Since the attainment of Independence,
Corruption had been one of the major problems facing the country. The Nigerian
Customs Service is the second Revenue Generation mechanism and it is one of the
Major Corrupt Services in Nigeria.
This research is a study of the
function of the Customs Service, the causes of Corruption and the impact of
Corruption in the service.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
Background to Study
Aims and Objectives
Scope of Study
Sources and Methodology
Definition of Relevant Concepts
Significance of the Study
Limitation of Study
Introduction Corruption in Nigeria.
General Yakubu Gowon Era.
CORRUPTION IN THE
NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE
Causes of Corruption in the Nigerian
Types of Corruption in the Nigerian
Tackling Corruption in the Nigerian
Reforms and Antidote to Corruption
The establishment of EFCC
IMPACT OF CORRUPTION IN
THE NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE
How to Combat Corruption References.
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Corruption and bribery behaviors
occur throughout the world, but it is endemic in Nigeria as a developing
country. Widespread corruption is a symptom of a poorly functioning state.
Corruption can undermine the
political, social and economic growth of a developing country like Nigeria.
Corruption, bribery and transparent behaviour have become the order of the day;
it cut across the society and involves powerful groups that continue to benefit
from the negative vices. After the common office bribes, corrupt practices have
grown from award of contracts and collection of kickbacks with favour toward
kith and kin, to use of undue influence in government offices. Government
officials nowadays award federal and state contracts to their school mates,
religious cronies and club associates.
Bribery and corruption has become a
virus for a country like Nigeria with abundant natural resources. It has
developed into higher degree that has made government social benefits difficult
to reach the ordinary citizens. Since corruption and untransparent behaviours are
considered evil, its mere existence is often a cause for concern. This
unethical behavior has given Nigeria a bad image. It is high time government
embark on possible antidotes 1'01' this
The lack of mechanism to check
corrupt practices among the society, has made Transparency international, an
international organization at Switzerland monitoring corruption and
untransparcncy behavour around the world to enlist Nigeria as the most corrupt
nation in the year 2000. Therefore
what is corruption?
Corruption can be defined as
behaviour, actions and deeds that is immoral against the societal ethics.
Corruption has to do with offering and accepting of bribes to hasten official
transactions or to get a favour done. It also hinges on some dishonest
behaviours that is against the norms of the society.
Corruption in the Nigerian Customs
Service is inevitable, it started during the military era in Nigeria, and the
issue surrounding the curbing of crime in the Nigerian Customs Service has been
a major challenge in the system, this only show that corruption cannot be
completely eradicated, it can only be minimized. The Nigerian Customs Service
is the Second revenue yielding economic outlet in the country, its functionalities
cuts across collection of excise duties, collection of duties and levies on
imported goods, Inspection of sea and airports and their associated. bonded
warehouses, enforcement of the government fiscal policies such as the
prohibition of certain goods and curbing the movement of illegal immigrants in
the country" .However, with all this functions, the control of corruption
in the Nigerian Customs Service is a reflection of general behavior within the
society and in developing countries like Nigeria where worker salaries cannot
support the lifestyle and comfort, one will look elsewhere to make ends meet.
The federal government hardly disburses monthly salary to the Customs Service,
and the people have family to cater for .The temptation to engage in corrupt
practices is then open to the people. The salaries paid to Customs Men abroad
are enough to cater for the workers and maintain a decent life, but in Nigeria
reverse is the case.
The environment under which Nigerian
customs men work is very poor, no promotion for many years, officers uniforms
are not replaced, while the service is under-staff.
Above all, majority of the Customs
men are stagnated on the same salary for years, therefore, the Customs Service
force is susceptible to Corruption, from dubious businessmen/women that want to
clear their goods and has no regard to the clearing of goods procedures.
Corruption in Nigeria Customs service today is an everyday affair. Asides these
facts the corruption that exist in the Nigerian customs service include, god
fatherism, Craven instinct for wealth, peer group influence.
Corruption is a global phenomenon,
intelligible only in its social context. It can also be defined as practice of
conferring improper benefits contrary to legal and moral norms, and which
undermines the authorities capacities to secure the welfare of all citizens. In
Nigeria it became the principal means of private accumulation during the
decolonization period, in the absence of other means, and came to shape
political activity and competition after independence. All subsequent regimes,
military and civilian, have been pervaded by Corruption. Aided and enhanced by
oil revenues, this has created a deepening crisis of kleptocracy sown in its
most extreme form since 1984.
According to Lami Abdul's, corruption
has resulted into a combination of scandalous wealth among the ruling class
with growing poverty, misery and degradation among the mass of Nigerians.
Political life has become dominated by winner-take-all factional struggles,
political cynicism and violence, while the economy and social institutions have
been driven into decay. Corruption has not thus become a way of life in
Nigeria, one which existing government wishes to, nor can control.
