The Main Cause of Corruption In Nigeria, It Effects & Solutions

Cause of Corruption in Nigeria and solutions
Cause of Corruption in Nigeria and solutions

Corruption in Nigeria is one of the biggest problems facing this country and other countries in Africa today.

It is like a cankerworm that has eaten deep into every sector of the country.

In the history of Nigeria, corruption has had a huge role. Some political scientists even suggest that the problem of corruption in Nigeria is inevitable.

In other words, it is a problem that cannot be solved.

The reason for this is apparently because, even the people who are given the power to end the problem are also corrupt, and they do not think about the effects of their corrupt practices in the country in the long run.

It will surprise you to know that in 2018, Nigeria was ranked top 144th out of the 180 countries in the list of the most transparent countries in the world.

In that same list, Somalia ranked 180th, being the most corrupt, and Denmark the least.

Today, I will be discussing the problem of corruption in Nigeria generally.

However, I will lay more emphasis on the solutions to corruption in Nigeria because it is even more important.

Over the years, I have noticed that most people on the internet and the media spend more time discussing the effects and causes of corruption in Nigeria, but it is not supposed to be so.

Since corruption is the biggest problem of the country, it is more important that we proffer solutions to the problem and educate people on how it can be curbed.

That notwithstanding, before we move to the crux of this work, it is also important to have background information about corruption in Nigeria.

Meaning of Corruption

The Oxford Learned Dictionary defines corruption as any dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that corruption does not only play among those in power. In almost every sector (be it religious, education, or economic sector), there is always an atom of corruption.

This why Wikipedia defines corruption as any form of dishonesty or criminal offense undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, to acquire illicit benefit or abuse power for one’s private gain.

Causes Of Corruption In Nigeria

Below are the major causes of corruption in Nigeria:


One of the ways used by Nigerian politicians to control the country is by deceiving the uneducated and poor masses in the country.

When they are able to get few illiterates who are willing to work with them, they will give those illiterates guns and money to help them execute their evil plans such as; killing, kidnapping, stealing of ballot papers during elections in the country, etc.

Illiterates and poor people in the country are usually used by corrupt politicians because they are uneducated, and cannot resist themselves from helping in corrupt practices because of the fake promises of the politicians.

This is undoubtedly one of the major causes of corruption in Nigeria.

Imagine a country where citizens are educated to the extent that they are not gullible to anything done by politicians. Of course, there will be a low rate of corruption in that country.


Greed is another cause of corruption in Nigeria. This is not only the case in Nigeria, but it can also be seen in other countries of the world too.

Recently, I found out that Nigerians are internationally recognized as greedy fellows.

Just yesterday, someone asked conducted a poll on Twitter about what African is known for, and most of the replies were directed particularly to Nigeria. Many said that Nigerians are mostly fraudsters and some said we as greedy.

This actually corroborates the fact that greed is something unique to Nigerians. It is one of the major causes of corruption in Nigeria.

Unequal Distribution of Resources

Another evident cause of corruption in Nigeria is the unequal distribution of resources and wealth in the country.

You will agree with me that there is usually no equal distribution of resources in Nigeria because the North is almost larger than the south put together, and that is why most of our leaders steal from where they are not supposed.

When resources in the country are not distributed equally among every state, leaders of small states often find it difficult to do what they are supposed to do in their states because of the shortage of funds.

Sometimes, even citizens are forced to engage in corrupt and evil practices as that is the only way to get the resources or wealth from the central government.

Lack of Patriotism:

I tell you the truth, many Nigerian are not patriotic.

This is not only the problem of Nigerian leaders, but it is also the problem of the masses too.

Nigerian prefer to travel outside Nigeria than to stay in their country for anything. Some even risk their lives on different occasions just to become very rich.

This is actually because Nigerians believe that their own nation is a mess. But the question still remains, if everyone leaves the country, who will fix all its problems?

This is a very big problem because it is only a patriotic Nigerian who knows the implication of corruption in the country, that is always able to stand against it at every point in time.

Inactive Government enforcement agencies:

I do agree with the fact that there are government agencies that are supposed to fight corruption in Nigeria, but the question is, are these agencies active?

