Political Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria Since 1960: A Socio-economic Analysis is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research
Nigeria, a country richly endowed with natural resources and high-quality human capital is yet to find its rightful place among the comity of nations. A major reason that has been responsible for her socio-
economic stagnation is the phenomenon of corruption. The kernel of the paper rest in the fact that political leadership and corruption were interwoven and it is against this background that it explored the
corrupt tendencies of the political leadership class in Nigeria since 1960 and its implication for socio-economic development. The paper concludes that for Nigeria to experience sustainable socio-economic development, responsible and credible leaders must emerge to implant the act of good and selfless governance in the country.
Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords: that where laws end, tyranny begins.
…William Pitt Whereas Robert L. Tignor (1993) in his work examined and discussed extensively political corruption in Nigeria from a historical point of view with a heavy concentration on political developments in the country before independence and the activities of Nigerian nationalists vis-à-vis the colonial masters, this paper seeks to discuss the role of the political leadership class in the entrenchment of corruption in Nigeria from a historical-socio-economic perspective. The paper argues that the political leadership class in Nigeria cannot exonerate itself from the current travails of socio-economic underdevelopment in the country. It explores from a historical perspective the pernicious effect of corruption on public policy decisions, actions, and the management of collapsed infrastructure and the nation’s resources as well as its socio-economic implications to development. An attempt is made to assess the impact of the phenomenon of corruption on the social and economic wellbeing of the country as a whole.
It must be mentioned here that the perspective offered in this paper does not exhaust all that there is to be discussed concerning corruption and political leadership in Nigeria. It will only approach the subject matter from the perspective of its contributions to public policy failure and its implications for socio-economic development. It is instructive to state that political leadership in the context of this paper refers not only to the government or to the leadership of an organized state, but embrace the totality of the political class that has the capacity to exert influence on the machinery of government even from behind the scene.
Hence, this paper shall explicate on the contributions of both the military and the civilian leadership class that has managed and directed the affairs of the country since independence to the growth and
institutionalization of corruption in Nigeria. This is a way of justifying the underlying thesis of this paper that the political leadership of the country since independence is responsible for entrenching corruption in Nigeria and, by extension, had impeded meaningful socio-economic development.
It is an incontrovertible fact that corruption has been the bane of Nigeria’s development. Thus, without mincing words the phenomenon has ravaged the country and destroyed most of what is held as
cherished national values. Unfortunately, the political class saddled with the responsibility of directing the affairs of the country have been the major culprit in perpetrating this act. Regrettably, since independence a notable surviving legacy of the successive political leadership both civilian and military that have managed the affairs of the country at different times has been the institutionalization of corruption in all agencies of the public service, which, like a deadly virus, has subsequently spread to the private sector of the country.