed, Nigeria was seen at the bottom of the table in the category of number 136 (Transparency Intentional 2015). This implies that Nigeria was the 32nd most corrupt country in the world in 2015.

In the midst of all the strands of corruption, it can be said that the political corruption predominates. This area of issue constitute the  potential issue of study. Thus is because those at all helm of the affairs of government, the political elites accounts for the sharing and allocation of values in the society. This misallocation of values and resources seem to be at the heart of citizen's socio-economic problems upon which multidimensional social vices Ikot Ekpene local government passes through, such as the recent cultism clashes that resulted to killings and street to Street arm rubbery. 

Most times, it is inevitable to ask if any anybody can be exonerated from corrupt Practices. In every strata of the society and in every sector of the economy, corruption exists. Hence, the key lies on the need for audacious efforts to be taken in order to solve the problem of corruption once and for all. 

Transparency International (TI) describes Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries in the world(Transparency International 2015). This is owing to the fact that despite the great economic potential of the country and her rich human and natural resources, the dividend of this is being enjoyed by a privileged few (corrupt elites) and the result of this is socio-economic underdevelopment. 

It is on this note that the researcher focuses to examine the impact of corruption as it affects the socio-economic development of Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. 

The main problem of the study is to examine the impact of corruption as it affects the socio-economic development in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. 

It has been observed that the local government which is known to be veritable instrument for socio-economic and rural development can no longer perform their statutory functions despite the high allocations received from government. This explains why basic social amenities and infrastructural facilities such as pipe-borne water, electricity, good roads, health care services and education are still lacking in most part of the rural areas as Ikot Ekpene community where majority of the polulace live. 

Also, the unbearable situation at the rural areas (Adatak village, Ikot udo oboro, mbiaso, Amayam, Ikot atasung etc) made youths to keep moving to urban cities where they will enjoy these facilities that are lacking at the rural areas thereby compounding the extent of social problems in the urban cities. 

Consequently, many scholars attempts to explain why local government which is known as the agent of socio-economic development in Nigeria are not living up to their expectations. In his view, ugwu (2001), attributed the problem of local government administration in Nigeria to political and bureaucratic corruption which often takes the forms of inflation of contract figures, improper remittance of internally generated revenues (IGR‟s), ghost workers syndrome, contract awards and their subsequent abandonment ; payment of huge sum of money to political godfathers, embezzlement and

misappropriation of public funds. 

Others observed that most public office holders in Nigeria especially at the local government level, their interest in politics is not to serve the public but to amass wealth for themselves through award of high contracts and reckless abuse of cash advances contrary to the financial regulations of the councils. 

The consequences of these acts has been total insecurity, poor economic management, abuse of human rights, ethnic conflicts, capital flight, poverty and the enormous wealth inequality.  In Ikot Ekpene local government area, this is deeply rooted in political corruption, it has remained a major challenge against Ikot Ekpene's lack of appreciable socio-economic development especially in the rural communities given it rich endowment in both human and natural resources. 

It is against this background, the researcher embarked on this study to investigate the main problems affecting the performance of Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state. The study will also consider the causes and effects of corruption as it affects socio-economic development in the study area and suggest what could be done to curb corrupt practices in the council area of study. 

What are the causes and effects of corruption as it affects socio-economic development in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state?

Does embezzlement of funds affects the performance of Ikot Ekpene local government administration?

 Are the administrators diverting the attention of development at the local level of governance in Ikot Ekpene? 

What are the best ways of mitigating the problem and effects of corruption in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state? 

    This study has the following objectives:

To examine the impact of corruption as it affects the socio-economic development of Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state,

Nigeria. 

To Identify the main causes of corruption in Nigeria especially at the local government level of governance. 

To identify the impact of corruption as it affects socio-economic development at the local government area as Ikot Ekpene community. 

To identify measures to be adopted in tackling corruptions in the local government system of administration in Nigeria. 

Ho: There is no significant relationship between corruption and socioeconomic underdevelopment in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. 

Ho: There is no significant relationship between embezzlement of funds and allocation of scarce resources in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. 

Ho:  The attention of development is not diverted by the administrators at the local level of governance in Ikot Ekpene 

The study has the following significance:

The findings of the study will be useful to policy makers, students of political science and public administration, policy administrative studies, future researchers as well as the immediate beneficiary of this study which is the Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state. 

The study is significant because it reveals the various types and causes as well as negative impact of corruption as it affects socio-economic development in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state. 

The study is significant because it acts as a reference for future researchers in the area of corruption in local government in Nigeria. 

It helps to increase the scope of our knowledge and extant literature on the related issues under investigation. 

The study is significant as its findings will help to identify the appropriate measures of curbing this social problem in the administration of local government System in Nigeria. 

The scope of this study is focused on the impact of corruption as it affects the socio-economic development in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria.

Also, the delimitations of the study are as follows :

Inadequate Funding: The researcher had no money to source for qualitative adequate data required for the study, as it fell at a  time when the price of fuel was at all time high which made mobility, typing, printing and connecting to the Internet very expensive 

Time Constraint: Time Factor was another problem faced by the researcher of this study. The researcher was running between the lecture halls and libraries to source for materials for the completion of the study on time for submission. 

Some of the respondents at Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area where the research instrument (Questionnaire) was administered were unwilling to tick my questionnaire but this was overcome by endurance and my persistent explanation that the study was mainly for research purposes and all their responses shall be treated with maximum confidentiality. 

However, the study was successfully done because of the mettle which the researcher had, to go the extra mile in getting as much support both in moral and material. 

In this study, the following concepts will be defined for conceptual

clarifications:

Corruption: Corruption or corrupt is a kind of behavior that involves the violation of established rules for personal gain and profit. Put differently, it is an effort to secure wealth or power through illegal means – private gain at public expense or misuse of public power or funds for private benefits (lipset, 2000).in this study, corruption is the diverting or stealing of local government funds whether it is internally generated revenues or statutory allocations which is meant for the provision of social amenities and infrastructural facilities for socio-economic development of the rural areas. 

Socio-Economic Development: Socio-economic development in this, means the provision (availability) of basic social amenities and infrastructural facilities such as pipe-borne water, electricity, good roads, health care services, education, recreational centers etc at the rural areas as Ikot Ekpene community for the purpose of stimulating socio-economic development of the areas. 

Impact: Impact as it relates to the study simply means the effect or how the negative impact of corruption affects socio-economic development of Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. 

This study is organized into five chapters. The chapter one of the study deals with the introduction which covers the background to the study, the problem of the study, the research objectives and hypothesis as well as the significance, scope, delimitations of the study and the definition of concepts for conceptual clarifications. The chapter two of the study is focused on the literature review and theoretical framework. The third chapter discusses the research design, area of the study, population and sampling techniques, methods of data collection as well as method of data analysis. The chapter four of the study is concerned with data presentation, analysis and discussion of findings. The chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendations. 

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