If they are active, why does it seem like the country is increasing in corruption every day?

I mean, just recently it was reported that Nigeria has lost more than $400 billion to corruption since independence.

In fact, a critical analysis of the activities of the EFCC and other agencies created to fight corruption in Nigeria shows that they too are corrupt in some way.

So you see, there is no active government agency fighting corruption in Nigeria.

What we have in Nigeria currently are agencies that are used to foster corruption in the country.

Effects of Corruption In Nigeria

If the problem of corruption is not given a good fight in Nigeria, in the long run, below are going to be its consequences:

  • Corruption may also lead to huge capital out-flow as corrupt leaders will want to keep their ill-gotten money outside the country;
  • The high rate of brain drain in the country;
  • Increase in the crime rate;
  • High level of poverty and death in the country;
  • A slow rate of development and international respect;
  • Waste of skill and initiatives of young people in the country;
  • Reduction of both foreign and local investors in the country;
  • Destruction of a legitimate government;

A solution to the Problem of Corruption In Nigeria

Below are some of the tentative solutions to the problem of corruption in Nigeria:

Education / Public Enlightenment

Frankly speaking, the reason why corruption still persists in Nigeria is because of the high number of uneducated people in the country. T

he number of uneducated Nigerians is obviously more than the educated ones, and that is a big problem.

The uneducated citizens of Nigeria are unusually the target of politicians.

When they are able to get the uneducated once with their money, they have a bigger chance of winning an election.

The truth is that even the illiterates should not be blamed because most of them don’t understand these things.

That is why public education and enlightenment is one of the most tentative solutions to corruption in Nigeria. It can even be achieved by our crime-fighting agencies.

Take, for instance, if the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) take a move towards educating Nigerians on the dangers of corruption, there will definitely be a lesser number people to support those corrupt leaders.

Also, as an educated Nigerian youth, you can also help by educating those illiterates around you so that they will also be aware of the evil intentions of most of the politicians in Nigeria.

By doing this, you are not only helping the illiterate once, but you are also helping the nation.

Good morals should start from home

One of the causes of corruption which I emphasized above is poor parental training.

It is one of the major causes of corruption in Nigeria and if parents can take their time to teach their children what they need to know, corruption will reduce to a very large extent.

In my article on the best governors in Nigeria, I explained that one of the things that makes a leader good or bad is the kind of training he received from his parents.

Yes! I do agree with the fact that the environment can affect the life of a child. But the truth is that; parents play a lot in deciding the character of their children when they grow up.

This is why I am pointing this out as one of the tentative solutions to corruption in Nigeria.

Human Right Education

Apparently, most Nigerians do really know their fundamental human rights entrenched in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, and that is why they are usually afraid to stand against corruption in the country.

To explain this further, I will tell you what happened to me one Monday morning.

My friend and I entered the same public bus to our different offices that morning.

When it was time for the drive to buy petrol for his car, he found out that the price had increased for just that particular company.

He didn’t complain or say anything to the person in charge at that point.

After some time, he started murmuring in the car, my friend and I tried to complain to the manager but almost everybody on the bus shouted at us because they didn’t want to waste their time.

My friend didn’t keep quiet anyway. He shouted till the manager came out.

After making his complaint, the manager begs us and sold the petrol at the supposed price.

Now, when we left the petrol station, the same people who were afraid to complain started to thank us for taking that bold step.

After that incident, I discovered that many Nigerians do even know their rights and that is why they keep quiet even when they are supposed to complain.

I strongly believe that if most Nigerians are educated on their fundamental human rights in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, corruption will drastically reduce in the country.

Wrapping up:

With what I have discussed so far, it is clear that the problem of corruption in Nigeria is a big one.

Nonetheless, I strongly believe that if Nigerians can play their parts as citizens to fight this disease called corruption, it can be defeated.

All that is needed is enlightenment and public education of the masses, most especially the poor and illiterate once.

They are usually more vulnerable to the deceits and lies of politicians in Nigeria.

This is where I am going to drop my pen on this topic. I also want to hear your contributions and suggestions to the problem of corruption in Nigeria.

So, make sure you send them using the comment section below this post.