Question- The first part of that section still needs specific examples of service delivery deficiencies related to corruption. Please rewrite using APA format for the citations already in it and anyone you add. Kindly have the specific examples of service delivery deficiencies related to corruption you add in red ink.
Chapter 1: Introduction
The public sector in Nigeria formulates policies that are implemented through service delivery. The role of the public sector includes maintaining public services, influencing attitudes, shaping economic institutions, influencing resource use, providing basic amenities, and fair distribution of income. In other words, the goal of the public sector is to use taxes that have been collected to provide essential services that can enhance or promote economic development and improve lives through service delivery. The government through government officials is responsible for providing emergency services, healthcare, education, housing, refuse collection, security, infrastructure, and social care. The public sector focuses on serving the citizens by delivering free or subsidized services to the public. However, the government’s capacity in delivering most of the services, as mentioned earlier, is questionable and unimpressive due to widespread corruption.
Karim (2015) reports that citizens are dissatisfied with service delivery provided by the public sector in Nigeria because of widespread government corruption. The outcomes of the 2nd National Household Survey on Corruption in Nigeria were published by UNODC in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS) between May and June 2019. This report points to the fact that there was increasing difficulty in accessing public services in Nigeria due to several factors such as lack of accountability, political instability, governance constraints, and most importantly corruption.
Several factors are responsible for poor service delivery, and this includes corruption. Corruption is unethical practices and behavior contrary to the practice commonly advocated by the constitution or looting of public funds, misappropriation, money laundering, bribery, and abuse of the office. The United Nations (2012) defined Corruption as “abuse of power for private gain.” Transparency International has chosen a clear and focused definition of the term as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” It can also be a perversion or change from the generally accepted rules or laws for selfish gain (Farida, 2010). The World Bank, however, defines ‘Corruption’ as the abuse of office for private gains. Public office is abused for private gain when an official accepts, solicits, or extorts a bribe. Corruption is undoubtedly a global phenomenon that has threatened and will threaten the developmental efforts of many nations. In Nigeria, the fight against Corruption by successive governments to enhance good governance and effective service delivery has not yielded the desired results. People in power have made it a way of amassing quick wealth, causing underdevelopment in Nigeria.
According to Adamu (2007), corruption exists in one form or the other in all societies. An average Nigerian has accepted corruption as inevitable and uncontrollable, believing that society is corrupt and beyond remedy. Despite the reforms put in place to combat the malaise or reduce it to its barest minimum, corruption continues to be endemic, particularly in the Nigerian Public Service with its attendant implications for effective service delivery and welfare of the people. Corruption in Nigeria is prevalent and can be said to be a cankerworm that slowly and silently destroys the economic fabric of the nation (Enofe, Afiangbe, & Agha, 2017). It slows down development in all sectors of the economy.
Amukgo and Peters (2016) also observed that service delivery in the public sector in Nigeria consists of time-consuming, poor quality of service, too many procedures, and lack of transparency, much of which results from corruption among government officials. The implication of this is that poor service delivery has continued to bedeviled development in post-independence Nigeria. Past intervention to address the worrisome situations include several plans and massive injections of international and domestic resources to improve service delivery systems; public service delivery in many developing countries, including Nigeria, is still problematic (Leni et al., 2012). Ongoing government corruption poses severe challenges to the ability of the public sector to direct its proper aspirations towards improving the general welfare of the citizens as reported by Oloyede (2015).
Citizen response to government ineffectiveness and corruption includes a high number of “Service delivery protests’ ‘ particularly in Nigeria. Citizens frequently stage public protests in response to things like insufficient power supply, delayed services in the health care sector, unnecessary charges for service not rendered, or unsolicited services by communication service providers. Protracted strikes among stakeholders in the educational system focus on corruption that stifles pay and working conditions. Corruption within law enforcement negatively affects policing and police tactics and results in less effective policing. These protest issues are all direct effects of government official corruption which is the single greatest obstacle preventing Nigeria from achieving its enormous potential.
