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Corruption is Nigeria's biggest challenge. It is clear to every citizen that the level

of corruption in the country is high. It's found in every sector of society. Be it a small

or big sector, there is every possibility of observing corrupt practices when critically


What is corruption? It's the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power,

typically involving bribery. It is the illegitimate use of power to benefit a private

interest (Morris 1991). Corruption in Nigeria wears many kinds of unattractive and

dirty clothes. The situation has made so many people feel a lot of pains as the money

which would have been used to reduce poverty in the country are being channeled

into the pockets of a small group of persons.

Nigeria is in a situation that requires urgent attention. She is in a condition that

requires restructuring. Although the word 'political restructuring' is not entirely a new

term in Nigeria, but it is increasingly gaining currency among the unelectable For

some of these Nigerians, restructuring means regional autonomy or simply resource

control or ownership. While some of the well-known advocates of restructuring have

dropped the demand for it, some new persons have become its new converts. They say

the central or federal government which is vested with the control of all resources is

too powerful, that the way out is to return the ownership of these resources to states or

geo-political zones which may then pay taxes to run the government at the centre. In

recent times, the loudest advocates of restructuring are the same people routed in the
last elections. (Abu Najakku, 2016)



According to Merriam Webster dictionary, it is the dishonest or illegal behaviour

exhibited by people especially powerful people (such as government officials or

police officers). It is the impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle.


According to Oxford learners dictionary, it means to organize something such as

a system or a company in a new and different way. Restructuring is the buzzword of a

section of the elite that feels it has been shut out of government, particularly at the

federal level, hence they say if we cannot be accommodated up there; regionalize

power so we can help ourselves in our lager!


Political restructuring, to me, therefore, means transforming or reorganizing the

political, socio-economic aspect of the country to a better or improved one. That is,

developing effective changes to our current federal structure with the aim of attaining

the structure our founding leaders erected, therefore addressing the very issues and

challenges that led them to opt for a less centralized system. Owning to this

explanation, political restructuring will help and of course, be a great panacea to this

endemic corruption in Nigeria.



Corruption is a raging practice in Nigeria starting from the days of our heroes,

when Nigeria gained independence and became a federation. With the leaders leading

the race as their unquenchable thirst to embezzle public fund continues to grow

stronger. When Nigeria gained independent in 1960, several cases of corruption was

recorded, which include;

The gradual development of stealing public funds during Gen. Yakubu Gowon regime

by 1966-1979.

Military egg heads started owning huge properties, oil blocs running into millions of

dollars during Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 1976 – 1979.

Looting galore by Ministers, party functionaries and other government big wigs

during Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s regime in 1979 – 1983.

Major. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s zero tolerance for corruption in 1984 – 1985

turned out to witch hunt the brilliant south-easterners, as politicians bagged 200 years

in jail terms but no single northerner was on the list.

In 1985-1993 during Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, all jailed politicians were

freed, he liberalized the architecture and in one fell swoop, about $12 billion


Over 25 billion dollars looted in four turbulent years under Gen. Sanni Abacha from

1993 – 1998.

About 2 billion dollars looted in eleven months under Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar

from 1998 – 1999.

In 1999 – 2007, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s account was said to have grown from

#20,000 after leaving prison to multi-billion dollars with choice properties across

major cities. Also, 16 billion dollars allegedly meant fro electric power projects

vanished. Another 300 billion naira meant for roads also disappeared.

No looted funds have been traced to President Alhaji Musa Yar’adua’s tenure during

2007 – 2010.

The man with the magic wand to fixing the already dead nation, Dr. Goodluck Ebele

Jonathan was accused in the 2011 elections as 2.6 trillion naira disappeared but facts

show that it was the rotten northerners in his government that stole the money. Also,

over 31 billion dollars was stolen in two years by sanusi who poisoned his uncle just

to get on a throne and be covered by immunity. Another 2.6 billion dollars was stolen

in the 2015 elections by a northerner in his government. More revelations on stolen

public funds during his tenure which lasted from 2011 – 2015, are still emerging, but

because it connects more to the rotten northerners, the present day government is

trying to hide up the information.

Meanwhile, from 2015 till date, Muhammadu Buhari has just been recovering looted

funds and re-looting them for his own personal use.

