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African Social Science Review

Abstract

Most theoretical and analytical discourse on national development identified the virulent nature of corruption as development curse. In Nigeria, as in many other soft states, the epidemic nature of corruption and its destructive impacts on the national development has received wider attention in both national and international mass media. Similarly, scholarly literature on the culture of sleaze in many of these countries revealed the depth of the disease. Nigeria, undoubtedly remain at the front page of countries under the siege of sleaze. Its profile as one of the most corrupt nations feeds largely into the crisis of its national development. Conceptually and theoretically, corruption encompassed very distinct social problems of mismanagement of public resources, weak and dysfunctional government institutions, complex relationships between political actors and public moral and economic assets. Indeed, the curse of corruption has assumed more than tantalizingly simple act of sleaze but a clear, complex and contested reality of national underdevelopment. It explains to a large extent the abuse of public power and misuse of entrusted power for private gain in the context of attaining national development. In this paper therefore, a continuation of the literature on corruption that espouses the interplay between the culture of greedy sleaze and national development is given bolder attention. The paper analyses a broad understandings of corruption from the analytical usefulness of an effective national development imperative. It further explains the interventionist roles of the ambitious anti-graft agencies and their contemporary challenges.

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