The Relationship between Culture and Corruption in Nigeria – Prospecting Culture Change in Dealing with this ‘Big Black Hole’

Babatunde Akanji
JEL codes: 
N17 - Africa; Oceania.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the interface between the national culture and the realities of corruption in Nigeria. Drawing from Hofstede’s culture theory, a qualitative design was used as a framework to explore views of 40 Nigerians on the extent to which social norms, traditions, values, and personal orientations interplay with the magnitude of corruption in Nigeria. The findings provided empirical support for uncertainty avoidance values, patriarchy, and collectivist practices as influencing levels of corruption that is adversely affecting the nation’s economy and human development. Further results revealed the need for a pragmatic approach that places more emphasis on functional education that can raise cultural consciousness which will promote accountability, transparency and moral adherence to anti-corruption values. By implication, the findings offers valuable insights that unveils corruption in Nigeria as more cultural than political. It is therefore argued in this paper that eradicating corruption in Nigeria will practically necessitate the need for a culture change, which can be a slow and difficult process, but not an impossible one.
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