Corruption can be simply defined as an act of dishonesty for the sole purpose of personal gain or selfish interest. It invariably means dishonest exploitations and manipulation of power for personal gains. Again, it means an immoral act of manipulation or depravity of material, power etc for ones selfish interest. To divorce the third world countries from corruption is literally a Herculean task. In as much as corruption, a great social vice, is not only found in third world countries, it is quite peculiar and most profound in these nations.
It afflicts all nations with bad leaders, which eventually spreads to other citizens. In any government, be it democratically elected or otherwise, it is almost impossible not to have at least a single corrupt individual in the ruling government. Corruption is a vicious circle, it inhibits development in nations, and thus bestowing such nation a third world country features. There are several types of corruption, which include; Bribery; illegal collection of money or material before doing one’s official duty Graft; illicit and illegal request of things by public office holders.
Patronage; misuse of public position. Embezzlement; misappropriation and mismanagement of fund Kickbacks nvolvement in organized crime etc. Other type of corruption apart from and political corruption include; “Corporate corruption, as the abuse of power by corporate managers against the shareholders or consumers”. Causes of Corruption include; i. Lack of transparency in the government; when the governments’ activities are not easily accessible by the general public, the government tend to mismanage the public’s fund and also indulge in all sort of corrupt practices. ii.
Bad leaders; Corruption leaders do not only embezzle, them also do all sort immoral acts while in government. iii. Masses lack of interest in the government; when the general public is not charismatic and is not particular in electing good leaders in to government, it results in corruption. iv. Irresponsive government; when government do not have programs that take care of the welfare and economic affairs of it citizen, citizen tend to take care of themselves in all sort of ways both fraudulent and corrupt ways. v. Weak accountability, lack of timely financial management.
vi. Poverty; in a society where poverty is vast, the masses tend to indulge in corruption to improve their finances. However, Political corruption is the most severe type of corruption for it affects not only the political system, it affects the entire economy of the nation. The Economic effects include; In the government, corruption undermines both economic and social development by creating distortions, extortion of the masses and inefficiency in the public office. It also brings about nepotism, which kills creativity and a value of self achievement.
In the private sector, corruption simply increases the cost of production through the price of “illegal payments and the management cost of negotiating with officials”. It also leads to breached agreements, distrust and inflation. In several cases, the masses are the victims of corruption, it results into economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Again, tax payers money are diverted into private use by corrupt leaders. Social amenities are either not provided or the few available are not maintained.
Public “Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government”. Types of leaders that could handle Corruptions; The leaders that should be elected to tackle corruption are leaders which are well vast in democratic process. They should be well educated both in the history of their people and the development of democracy in the western world.
To take a tip from the philosophers, a true ruler must highly intelligent, learned and well expose to democratic precedents. Again such leaders should be contentious, level headed, god fearing, incorrigible and most especially must be ready pursue democratic due process in all cases. A patriotic leader would not want his/her nation to be backward, hence would fight all corrupts advances proffered towards the development of the nation. Reference Dipo Irele, Corruption the evil against development. University press,Oyo state,Nigeria. 2002