The impact of government corruption on the country is enormous and it has become an obstacle to delivering quality goods and services to the customers (Farooq and Shahbaz et al.,2013). It drains billions of dollars a year from the country’s economy, has stunted the country’s growth and development, and has weakened the social contract between the government and its people. Nigerians view their country as one of the world’s most corrupt and struggle daily to cope with the effects. There is an urgent need to revisit approaches to improving Nigeria’s service delivery system. This scenario has led to a clamor for reforms in the public sector. However, no amount of transformation can improve service delivery in the sector without addressing and resolving government corruption. In order for the public sector to be effective and efficient and have the ability to meet the basic needs of its citizens more promptly corruption needs to be addressed and reduced, if not eliminated
Obasanjo (2007) reports that Nigerians have always received poor quality of public service delivery. In most cases, without payment of bribes, processing of files will not move forward. Corruption in Nigeria’s government creates a high level of inefficiency and blocks prompt and efficient implementation of government policies. Poor attitudes toward service delivery in Nigeria pose big obstacles to implementing developmental programs and good governance in a democratic setting. Past efforts by the government to address the problem during the Obasanjo regime includes, to minimize financial burden usually caused by wasteful spending and maladministration through monetization policy and incentive scheme. That will encourage private-public partnership for effective government and active service operation. Motivating bureaucrats through responsive and contributory pension system schemes that ensure prompt payment of pension of retired bureaucrats as at when due. Rightsizing the civil service to attract qualified people to join the government workforce and discourage non qualified candidates through effective screening methods. Modify funding and budgeting for various government programs through budgetary and fiscal reforms that involves a framework for Medium- Term
The World Development Report of 2004 closely links service delivery with accountability and concludes that service delivery fails in many developing countries because of failure in the accountability relationship (World Bank, 2004). Corruption interferes with the accountability relationship within underdeveloped countries. Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in May 1999, the bureaucratic situation in Nigeria in terms of delivery of people oriented services, attitudes about work, operational methods, and accountability level continues to be dismal. In the same vein, public services function poorly. Civil servants are not prepared for democratic service demands which were nonexistent due to prolonged military rule in Nigeria. Some observers of Nigerian public administration also noted that during this period, the bureaucracy that championed the course of democratic consolidation and good governance was very ineffective in policy implementation, corrupt, and not professional.
Corruption not only affects service delivery but also reduces economic growth and development in the country. This fact is supported by modernization theory which suggests that traditional societies will develop as they adopt more modern practices. Modernization is the process of change towards those types of social, economic, and political systems that have developed in Western European and North American Societies. The theory was proposed by German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) and it provides the basis for the modernization paradigm developed by Harvard Sociologist Talcott Parsons (1902-1979).Modernization theory refers to a body of theory that because prominent in the 1950s and 1960s in relation to understanding issues of economic and social development and in creating policies that would assist economic and social transitions in poorer countries (International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2009).
According to Anwar (2005), the public confidence in public sectors performance in developing countries, including Nigeria, has further deteriorated through the 21st-century global information revolution. Lack of participation in the information revolution limits government and citizens abilities to access, transmit and transform information.
Notably, when corruption has reached an endemic level, it has consequences for the economic growth and development of a country. However, most of the past studies have focused on the causes of Corruption in Nigeria, but there is a dearth of study on its impact on service delivery in the public sector. This study, therefore, will investigate the impact of corruption on service delivery in the public sector in South-West Nigeria. One of the theories that can help to understand this is social disorganization theory which specifies that several variables influence a community’s capacity to develop and maintain strong systems of social relationships. Such variables include residential instability, ethnic diversity, family disruption, economic status, population size, and proximity to urban areas.
Social disorganization theory is one of the most enduring place-based theories of crime developed by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay.Shaw .This theory is traced to conditions endemic to the urban areas that the only place the newly arriving poor could afford to live, in particular, a high rate of turnover in the population (residential instability) and mixes of people from different cultural background (ethnic diversity).
To address corruption and poor service delivery, there is an urgent need to integrate organizational structures. redirecting the attention of various agencies of government to their core values and functions to which they were established. In order to encourage effectiveness through restructuring and retraining and discourage engagement in corrupt activities, government leadership needs to be focused on eliminating corruption. There is a need to reinforce work processes, procedure and administration rules. Changing the mind-set of public officers are required to exhibit courtesy, discipline and be guided by code of conduct of their respective professions among others (Famosaya, 2013). The theory that supports this claim is Theory of Institutional Corruption. This theory focuses attention on distinctive ways in which institutions can be easily corrupted. It perceives corruption as distinctively integral to an institution in three ways. In the first instance, corruption is equivocal, secondly, institutional corruption is impersonal and thirdly, corruption is generalizable.
As of today, corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the nation. Hardly can anything be done without a form of corrupt practice, and this comes in different dimensions. It could be through gratification, embezzlement of government funds, or using cronies or allies that are not competent but are serving at the pleasure of high-ranking government officials. In the public sector, family members are allowed to have contracts that they are not qualified to execute. It inadvertently has made the cost of doing business in Nigeria unattractive and sometimes a sheer waste of time. Merit does not count anymore, and now, it is all about whom the contact is and how high is the button that can be pressed.
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