There have been so many fight and demonstration to eradicate corruption in Nigeria

but it looks as if the more protest Nigerian makes the more the level of corruption

continue to increase in Nigeria, the level of greed among the people of Nigeria also

have significant effect on the level of corruption in Nigeria.

Corruption could be the major cause of crises in Nigeria; such crises include terrorist

attacks (Boko haram); most of these terrorist are from a very poor background; you

imagine a poor man being offered a huge amount of money to drop an explosive in a

particular area of Nigeria; such a man cannot resist such offer. The destruction of

infrastructures by the terrorist attacks increases the level of poverty in Nigeria; take

for instance the attack on churches and other business area of Kaduna in the month of

June 2012; properties were destroyed, families were homeless; it became difficult for

them to afford one meal a day.


Nigeria has undergone restructuring since independence, In that era, Nigeria was

already a federation and had three regions of North, West and East which shared

power with the central government. During the military regime they were giving

power to control their resources. During the military regime also, our heroes and

leaders; Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Murtala

Mohammed, Olusegun Obasanjo and so on created some of the states, created some

political parties, created the action group in the early 1952. It was after the military

returned power to the civil democracy in 1979 that social amenities, construction of

road, creation of more states were made.

Political restructuring has become one of the most popular languages used in the

Nigerian political world today.

Many politicians; Atiku Abubakar, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Edwin Clark, Olu Falae,

Ayo Adebanjo, Gen Alani Akinrinade, Yinka Odumakin, etc. and enlightened citizens
are calling on the federal government to restructure the country as it would help

eradicate corruption in the country.

While many are still being soaked in the mountain of agitations for restructuring

of the country, insisting that it (restructuring) remains the only panacea to the

corruption facing the nation others who are benefiting from the corrupt situation are

of opinion that it will cause more harm than good. Too much politics has crept into the

restructuring debate such that it has now become a tool in the hands of those who

have lost in the current order and want to distract President Muhammadu Buhari. The

administration of President Muhammadu Buhari must be above board in this respect.



A number of things causes corruption in Nigeria which divert the attention of

citizens into committing crimes in the country and among them are:

3.1.1 GREED

Greed has caused a lot of crises in the world, including in Nigeria. It is because of

greed that political leaders embezzle from the funds they are supposed to use for

national development for their own selfish needs.


Poor moral youth empowerment is a contributor to corruption. Internet fraud

sexual harassment by male CEOs and other bad acts are because Nigerians lack

understanding on the importance of youth empowerment youth. When parents and

government empower youth both financially and morally, the level of corruption

among them will diminish.


There are many poor people in Nigeria, and poverty pushes them into corruption.

According to world bank group in 2004, 63.1% of Nigeria were poor which later

increase to 68% in 2010. Poverty is one of the major cause of corruption as citizen

tends to commit crime in order to survive.


Unemployment is a major challenge facing Nigeria and does not require an

explanation because it has broken the heart of many citizen. People are pushed into

corrupt practices because of high unemployment. The youth, fathers and mothers are

lamenting seriously on the negative impact of unemployment in their lives. Some said

that it is better for death to come and take their lives than suffering under the torment

of unemployment challenge in the country.


The negative consequences of corruption are many and among them are;


When the heads of public service are busy laundering the money that is supposed

to be used to create employment for the masses and reduce poverty, what happens is

that there will be a rise in the poverty level of the country. Just like the rise in poverty

level as statistically shown between 2004 and 2008. Since the government is selfish

and does not want to help the poor, poverty continues to rise in Nigeria which also

promote corruption.

So many crises in Nigeria today are as a result of corruption. The insecurity in

Nigeria brought about by Boko Haram is a consequence of corruption. Corrupt

politicians are fighting the government of president Goodluck Jonathan using Boko

Haram as their agent because they do not want him to succeed. The attacks by Boko

Haram have caused disorderliness in Nigeria and seriously affected the economy of

the country.


Unemployment in Nigeria would have been eradicated to some extend if only

investors were attracted to it. Companies that would have invested in Nigeria are

afraid because they do not if the corrupt practice will ruin their industries in time.

Because of this, they refuse to invest in Nigeria.


Any country with high corruption is likely to experience developmental

bankruptcy. A situation where some CEO’s indulge in corrupt practices to make their

money means that economic development will suffer. When Nigerians keep on

shifting the country’s currency to foreign countries, there will be less economic

development in Nigeria.



