Content Analysis of Ethics of Governance, Maladministration and Political Corruption

Content Analysis of Ethics of Governance, Maladministration and Political Corruption

Paul Agu Igwe (University of Lincoln, UK), Obiamaka P. Egbo (Faculty of Business Administration, University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Ekwutosi Sanita Nwakpu (Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria), Progress Hove-Sibanda (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa), Abu Naser Mohammad Saif (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia) and Md Asadul Islam (Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJPSS.2021070102
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Although different forms of corruption exist in every region, Africa, South America, Latin America, Russia, and Asia countries, perhaps to a greater extent engage in higher levels of corruption more than other regions of the world. Applying ethics of governance and theory of “patrimonialism,” this article examines governance of ethics and corruption. This article argues that corruption lays the foundation for the abridgement of citizens' rights and perpetuation of underdevelopment. Methodologically, the authors explored contents through multiple media sources, ensuring rigor and trustworthiness. The findings reveal how corruption is being perpetuated in Nigeria, prosecuted, and the challenges. This article finds a strong relationship between corruption, the absence of ethics of governance, and maladministration. Many public and political office holders engage or support corruption; there is lack of moral and ethical considerations. More so, it appears that politics is based on wealth acquisition and self-interest rather than on ideologies.
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The ethics of governance revolves around the question: “in whose interest should a corporation be governed?” (Rossouw, 2020, p. 187). The ethics of governance is about the incorporation of moral conditions and requirements in the management, governance, and control structures of organizations (Wieland, 2001). In developed economies, there has been a quite drastic evolution in both the prominence and positioning of ethics (Rossouw, 2020). However, the failure of corporate governance and governance of ethics in many developing countries threaten political, administrative, and developmental progress (Adegbite, 2010; Armstrong, 2003; Rossouw, 2005). Contrasting the trajectory of corruption in Africa with Latin America, South East Asia, Russia and Central Asia, “patrimonialism and neopatrimonialism have been associated with greater axiological neutrality than in Africa due, inter alia, to the preservation of an analytical dichotomy between regulated and predatory forms of neopatrimonialism” (Bach, 2011, p. 275).

Against this background, this article examines the forms and the impact of corruption on Nigerian developmental progress. Corruption violates a nation's secular values and represents a repressive moral code. Corruption has been blamed for the failure of governance in many developing countries (Steytler, 2020; Igiebor, 2019; Walton, 2015; Elliott, 2012; Kaufmann et al., 2007). Corruption is often referred to as the abuse of public office for private gain (Walton, 2015). The challenge facing corruption analysts begin how to define it (Elliott, 2012). Of course, corruption is not just a problem for developing countries (Elliott, 2012). Among the numerous problems facing Nigeria in the 21st century despite being “the Giant of Africa”, African most populated country and the continent’s biggest economy is the bad image, which is rightly or wrongly portrayed by the Corruption Perception Indices orchestrated under the framework of the global Transparency International (see, e.g., Madichie, 2005; Ochulor, 2011).

Studies on the history of corruption in Nigeria describes the relationship between colonisation and corruption/patrimonialism, as well as the manifestations of corruption during authoritarianism and the democratisation process (Martini, 2014). Evidence suggests that there is an apparent rise in corruption following democratisation (Igiebor, 2019; Madichie, 2005). Nigeria is the 146 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries in 2019, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International (2020a). The challenge facing corruption analysts begin how to define it, hence, many developing nations are struggling to legislate and define corruption in their constitution.

The types of corruption include (i) presidentialism, i.e. the systematic concentration of power on the hands of one individual; (ii) use of state resources for political legitimation; (iii) a culture of “rent-seeking” linked to the private appropriation of resources by a particular group; and (iv) systematic clientelism, where power is maintained through the awarding of personal favours, such as public jobs, contracts and licenses, among others (Erdmann & Engel, 2007, cited in Martini, 2014, p. 2). As a theoretical lens, this article applies Max Weber “patrimonialism” that describes a system where decisions about policies and resources are made by powerful politicians and their cronies who are linked by informal, personal and clientelist networks that co-exist with the formal state structure (Nawaz, 2008, cited in Martini, 2014). Neo-patrimonial states fail to guarantee the universal and fair distribution of public resources (Martini, 2014). The critical questions for this study include:

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