ABU Journal, Department Of Public Administration
Volume No: 2|
CAN PERIODIC ELECTIONS CONTROL CORRUPTION? EVIDENCE FROM NIGERIA
DR. ABDULHAKEEM ABDULLAHI KILISHI(CORRESPONDING AUTHOR) ,2-MOHAMMED AMINU YARU, 3-AHMED TALUWELE YAKUBU
DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN,P.M.B. 1515, ILORIN NIGERIA
This paper examines the effectiveness of periodic elections and anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in controlling corruption in Nigeria using a political agency model. We found that, regular free and fair elections may not abate corruption in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria particularly if electoral system is inefficient and not completely independent. Equally, if politicians can bribe the anti-corruption (monitoring) agency the citizens are better off without monitoring. The paper concludes that the first best step to control corruption through periodic elections in Nigeria is to establish an efficient electoral system and ensure that zoning arrangement is incorporated in Nigeria’s constitution so that electoral positions will be competed for by people of similar ethnic affinities at a time. Orientation of electorates to vote on the basis of performance rather than ethnicity could also help.
This paper goes beyond the conventional wisdom in the literature that regular election is an effective machinery for fighting corruption. It indicated that, this is valid if an efficient electoral system exists and elections are free and fair, and voters’ choice of candidate are based on performance and independent of regional and ethnic affinities. The second best solution is to introduce effective monitoring system. The worst case scenario is for the monitor to take a share of the rents. Nigeria has returned to democracy for twelve years now and anti- corruption agency EFCC is seven years old, yet corruption is still prevalent in the country.