According to Professor Esko Toyo in
his book Nigerian Public Office and Issues of Transparency and
Accountability, transparency in the Nigerian Customs Service means to be
honest in official dealings with customers of the general public, state
official in Nigeria lack the virtue of honest, because majority of them engage
in unethical conducts that made them to be dishonest to be honest to the system
and the government.
Transparency has to do with character
and personal integrity of individuals. A transparent officer usually tries to
set standards for him\herself and live by example, such public officers would
not engage in any corrupt practice or misconduct that can smear their
reputation and image. This means that a transparent personality must extol good
virtues in public service. How many public officials, civil servants, lawyers,
Customs officers and the executive arms of government can stand up and say
he/she is honest and transparent in his her official conduct.
It is against this background that this research seeks to evaluate Corruption in
Nigeria in the light of the Nigerian Custom service.
THE OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The objective of this study is to
ascertain the following.
highlight the practice and genesis of Corruption in the Nigerian Customs Service.
identify the role of the Nigerian Customs Service in the national economy.
the impacts of corrupt practices by Customs men and women on Nigeria's economic
to determine whether the Nigerian environment actually aided and abetted
Nigerian Customs men and women corrupt behaviors.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study covers
corruption in Nigerian Custom Service in two distinct regime Gowon and
Babangida. Gowon regime was chosen because it was during this period that
corruption of public institution particularly the Nigeria custom service was pronounced.
Scholars have written literatures and
journals on the issues related to these work, some of which would be reviewed.
This Study would draw from Literature on International Relations, border and
land policies and the Nigerian Customs service.
In this research, Information will be
obtained from both primary and secondary sources.
The primary sources include Archival
materials, government documents, Oral interviews and Newspapers. The Secondary
sources include published books, journals, and monographs etcetera. The
interpretation of the pieces of information will be based on historical method
Reviewing a book titled, smuggling, the
crime, the law written by professor Kofo Olugbesan, an assistant comptroller
General of Custom (rtd), I saw the book as presenting a landmark achievement
for "The department of the Nigeria Customs and Excise Service" and
the book was written to feed the public what it needed to hear(public
relations) , Undoubtedly ,this book did not critique the customs officers in
the area of corruption, smuggling, transparency. Instead it praised their
effort and asked the government to support their interest by providing more funds
to them. According to the author, these Customs Officers were Nigerian
patriots" Furthermore, this book covers up the main bone of contention
facing the system which is smuggling and corruption"
Another book titled, EYES RIGHT Nigerian Customs Service on the Dais
written by jerry Alagbaoso, this work critically discusses the Olusegun
Obasanjo administration, It discusses policies that were enacted during his
regime like the creation of the Presidential committee for the Restructuring of
the Nigerian Customs Service, The G.F BUBA-Ied administration was also
discussed and total emphasis were placed on his biography. The failures of this
book were the negligence of the writer to analytically access the achievement
as well as the failures of the Nigerian Customs Service. In chapter 7 of the
book, fiscal capital generated to the government in form of tax exceeded the
normal amount, this only goes to show some of the irregularities in the
activities of the service.
Furthermore, the book also did not
treat the issue of corruption, the work also lacked objectivity.
The book also goes ahead to viewing
only the perspective of removing faults and weakness and strengthening good
qualities of the service, it failed to analyze the problems of the country.
100 years of Nigerian Customs and
Excise 1891-1991 edited by I.E.S Amdii, this work attempts to look into the
evolution and metamorphosis of the Nigerian Customs Service between 1891 and
1991. The period considered represents a century of Customs Service activities
in Nigeria, this book analytically discusses phases of revenue sourcing by the department
activities of the clearing and forwarding and also partner organization in the service.
The book went further too
analytically discuss the question of our artificial borders and the problems
which arise from such historical designs. The failure of this book is inability
of the author to examine the Customs department during the Military era, when
military head of states proposed policies that affected the Nigerian economy
negatively. Furthermore, in the area of smuggling fake drugs and used cars, the
service during the military era was not active in combating this crime this
according to the author, was because the government refused to fund the
service. But arguably, this was because of the inefficiency of the service
Nigerian Port Authority, Shipping Portland Clearing written by Dr. J.O.K
Idornigie (JOKI), a reputable clearing and forwarding agent in maritime, this
work looks into the affair of the maritime business .clearing and forwarding at
that sector ,the book was able to assess the responsibility of the clearing and
forwarding department in assisting the customs in the process of clearing
goods. The involvement of the clearing and forwarding department with importers
and exporters and also the issue of smuggling, the failures of the book is its
inability to analyze the cumbersome paper works involved in the process of
clearing and the monitoring of taxations in the systems .The problems involved
in clearing and forwarding are the issues of embezzlements of public funds as
well as goods seized are retained by some of the officers.
