Is Corruption an excuse?

A couple of weeks ago i taught my students about Corruption and its effects on economic development and I thought to share the main points of our discussion. Let us start by stating the facts about corruption. Corruption, commonly defined as an illicit transfer of funds, is everywhere. Corruption exists in every single corner of the globe and is born out of the fact that ALL human beings prefer more to less and at some point will be willing to sacrifice the rules to get more. Secondly, Corruption is bad. Countries that are less corrupt seem to perform better than countries that are more corrupt. That being said are we (Nigerians) poor because of corruption? Have we failed to develop as a country because somebody somewhere stole all the funds that should have been used for development?A look at some other countries who have historically been just as corrupt as Nigeria might help answer that question

Indonesia, commonly used as an example of a properly developing country, was at par with Nigeria in the 70’s and 80’s and also known to be just as corrupt. They have however grown a lot faster than Nigeria over the last two decades despite still being just as corrupt. It seems we are so eager to blame corruption for every possible problem we have in Nigeria. If we spent $16bn on electricity over the past 10 years and still have no electricity then it must be corruption. Remember, even good people make bad decisions sometimes.

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