THE ROLE AND CHALLENGES OF ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES IN ENHANCING PRUDENT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA (THE CASE OF ICPC AND EFCC)
All over the world, no country has been adjusted to be totally free from any iota of corruption. Even in the Bible I Sam. Chapter 8 v 1 – 4, the two sons of Samuel, – Joel and Abijah took bribe and perverted justice. Monumental corruption holds sway in Nigeria. The researcher’s study is to find how the two anti-graft agencies – ICPC and EFCC have performed towards eradicating corruption in Nigeria since their inauguration in year 2000 and 2002 respectively. The background of the study dealt extensively on previous efforts made by previous Governments to reduce corruption and all to no avail until in 2000 and 2002 when the two commissions were inaugurated by President Obasanjo. The scope is limited to two commissions ICPC and EFCC while other anti-corruption agencies like NDLEA, SSS, Customs, Civil Defense, Police, Prison Services were not studied. Chapter two centered on concept, origin of corruption, history of EFCC and ICPC, missions of the two anti-graft commissions, their Operational structures, their functions, categories of people that have rights to report cases of corruption to ICPC and EFCC, types of cases to be reported upon, types of offences and punishments. Different comments on corruption in Nigeria by renowned scholars, monumental corruptions in different sectors in Nigeria like NEPA, Police, Public Service, Presidency, among various politicians, NNPC were discussed. Other issues discussed are negative consequences of corruption in Nigeria, causes, types of corruption, why corruption persists in Nigeria and the effects on the society generally and other basic indicators of corruption as commented by other scholars. Chapter three dealt on research methodology, design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample techniques, hypotheses, procedures for the administration of questionnaire and procedures for statistical analysis. Population is 1,200, while sample size is 300. Chapter four centered on analysis of demographic variables of the respondents, assessment on causes, effects, functional differences, factors militating against effective performances of the two commissions. Five hypotheses were tested in line with five objectives of the study and five related research questions. Corruption has brought negative consequences like breeding of injustice, mediocrity, poor service delivery, lopsided and uneven developments, brain drain, short life expectancy, ethnic militia, civil agitation and unrest, increased rate of crimes and violence. To ensure effective performance of the two commissions, there is need to put in place legal constitutions to be revised periodically, no political or government interference. There should be adequate funding, logistics support, high level of cooperation from all and sundry to support corruption eradication. There is need for sensitization, awareness creation, entrenching morality and social values. Religious leaders should intensify their preaching on ethical issues and Christian ethos. There are specific functions of the two commissions. However, there are areas of functional conflicts. Finally, in chapter five, discussions of findings showed that poor funding, poor working conditions in public offices, inordinate and mundane ambitions account for high rate of corruption in Nigeria. Others are deprivations, overstaying in offices, misallocations of resources etc. Finally, conclusions were made while recommendations centered on ways to make the two commissions more viable to eradicate corruption since righteousness exalts a nation (Proverb 14:34). We have no other country than Nigeria and we have to stay here and salvage it together through collective efforts to eradicate corruption and by supporting the efforts of anti-graft agencies.