THE IMPACT OF EFCC AND ICPC ON PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTABILITY
This research work titled “the impact of EFCC and ICPC on Public sector accountability”. Found out The impact of EFCC and ICPC on public sector accountability. Determined How EFCC and ICPC has helped in eradicating fraud and other irregularities in public sector. Identify the root cause of corruption in Nigerian public sector. Identified the role of EFCC and ICPC as aid to accountability in the public sector. Data for the study was sourced from two main sources which include Primary and Secondary sources of data collection. Primary data: Questionnaires and oral interviews were used to collect information from the respondents. Secondary data : Journals, magazine and other relevant materials relating to the area of my investigation will be review. Extensive literature review was carried out on direct literature and indirect literature on books, journals and past works. The research instrument used in this study includes oral interview and questionnaire. The questionnaire is structural as to contain both close and open ended question. Simple tables, pie-charts and percentages was used in treatment of data. The researcher found out that The establishment of EFCC and ICPC in Nigeria has helped to a great extent in combating economic and financial crime in Nigeria. And also That the efforts of the government in fighting economic and financial crimes have not been very effective because of the fraudulent practices of top Government officials. Based on the findings the researcher recommends that there is need for both EFCC and ICPC to develop the Political will to prosecute corrupt people no matter how highly placed. The modus operandi of both EFCC and ICPC should change. They make a lot of noise instead of investigation. EFCC use to fight corruption on pages of newspapers and television.
1.1 Background of the Study
In contemporary Nigeria, government has ultimately be-come inseparable from the day to day life of the citizens. This is because government is now involved in the over-all social and economic development as against its traditional role of mere maintaining law and order. Unfortunately, the resources at the disposal of governments continue to dwindle, meaning that governments have to re- order her priorities to meet the needs of the society. The implication is that both the civil servants and the political office holders must cooperate to ensure the achievement of sustainable financial and economic development. They must be responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and be held accountable for their actions and inactions.
However, for some times, the influence of the political appointees has made the civil servants to neglect the is-sue of accountability in the work place. The World Development Report (2004) places accountability succinctly at the centre of public reform and public sector deliver. Public accountability measures the degree to which the community can control (hold accountable) the behaviour of public agents through political institutions. Essentially, public accountability mainly regards matters in the public domain, such as the spending of public funds, the exercise of public authorities, or the conduct of public institutions . Generally, the goals of all public accountability measures are to guarantee that public money is spent most judiciously to ensure that the public actually benefits from public finance. There are many dimensions of accountability found in literature. For in-stance, a distinction can be found between accountability and transparency, and between accountability and responsiveness and participation. However, account-ability and controllability may be equated, since an agent is accountable to a principal if the principal can exercise control over the agent . Whatever the dimension from which accountability is seen, the importance is in forcing administrators to trace connections between the past, present and future.
1.2 Statement of Problem
According to Okonjo-Iweala N (2007), Corruption is pandemic in Nigeria and it has certainly emerged as the major impediment to the development of democracy and the national economy. The scourge has grown to become a way of life of both the governor and the governed as it pervades all sectors of the state. A politician that ‘succeeds’ at the polls sees any office he/ she occupies as a source of re-coupling his/her electoral expenses. Therefore, in most circumstances, public officers use their positions for private gains while long-term public interests are sacrificed.
According to Lipset and Lenz corruption is described as efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means – private gain at public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefit. It is a behavior, which violates rules against the exercise of certain types of [duties] for private [gains] – regarding influence . This definition includes such behavior as bribery (use of a reward to pervert the judg-ment of a person in a position of trust); nepotism (be-stowal of patronage by reason of ascribed relationship rather than merit); and misappropriation (illegal appro-priation of public resources for private uses). Corrupt practices are so common and pervading in the Nigeria’s public sector to an extent that citizens find it difficult to develop an alternative to deal with it. Corruption is probably the main means to accumulate quick wealth in Nigeria. Corruption occurs in many forms, and it has contributed immensely to the poverty and misery of a large segment of the Nigerian population.
Na’Abba said there are three reasons why corruption thrives in Nigeria:
1) Corrupt leadership lacked the desire and ability to change the moral tone of the country.
2) Government domination of the economic sphere significantly enhances opportunities and ability to seek rents. And
3) Civil society accepts or tolerate corruption.
It is now about four years since your administration embarked upon its anti-corruption crusade. Nevertheless, I regret to observe that the campaign has not yielded the desired result because it lacked focus and strong founda-tion ab initio…. In any case, the most preposterous and incredulous aspect of your anti-corruption campaign is that while the media is awash with stories on the activi-ties of EFCC and ICPC, corruption is taking root daily in many federal establishments, also rock inclusive. I have said it several times that corruption is rife among senior officials of government, especially those at the federal level…. It is said that a few members of the lead-ership of the Senate could stoop so low as to drop your name with active connivance of some of your aides to collect large sums in oil and defense contract commis-sions. The ignominious activities of this cabal, including the foreign accounts of some of your aides, serving and former ministers, are also well known to the interna-tional community. I would be surprised if you feign ignorance of this unfortunate situation.
The truth of the matter is that the entire Nigerian polit- ical process is hampered by corruption. This also means that accountability has not been rooted in the Nigerian public sector.
According to Bello, despite the activities of the ICPC and EFCC, corruption seems to be on the increase in the country. Most times, political appointees see public offices as an avenue to siphon public funds for private ends in spite of the jumbo salaries awarded to themselves by the public officers.
The activities of the anti-corruption agencies, notwithstanding, the basic questions in the minds of the people are:
1) To what extent has the concept of accountability be embedded in public sectors?
2) Has the introduction of the anti-corrupt agencies had any impact on corrupt practices in Nigeria?
3) Can the conspiratorial roles of the public appointees and civil servants be checkmated by the agencies?
This research work, therefore, examined the impact of EFCC and ICPC on public sector accountability in Nigeria, and highlights the effects of the conspiratorial associations between civil servants and political appointees, which in most cases has led to opportunistic behaviours with the hope of corruptly enriching the individuals concerned.