THE IMPACT OF EFCC AND ICPC ON PUBLIC SERVICE ACCOUNTABILITY
This research work emphasized on the Impact of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) on public device accountability. The unprecedented spate of Economic and Financial crime reached to the level when it became a source of worry to the government, the regulatory authorities, the bankers themselves and the general public. However, government did not maintain a sanctimonious aloofness to watch this ugly development. But the question is how far has the commission is how for has the commission performed in realizing the objective of their establishment in the Nigerian economy in restoring sanity within Nigeria economy. The objective of the study also include to evaluate the performance of economics and financial crimes commission in the Nigerian economy. The data collected for the study are through primary and secondary sources were analyzed using table and percentage from the analysis one, the following findings were made, that the activities of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) in the last nine (9) years has not significantly reduce the Economic and Financial Crime in Nigeria. The researcher made several recommendation prominent among then includes.
1. That Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) should operate independently to enable them achieve better results.
2. They should not be selective in their investigations and arrests.
1.1 Background of the Study
In contemporary Nigeria, government has ultimately become inseparable from the day to day life of the citizens. This is because government is now involved in the overall social and economic development as against its traditional role of mere maintaining law and order. Unfortunately,-the-resources-at-the-disposal-of govern-ents-continue-to-dwindle,-meaning-that governments have to re – order her priorities to meet the needs of the society.
The implication is that both the civil servants and the political office holders must cooperate to ensure the achievement of sustainable financial and economic development. They must be responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and be held accountable for their actions and inactions.
However, for some times, the influence of the political appointees has made the civil servants to neglect the issue of accountability in the work place.
Fisher (2004), the World Development Report places accountability succinctly at the centre of public reform and public sector delivery Public accountability measures the degree to which the community can control (hold accountable) the behaviour of public agents through political institutions essentially, public accounta-bility mainly regards matters in the public domain, such as the spending of public funds, the exercise of public authorities, or the conduct of public institutions.
Generally, the goals of all public accountability measures are to guarantee that public money is spent most judiciously to ensure that the public actually benefits from public finance. There are many dimensions of accountability found in literature. For instance, a distinction can be found between accountability and transparency and between accountability and responsive-ness and participation.
According to Dukor (2006), Accountability and controllability may be equated, since an agent is accountable to a principal if the principal can exercise control over the agent. Whatever the dimension from which accountability is seen, the importance is in forcing administrators to trace connections between the past, present and future.
1.2 Statement OF Problem
According to Okonjo (2007), Corruption is pandemic in Nigeria and it has certainly emerged as the major impediment to the development of democracy and the national economy. The scourge has grown to become a way of life of both the governor and the governed as it pervades all sectors of the state. A politician that ‘succeeds’ at the polls sees any office he/ she occupies as a source of re-coupling his/her electoral expenses. Therefore, in most circumstances, public officers use their positions for private gains while long-term public interests are sacrificed.
According to Lipset and Lenz corruption is described as efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means private gain at public expense; or a misuse of public power for private benefit.
It is a behavior, which violates rules against the exercise of certain types of [duties] for private [gains] – regarding influence. This definition includes such behavior as bribery (abuse of a person of trust) nepotism (bestowal of patronage by reason of ascribed relationship rather than merit) and misappropriation (illegal approp-riation of public resources for private uses). Corrupt practices are so common and pervading in the Nigeria’s public sector to an extent that citizens find it difficult to develop an alternative to deal with it. Corruption is probably the main means to accumulate quick wealth in Nigeria.
According to Na Abba (2003) corruption occurs in many forms, and it has contributed immensely to the poverty and misery of a large segment of the Nigerian population.
Na Abba said there are three reasons why corruption thrives in Nigeria:
1) Corrupt leadership lacked the desire and ability to change the moral tone of the country.
2) Government domination of the economic sphere significantly enhances opportunities and ability to seek rents. And
3) Civil society accepts or tolerate corruption.
It is now about four years since your administration embarked upon its anti-corruption crusade. Nevertheless, I regret to observe that the campaign has not yielded the desired result because it lacked focus and strong foundational into. In any case, the most preposterous and incredulous aspect of your anti-corruption campaign is that while the media is awash with stories on the activities of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) is taking root daily in many federal establishments, also rock inclusive. I have said it several times that corruption is rife among senior officials of government, especially those at the federal level. It is said that a few members of the leadership of the Senate could stoop so low as to drop your name with active connivance of some of your aides to collect large sums in oil and defense contract commissions. The ignominious activities of this cabal, including the foreign accounts of some of your aides, serving and former ministers, are also well known to the international community. I would be surprised if you feign ignorance of this unfortunate situation.
The truth of the matter is that the entire Nigerian political process is hampered by corruption.
This also means that accountability has not been rooted in the Nigerian public sector.
According to Bello (2009), despite the activities of the independent corrupt practice commission (ICPC) Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) corruption seems to be on the increase. Most times, political appointees see public offices as an avenue to siphon public funds for private ends in spite of the jumbo salaries awarded to themselves by the public officers.
1.3 Object of the Study
The objective of this research work is to:
1. Find out The impact of Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) and Independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) on public sector accountability.
2. Determine How Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) and Independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) has helped in eradicating fraud and other irregularities in public sector.
3. To identify the root of cause of corruption in Nigerian public sector.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research question were formulated by the researcher:
1) To what extent has the concept of accountability be embedded in public sectors?
2) Has the introduction of the anti-corrupt agencies had any impact on corrupt practices in Nigeria?
3) Can the conspiratorial roles of the public appointees and civil servants be checkmated by the agencies?
The research work, therefore, examined the impact of Economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) and Independent corrupt practices commission (ICPC) on public sector accountability in Nigeria, and highlights the effects of the conspiratorial associations between civil servants and political appointees, which in most cases has led to opportunistic behaviours with the hope of corruptly enriching the individuals concerned.
1.5 Significance of Study
The study is significant for the following:
Students: this study will serve as a foundation for further research on this topic to students in the school for financial studies.
Financial house: this study will be of great important to financial house wishing to improve on their standard of operation. It will assist them in their system of internal control and so help to check fraud.
Government: this study will help to highlight the causes of corruption and misappropriation of property and funds in public establishments and provide suggestion to stop the practice. Other includes banks, professional’s bodies and infact the general public.
1.6 Scope of the study
The area of this research work is Enugu metropolis with particular reference to some selected banks.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Some of the limitations of this research work are:
1. Insufficient Financial: The researcher needed a lot of money for transportation to collect the necessary data for the study. Money was also required to visit secondary data sources such as the internet, libraries, professional bodies, and so on.
2. Lack of Co-Operation: The unco-operative attitudes of many government officials were not encouraging.
Some of them were so biased and prejudiced that did not care to understand the purpose of the research. This resulted to their failure to provide sufficient information required for proper completion of the study.
3. Time Pressure: Time allowed was not enough for through completion of this research, in consideration of the fact the we were also facing other academic studies during the semester.