BUILDING STRONG INSTITUTIONS FOR ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 16 IN NIGERIA: THE CASE OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)
Keywords:EFCC, corruption, finance, reforms, environment, culture
In September 2015, the United Nation General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of leaving no one behind, the new Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. However, tackling corruption is vital to achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 16 which focuses on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions for reducing illicit financial and arms flows, strengthening the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime; substantially reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms. In achieving these targets, the federal government of Nigeria has introduced strategies, particularly, the creation of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Drawing on qualitative research design, this study specifically examined the determinants of and tendency for corrupt practices; assessed the effectiveness of EFCC in curbing corrupt practices and the analyzed the challenges to the minimization of corrupt practices in Nigeria. The study population comprises the employees in public institutions of Lagos, Ondo and Osun States with a total of 600 respondents purposively selected for questionnaire administration. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential analysis. It was found that corrupt practices were hinged on economic (t=8.41, F=0.00), social (t=5.83, F=0.00), cultural (t=2.81, F=2.81), environmental (t=1.41, F=0.00) and legal (t=0.83, F=0.00) factors. It was equally established that EFCC has significantly contributed to the minimization of corruption in Nigeria through exposing corrupt practices but the fight against corrupt practices were being undermined by overburdened judiciary resulting in slow trial of suspects and non-follow-up of cases as well as inadequate political will on the part of the government, selective prosecution of alleged corrupt officials and weak democratic institutions. It was recommended that anticorruption institutions in Nigeria should be well strengthened with full backing of the Judiciary.
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