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ASSESSMENT ON CORRUPTION AND PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY IN CAMEROON

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ASSESSMENT ON CORRUPTION AND PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

On a global scale, the provision of essential services falls squarely on the shoulders of governments and their affiliated agencies. The crucial services encompass security, healthcare, education, infrastructure, water, land administration and management, and other vital services. The primary purpose of government departments is to ensure the efficient and effective provision of public goods and services (Mahmu, 2020). An efficient and effective public service delivery system is crucial for sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, and creating employment opportunities for the country's population. One significant issue in public service in developing countries is the widespread problem of corruption. Abdul (2022) highlights the widespread and detrimental impact of corruption on the African public sector. Corruption is a pervasive issue in society, with public officials engaging in various illicit activities such as misappropriation, bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and money laundering. 

To fully comprehend the tragedy of development and the obstacles to democracy in many developing nations, it is crucial to address the issue of corruption and the significant squandering of limited resources. It should be noted that corruption and prodigality are not exclusive to developing countries. Corruption is not limited to any particular culture or system. Nevertheless, the degree of severity and the extent of its impact differ across different systems. The impact is significantly more severe and devastating in developing countries with limited economic resources, vulnerable political institutions, and insufficient control mechanisms (Familomi, 2015). 

In a study conducted by Anassi (2019), the focus was on corruption in Africa. It has been observed that the quality of services provided in most local authorities in Nigeria is significantly low, with corruption being identified as a major contributing factor. In cases where corruption is deeply rooted, government officials may withhold or delay the provision of services, leading to a situation where individuals feel compelled to pay bribes in order to expedite the process. In addition, according to Shleifer and Vishny (2022), the act of a public official soliciting a bribe has the consequence of increasing the cost of government services. This, in turn, results in the exclusion of individuals who are unable to afford these services, ultimately restricting their availability. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate these anomalies, particularly in developing countries. The case of Cameroon serves as an example of a government's failure to effectively combat corruption. 

Cameroon is located in Sub-Saharan Africa considered to be in the central region, Cameroon's offshore oil deposits, which have been exploited since the early 1970s, have contributed to the country's prosperity in tropical Africa. However, due to economic mismanagement and an overvalued currency, Cameroon has experienced a recession in recent years. There has been an expansion in both the current account and fiscal deficits, along with an increase in foreign debt. The government has initiated a set of economic reform programmes with the support of the World Bank and IMF In addition, Cameroon continues to struggle in attracting adequate foreign investments due to its inadequate infrastructure and reputation as one of the most corrupt countries globally. Nevertheless, inflation is being effectively managed at approximately. One of the factors contributing to this issue was the presence of corruption and mismanagement in the administration of the country's abundant resources. Corruption is a pervasive issue in Cameroonian society, affecting individuals from all walks of life, from ordinary citizens to high-ranking government officials. Corruption can be engaged in by individuals, either through active involvement or through passive complicity. Cameroon has become notorious for its widespread corruption, with every aspect of daily life seemingly exploited for personal gain. 

Statement of the problem

In recent times, states with widespread corruption continue to bear the brunt of the consequences of this worldwide phenomena of underdevelopment and poor service delivery. According to Transparency International (2023), Cameroon ranks among the most corrupt countries globally, severely impacting the effectiveness and efficiency of public service delivery (World Bank, 2022). It has pervaded every facet of the nation and has even metamorphosed into a way of life for most Cameroonian. Although the Cameroon civil service has the potential to transform the collective challenge of Nigeria as a nation if its immense energies are properly harnessed; but the situation seems different after its radical reform between 1960 and 1976; during which period, the civil servants were in control of government’s political process due to the emergence of military rulers in political administration prevailing in the African continent then, coupled with their lack of experience of political leadership in governance.

 Some scholars  like Adamu, (2021) blame the institutionalization of corruption in developing countries on military rule. Ideally, in a democratic polity, the Public Service consists of the civil service, parastatals and agencies with structure that is systematically patterned to serve as a lasting instrument through which the government drives, regulates and manages all aspects of the society. However, Civil Service has performed below the expectations of the public as a result of corruption in the service in most third world economies. Like a cog in the wheel of efficient and effective service delivery, Adegoroye, (2022) filled with stories of wrong practices such as stories of ghost workers on the pay roll of Ministries, Extra ministerial Departments and Parastatals, frauds, embezzlements and award of contracts without recourse to due process mechanisms has become the order of the day.