The president should know that restructuring is the greatest way to fight

corruption because the current structure is faulty and fraudulent, and to clean such a

system, its foundation and structure should be the first targets, otherwise the whole
efforts will end up as a wild goose chase.

Equally the restructuring policy should encourage part-time legislature at the centre,

as such will discourage rogues and criminals from seeking senatorial or house

elections, and will also enable the federal government to focus more on its primary

responsibility, which is the security of life and properties, as well as protecting the

territorial integrity of the federation.

It would also create a more united Nigeria, as it will automatically reduce or even

eradicate tribalism, religious crisis and inequality in the system. This is because

various regions will be in charge of their resources and economy, and the fear of

marginalization will be history.

It will also create employment opportunities which tends to minimize or reduce the

rate of corruption in Nigeria. When the unemployed find themselves involved in

corruption mainly because they want to make money to meet the demands of the day.

Government and capable hands should endeavor to create and generate more jobs for

citizens to get employed and paid in return. A busy mind may find it difficult to

indulge in corruption because he is being paid adequately.


ANY honest observer, who has seen how Nigeria has steadily and systematically

moved from being a country of great promise to a country of great problems and

corruptions; anyone who knows that you have to look back to the past, instead of look

forward, to see this country’s best years of national and regional progress, its years of

great public and missionary schools and great education, of proud infrastructural
achievements and the best life experiences – any such honest observer? can easily list

more than a hundred reasons why Nigeria needs restructuring to stop the drift towards

the development abyss.

By restructuring Nigeria, corruption will decrease to a very minimal amount in


1.A Nigeria earnestly restructured, is a Nigeria positively restored: a country restored

to a previously-travelled path of developmental progress, rapid educational

advancement, robust and committed Public Service, which genuinely and competently

served the Nigerian public – both at Federal and regional levels.. Restructuring will

bring back THE CONDITIONS for a return to that golden era of public service and

effective governance, regionally and at the Centre.

Our demand is therefore NOT for a previously unknown Nigeria; We only demand a

return to a Nigeria that worked for human progress and development – across the

entire country, before young and in-experienced military boys truncated the evolution

of Nigeria’s democracy in January 15, 1966. Of course, pre-1966 was not a perfect

period; it had its peculiar problems of political and democratic evolution. But

however one looks at Nigeria today, it is unarguably in a much worse and more

dangerous shape, compared to the strongly-federalist process and era of democratic

learning that the military boys suddenly destroyed in 1966.

2. A Nigeria restructured is a Nigeria with enhanced leadership-building culture,

where a truly-federal system allows each region to locally identify leadership for
public governance, nurture and closely monitor such leaders for hard work and spirit

of public service, focussed on the development of each region, at a pace and a rate

that reflect the quantum of each region’s effort and efficient use of local resources;

indeed, the rivalry-for-regional-success resulting from a truly-federating Nigeria, will

boost sustainable development across all zones of the country.

We propose that every region, within its smaller, manageable-governance-space and

enlarged policy possibilities, should anchor in its constitution, unambiguous clauses

and provisions that are weighted in favour of the citizenry; clauses that make public

office less attractive, except to those who seek office to ‘do something’ societally

positive, rather than to ‘become somebody’ without contributing; clauses which allow

for statutory and legally-prescribed citizens action, to challenge unjustified

ostentation, self-indulgent benefits, sundry abuses of public- office privileges, etc – by

both elected and appointed officials.

Because more public appointments and elected offices may likely be needed within

the federating Regions, with relatively less at the Centre, a Nigeria re-structured will

be one where the process of recruitment into public leadership could be better

subjected to closer local scrutiny for reputation, character and track record, as against

the current practice where persons with dubious reputations and questionable bona

fides among their own people, are chosen into high national office as leaders –

presumably on behalf of their regions or localities – by a distant Central government,

which often knows relatively little (or,sometimes cares little) about the poor and low-

character reputation of such appointees among their own people.