In Paul Brook's Work "Concept of
Corruption and Practice in Modern Society" defines Corruption as the
international Mis-performance or neglect of a recognized duty or the
unwarranted exercise of power by Customs Officer with the motive of gaining
some advantage more or less directly personal. Here corruption was discussed in
the public service as a major setback in the Nigeria Customs Service, the book
discusses way of combating these problem , the failures of the book includes
the fact that it lacked objectivity especially in describing corruption in
Senturia's Work, “Corruption in the
National Business Organization and the Effects in Business Transaction”,
analyses the fact that corruption is eminent in businesses, the book defines
corruption as the misuse of public power for private gains, the book explains
how corruption disrupt service delivery in public administrations and
businesses, it explains emphatically how corruption started during the military
Era. The book had its failures, the writer omitted Corruption in the Customs
Jibril Hammed, Nigerian Customs
Service role in the National Economy Agenda, reveals that Corruption exists in
the Nigerian Customs Service, Chapter 5 of the text reveals how this Customs
Officers abet smuggling as they collect bribes for goods coming into the
country. It goes further to say that the Nigerian Customs Service determine
economic development through the collection of taxes and disciplined adherence
to combating smuggling, the failure of the book is that it did not explain
collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Customs Service with other security
personnel like the Nigerian police force, Nigerian Navy, Anti bomb, Quarantine
and so on. No man is an island, so in terms of national security and economic
development the Nigeria Customs Service work hand in hand with other security
personnel. Furthermore the book failed to the explain the lack of training and
the lack of maintenance culture in the Nigerian Customs, the question here is
.where are the Capital allocated to this course.
Richard Alatas in his work Corruption
and the impacts on the organization, characterized corruption as the abuse of
trust for the sake of private benefits. According to Femi Odekunle Corruption
is simply expressed as social vices that are ant ethical to the norms and Customs
of the society. It is a virus that can breakdown law and order of the community
if not checked. While Bode Onimode defined corruption as an immoral behavior
common in every society. It has to do with betrayal of trust or set standard by
the society. Thus a person who put his relation's interest above the larger
society, or seeks personal gain in conduct of official business has committed
The fact that Nigeria is not the only
place where Corruption exists and Corruption does not in any way minimize the
harm that it has brought on Nigerians. It is a fact that people have to have to
bribe their way to get even the most basic service in Nigeria public institutions.
1.6 I DEFINITION OF RELEVANT TERMS
1.6.1 Corruption refers to
anti-social behaviour, it also means dishonesty for personal gain or exploitation
of power for personal gain.
1.6.2 Conduct describes the way of
life and manner things are carried out.
1.6.3 Ethics refers to the study of
moral standard and how they affect human conduct, it also entails code of
1.6.4 Deviation means departure from
expected behavior, it is also defined as a change or difference from what is
usual, accepted, expected or planned
1.6.5 Bureaucracy is an
administrative system, especially in a government, that divides work into
specific categories carried out by special department it is also official
1.6.6 Indiscipline refers to lack of
control, discipline or bad behavior.
1.6.7 Scams means scandals or
allegation on behavior.
1.6.8 Perjury the telling of a lie
after having taken an oath to tell the truth, usually in a court of law, it
also means false declaration.
1.6.9 Legislature arm: An organ of
government that makes laws.
1.6.9 Looting refers to stealing from
1.6.9 Sabotage means to deliberately damage or destroy property or
equipment and to undermine the system.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will throw light on how corrupt
practices have ruined the national economy and how the government can tackle
the virus in the Nigerian society.
The study will identify the effects
of corruption on some parastatals and organizations that collect revenue for
national economic development in Nigeria, using Nigerian Customs Service as a
Furthermore, the study is significant
because its recommendation at making Nigeria a corrupt free country. Above all,
the project will also benefit the following stakeholders:
The Federal Ministry of Finance as a
supervisory body for Nigerian customs service. The federal inland revenue in
service in terms of the management in the country.
The management of Nigerian customs
service in its crusade to curb the corrupt practice within the service.
Finally, such other relevant
organization that are in charge of minimizing corruption in Nigeria. It is also
useful to history and international relations as it would educate them on
corruption in the Nigerian Custom service. It would also be in fulfillment to
the award of the Bachelor of Arts degree in History and International relations
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
In the course or the Research,
certain limitations were encountered. The researcher found it difficult to
select which information was vital and most relevant for the work. The
Researcher also faced time constraint in the course of the research. Customs Officials
also failed to release vital information relevant for these work. However,
efforts were made to achieve the stated objectives.
1.9 CHAPTER SYNOPSIS
Chapter 1 Gives the introduction of
this work, the background to the study, objectives of Study, significance of
study, scope of study, Sources and Methodology, Literature review, limitation
of study and definition of relevant concepts.
Chapter 2 Examines Corruption in
Nigeria from independence till date. Issues that would be discussed are
corruption in Nigeria during Gowon Yakubu and during the Babangida years.
Chapter 3 Examines Corruption in the
Nigerian Customs Service, here issues that would be discussed would be the
functions of the Nigerian Customs service and Corruption in the system.
Chapter 4 Gives the impact of
Corruption in the Nigerian Customs Service.
Chapter 5 Gives the summary of
chapters, conclusion and recommendations.