Although studies have by Adamu (2021) and Adegoroye (2022) have focused on corruption in third world countries, However, there is a dearth of comprehensive studies that empirically examine the extent to which corruption influences public service delivery in Cameroon. Without a thorough understanding of this relationship, efforts to combat corruption and enhance service delivery may lack targeted strategies and fail to yield meaningful outcomes (Smith et al., 2021). Thus, a rigorous assessment is essential to elucidate the dynamics of corruption's influence on public service delivery and inform evidence-based policy interventions aimed at fostering accountability, transparency, and improved governance in Cameroon. Upon this premise, the study is conducted on assessment on corruption and public service delivery in cameroon.

Objective of the study

The objective of the study is focused on an assessment on corruption and public service delivery in Cameroon. Specifically, the study seeks to:

To examine the extent at which corruption eschews in public service delivery in camerron

To ascertain the various forms of corruption present within the public service sector in Cameroon.

To investigate the influence of corruption on the quality service delivery in Cameroon?

To ascertain the underlying factors contributing to corruption within the Cameroonian public service sector.

Research Questions

What is the extent at which corruption eschews in public service delivery in Cameron?

What are the various forms of corruption present within the public service sector in Cameroon?

What is the influence of corruption on the quality service delivery in Cameroon?

What are the underlying factors contributing to corruption within the Cameroonian public service sector?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant impact of corruption on public service in Cameroon

Hi: There is a significant impact of corruption on public service in Cameroon

1.6 Significance of the study

This study holds practical importance for several stakeholders, including policymakers, government officials, civil society organizations, and citizens of Cameroon. By comprehensively assessing the nexus between corruption and public service delivery, the findings of this study can inform evidence-based policy interventions aimed at combating corruption and enhancing service provision. Practical implications include the design and implementation of targeted anti-corruption measures, institutional reforms to strengthen accountability and transparency mechanisms, and the allocation of resources towards improving public service delivery. Ultimately, the practical significance lies in fostering good governance, restoring public trust in institutions, and improving the well-being and livelihoods of Cameroonian citizens.

Theoretically, the study contributes to the existing literature on corruption, governance, and public service delivery by offering empirical insights into the Cameroonian context. Theoretical implications include enriching our understanding of the complex dynamics underlying corruption within the public service sector, including its causes, manifestations, and consequences. Moreover, the study enhances theoretical frameworks related to governance and development by exploring the interplay between corruption, institutional quality, and service provision in a diverse socio-political setting. By bridging theoretical concepts with empirical evidence, this study advances academic discourse on corruption studies and provides a foundation for future research endeavors in similar contexts.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of the study borders on assessment on corruption and public service delivery in Cameroon. The contet scope will cover various forms of corruption present within the public service sector in Cameroon and factors contributing to corruption within the Cameroonian public service sector, including institutional weaknesses, societal norms, and political dynamics. Geographically, the research will engage with various stakeholders, including government officials, civil society organizations, public servants in Cameroon to capture diverse perspectives on corruption and public service delivery and ensure the relevance and applicability of the study findings.

1.8 Limitation of the study

While the study aims to provide a comprehensive analysis, certain limitations may arise, such as constraints related to data availability, access to certain regions or institutions, and the inherent challenges of measuring and assessing corruption. Due to the case study approach focusing on specific communities Northwest region of Cameroon, the findings may lack generalizability to other regions or countries. Therefore, caution will be exercised in extrapolating the results beyond the study context. More so, the study's sample selection process may introduce bias, as certain communities or demographic groups may be overrepresented or underrepresented. This could affect the validity and representativeness of the findings. Limited time and resources may restrict the scope of the study, impacting the depth of data collected and the comprehensiveness of the analysis. This could result in overlooking certain aspects or dynamics relevant to the research questions. Despite these limitations, the researcher will acknowledge and address these challenges transparently to enhance the credibility and rigor of the study.

1.9 Definition of terms

Corruption: Corruption refers to the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, which can take various forms such as bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, favoritism, and patronage. It encompasses both illegal acts and unethical behavior that undermine the integrity, transparency, and effectiveness of public institutions and processes.

Public Service Delivery: Public service delivery refers to the provision of essential goods, services, and facilities by the government or its agencies to meet the needs and demands of the general public. This includes services such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, law enforcement, social welfare, and administrative functions.


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