3. A Nigeria restructured is a Nigeria where the Central Government, along with its

lower-level Federating Constituents, will, and must, be strong!! We seek a Nigeria

where every level of government is strong; BUT each level must be strong for the

right reasons, and in the right areas of responsibility. We all need a Central

government to be strong in the defence of our nation, in immigration and global

diplomacy, and in other areas where a strong and competent Central Government is in

our collective national interest. But a restructured Nigeria does not need, for example,

a Federal Fire Service!! Fire? incidents occur at a very local level – on streets, in

neighbourhood and at community levels. Still on the Fire Service example, a

restructured Nigeria will ensure that appropriate state and local governance units are

capable and strong to respond adequately and promptly to fire incidents wherever they


Every time we witness a house, or a factory, or a whole street being burnt to the

ground, while the Federal Fire Service arrives late, or looks on helplessly – sometimes

with excuse that they have not received the necessary resources from Abuja, the case

for restructuring is made more evident, albeit at a tragic cost to individuals, families,

businesses or even places of worship. Therefore, ALL Nigerians, regardless of region

or ethnicity, need a restructured Nigeria where every level of government is strong in

the appropriate areas of governance, and for the appropriate reasons.


Having analyzed all the available facts and advantages of decentralized governance it
will be a wise decision to restructure the country. Here are some reasons why we

believe Nigeria should be restructured.

1. Security

One of the vital functions of the government to it’s citizens is the provision of security

for them and their property. Having help coming to your doorstep in the quickest time

is the dream of every person.

Now when the country is restructured, each state will be responsible for it’s police as

well as firefighters. This will ensure that help can easily be provided.

It is not news that most firefighters often arrive at fire scenes when issues are already

out of hand and still complain that equipment they require for their services have not

been sent from Abuja.

But with each state responsible for providing all the needed equipment they would be

able to function more efficiently.

2. Electricity

Currently the federal government is responsible for the generation of power for the

various states and we can see where that has led us to.

But giving the power to the state government that each states should stand alone and

generate power to be consumed by the states will lead to more efficient power


3. Competition

Giving more powers to the state will probably result in competition amongst the state

as each will try to do better than the other.

This could lead to more development and innovation and as well as increase tax yield
as all states will be dependent on their tax yields, there will be hardly embezzlement

of funds because it can easily be tracked.

4. Biafra

Decentralized government may be an answer to the so long problem of Biafra. In a

decentralized government each states will be independent of the federal government

and there will be no complaints of marginalization from any state as they are no

longer controlled by the federal government and any issues of corruption can easily be

seen as arising from within the state.

5. Education

In a decentralized state, the state government will be responsible for providing

education to it’s members. The building of universities and provision of salaries to

lecturers will be the sole responsibility of the state government.

6. Employment


Having seen all the above benefits of a decentralized government it is no doubt that

Nigerians are desperately calling on the federal government to restructure the country.

However some are of the opinion that restructuring is not what the country actually

needs at the moment. They believe that Nigeria is not yet ripe for this system of


This is because given the mechanics of decentralized government, powers can easily

be abused. Let’s look at the idea about each state having their own security.

The state government can easily manipulate the security force to work to it’s sole

purpose and to the disadvantage of the opposition parties and this can lead to injustice
in the state. And how are we sure that state security will not just be a more convenient

means for those agitating for the secession of the country?

Allowing each states to control it’s education can actually lower the value of

education in the country. More states will be more interested in putting out statistics

of the educated than actually educating them and this is rather alarming.

And not to talk more of the purpose of the country. Each country should have a

general purpose. It goal it may want to achieve. This sort of focus can only be

possible where the government is centralized. When the government is decentralized

each state will have it’s own focus and at the end the country will not just be a single

country but multiple countries within a country.

Like every other things in the world restructuring Nigeria has it’s own advantages and

disadvantages and we should not only focus on the advantage but also take

precautions by considering the things we stand to lose when we restructure.Political

restructuring is the defining issue of our time, the answer to the existential threat that

confronts Nigeria. Anyone who disagrees with this view is living in cloud cuckoo

land! Those, for instance, who think the economy is Nigeria’s main problem don’t

understand the drivers of economic performance. Economies respond to external

stimuli, and politics and institutions are the most important. The 19th century

economists, such as Adam Smith and David Hume, were called political economists

precisely because they were concerned with how political institutions shaped

economic performance. And, long before them, Plato and Aristotle drew attention to

the causal relationships between political stability and sustainable development.

A few years ago, the UK Department for International Development (DfID) published