This thesis is about the complex relationship between governance, corruption and economic development. It seeks to extend the literature via exploring the complex web of connections between corruption, development and the quality of political institutions in the specific case of Nigeria. In so doing the thesis explores some of the limitations of mainstream approaches to corruption and postulates that, rather than being a simple issue of rent-seeking that requires a prescription of orthodox economic policy reforms, corruption is an issue that requires contextualizing within the evolution of particular political cultures in specific places and a sensitivity to the impacts of culture on the definitions, causes and impacts of corruption. The thesis also reflects upon the impacts of market reforms on the opportunities for corrupt activity and the potential role of civil society in rendering anti-corruption interventions more effective.
Accordingly, the thesis places the current high-profile debates over corruption and poor governance in Nigeria within an historical analysis of the patterns of governance in Nigeria over the years since independence in order to understand the intricate issues surrounding the historical, cultural and socio-political context of the problems of governance and corruption and their influence on anti-corruption reforms in the Nigerian context. Data were collected and analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods; the methods used in data collection included questionnaires and in particular a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews with key political stakeholders. The analysis culminates in an extensive exploration of the anti-corruption measures and strategies adopted by Nigerian administrations and the efforts of the international organisations which have supported them in tackling corruption.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.