Nigerian corruption complex:
rethinking complementarities to
Moses Udo Ikoh
Department of Sociology, Federal University, Laﬁa, Nigeria
Purpose –The purpose of this paperis to examine the emerging corruption complex in Nigeria, the cultural
nexus that inﬂuenceits enculturation, dynamics and the amoral values that tend to shape it.
Design/methodology/approach –The paper drew data largely from documentary and empirical
secondarysources for analysis.
Findings –Current institutional responses are not effective and cannot be sustainable in the ﬁght against
corruption. The enculturationprocess needs to be countered through measuresother than arrest, prosecution
and punishment to include mass mobilisation, values orientation, conscientisation and sensitisation of
Nigerianson the evils of corruption.
Research limitations/implications –The endemicityof corruptionin Nigeria suggests the multiplicity
of its causative factors. But this studyfocuses only on primordial cultural fault line which hinders collective
consciencein the ﬁght against corruption.
Practical implications –Implementing the suggestions on moral awakening –value orientation,
conscientisation, mass mobilisationand sensitisation –is thought of as enthronement of national values as
opposed to primordial ethnic cultural values. It would complement the legal remedies in the ﬁght against
Social implications –The building of character ofNigerians alongside existing laws on corruption will
checkmate emerging culture of corruption that is attracting adherents in both business and bureaucratic
activitiesin the countries.
Originality/value –The paper takes a cultural perspective and explainshow primordial cultural values
inhibit natural culturalvalues to enthrone amoral values that have contributed to the emergencecorruption
complex in Nigeria.
Keywords Conscientization, Corruption complex, Enculturation, Nigeria culture, Value orientation
Paper type General review
I pledge my commitment to the emergence of a new Nigeria, recognising that corruption is a
cancer that eats its own host to death; that corruption ultimately kills not only the victims, but
also the perpetrators; and that unless we change our course we are bound to end up where we are
So help me God to resist these evils in myself, and to ﬁght them in Nigeria with all the resources
you have bestowed (Ehusani, 2003).
The concept of corruption has received wide attention in academic literature for several
decades now. Many scholarly studies have been devoted to examine the causes,
consequences and possible policy interventions that can be used to check-make corruption
(Ekeh, 1975;Heidenheimeret al., 1989;Amundsen, 2000). In 2003 the United Nations General
Assembly had to set aside 9 December every year as “InternationalAnti-Corruption Day”to
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 2, 2018
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