Types of Corruption and Causes In Nigeria That is Killing Her

Types of Corruption and Causes In Nigeria That is Killing Her

Are you searching for types of corruption in Nigeria? Anyway, corruption is corruption in any part of the world; therefore this post on types of corruption is applicable to all. The devastating effect of corruption is better imagined than experienced. But unfortunately we’re living with it in Nigeria.

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The aim of this post is to educate my fellow youths and Nigerians what constitute corruption. Investigation reveals that 90% of those associated with corruption act in Nigeria do not even know what constitutes corruption. Therefore, this article is here to put my esteem reader on the right track.

Sometimes ago, a sitting president in Nigeria said that stealing is not corruption. And that brought a lot of controversies among Nigerians. Is stealing corruption? By the time you finish reading this post on types of corruption, you must have an answer to whether stealing is corruption or not. To start with, let define or understand the word corruption.

What is Corruption?

The Encarter English dictionary defines corruption as dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain. In addition, Transparency International defines corruption as the use of legislated power by government officials for illegitimate private gain.

Having known the definition of corruption, let’s take a deep look into types of corruption in Nigeria.

Types of Corruption in Nigeria

According to Alexandra Wrage in his book titled “Bribery and extortion: Undermine business, government and security”. There are 8 types of corruption namely:

  • Bribery
  • Graft
  • Patronage
  • Nepotism and Cronyism
  • Embezzlement
  • Kickback
  • Unholy Alliance
  • Involvement in organized crime

Let’s consider each of the types of corruption in Nigeria mentioned above.


According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “bribery is seeing  as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of any item of value to influence the action of an official or other person in discharge of public or legal duty”.

In other words, It is a gift to influence the recipient’s conduct. Such gift could be money, goods, emolument, preferment, privilege etc.

From the above definition, it is a well-known fact that bribery involves two people, the giver and the receiver. This aspect of corruption cut across every facet of public life in Nigeria. Making it difficult to carryout our daily activities without giving or receiving bribe.

So, take not that both the giver and the receiver are corrupt.


This type of corruption is predominant among politicians today. It is a gift  to a political office holder in order to influence his/her decision in awarding contract or in giving appointment.  It is similar to bribery, just that graft is common  among political office holders.

In addition, this type of corruption involves the use of one’s political office knowledge of zoning or government plans in acquiring property in a said proposed developmental area.


This comes into play when government officials favor the incompetent over the competent. This is usually because of the support the officials got from the incompetent citizens. In this case, the government supporters pilot the affairs of the government.

For instance, a situation where a registered or even a professor of pharmacy is piloting the affairs of ministry of information at the expense of renowned Journalist in the country. However, it sounds legitimate but the adverse effect constitutes corruption to the electorate.

Nepotism and Cronyism

This is similar to patronage. But in this case, the government officials or politicians favor friends and families. In addition, this favor may be extended to alumni group, club and association. Attempt to resist by the populace usually lead to the use of state power against the people, which amounts to corruption.


This is an advance name for stealing. This is the most common among the types of corruption in Nigeria. It involves siphoning or looting of public fund entrusted on the political office holder. This is equally applicable to corporate organization. Embezzlement among political office holder has become a norm that few that exempts themselves from it are seeing as fools.


This type of corruption is predominant among the political office holders and contractors. Precisely, this is the misappropriation of public fund by allocating contracts to individuals or companies that are not the best bidders or allocating excess fund to contractors.

The political office holders do this in other to get back the excess money on the contract sum from the contractors. Such payment giving to political office holder is called kickback. Kickback is not limited to government official alone because many churches and organization complained of it.

Unholy Alliance

Types of corruption will be incomplete without mentioning unholy alliance. It is a coalition among seemingly antagonistic groups, especially if it is religious, for ad hoc or hidden agenda.  Though it is not illegal to form alliance but becomes corruption when the motive is evil. Example of such unholy alliance is Boko Haram

Involvement in Organized Crime

When those saddled with the responsibility of curbing crime becomes part of the crime. For instance, if custom comptroller general uses his position to smuggles contraband goods. Or if a police officer uses his position to aid gang of armed robbers to carryout dirty deals. This act is what is known as involvement in organized crime.

Having known these 8 types of corruption, let’s take a look at the causes of corruption.

Causes of Corruption in Nigeria

There are 3 main causes of corruption in Nigeria namely:

  • Social factor
  • System related factor
  • Psychological factor

Social Factor

This factor strongly depends on our attitudes towards family, kinship and close cliques. In this case, the leadership of the country is being saddled by friends, family members and close cliques. Often than not, these set of people may not e qualified in all ramifications to be in the corridors of power. We experience this when Nigeria was under military rule.

Also Read: How to Get a Mentor In Any Area of Life

System Related

To get this factor right, we need to understand what a system is. A system is a scheme of ideas or principles by which something is organized. Therefore, we expect every aspect of our government to be organized. But reverse is the case. No system in governance in Nigeria, which has caused serious government failure. