EFFECT OF CORRUPTIVE PRCTICES ON SUSTAINABLE GRASSROOTS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

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1.1     Background to the Study:

Corruption is a global phenomenon. It is not the exclusive preserve of any nation, race or section of the world but transcends national boundaries and frontiers and symbolizes phenomenal universal unwholesomeness politically (Aluko, 2009 in Iyanda, 2012). Corruption is no doubt a global phenomenon that has threatened and still continues to threaten the developmental efforts in many nations; particularly the developing countries of the world (Kayode, Adagba and Anyio, 2013).

In Nigeria corruption is a common word used by both adults and children because it is found in every aspect of Nigeria. This monster called corruption has now been nick named in most Nigerian languages especially in the three major languages! Ndokwu (2004) says: the Igbos call it Igbuozu, the Yorubas call it Egunje while the Hausas call it Chuachua. People no longer frown or feel ashamed to engage in corrupt practices! Chuachua/Egunje or Igbuozu is now acceptable and it is possible to hear someone openly complaining that there is no Chuachua, Egunje or Igbuozu at his or her place of work and as such a person might quickly resign if he or she finds another work where there is opportunity for Chuachua. It is as bad as that! (Iyanda, 2012).

This menance has led to situations like slow movement of files in offices, police exortion of toll fees, port congestion, queues at passport offices and petrol stations, ghost workers syndrome, election irregularities, among others (Dike, 2005, Ihenacho, 2004 in Aluko (2009).

The fundamental challenges battling grassroots development in Nigeria has been one of high level corruption and its twain demons of poverty and economic hardship which have continue in this 21stcentury to elude sustainable development at the grassroots (Ojo, 2014).

The need to catalyze balanced development touching the grassroots, maximize citizen’s participation, and arouse government responsive necessitates the creation of the grassroot. The grassroot serves as a form of political and administrative structure facilitating decentralization, national integration, efficiency in governance, and a sense of belonging at the grassroots. The grassroot is a unit of administration all over the world (Agagu, 2004 in Adeyemi, 2012).

Although it is a universal institution, it however exists in different forms and in different political systems. Whatever the form of existence, the grassroot has been essentially regarded as the path to and guarantor of administrative efficiency, effective service delivery and participatory development (Arowolo, 2005). According to Odo (2014) grassroot is a critical tier of government because of its closeness to the people. Grassroot appeals to both the people and government as a feedback institution that relays the opinions and demands of the grassroots to a higher government (Adeyemi, 2012).

In Nigeria, eradicating corruption has been a major concern of successive government in the country because of its association with sustainable development at the grassroots (Kayode et al., 2013). Odey (2002) opined that corruption in Nigeria is  as the air which every living person breathes in and out, According to him, nobody makes any effort to breathe in the air, it comes naturally. Corruption in Nigeria has become so naturalized that’ many of us simply become corrupt without making any effort and often even without knowing it.
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EFFECT OF CORRUPTIVE PRCTICES ON SUSTAINABLE GRASSROOTS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA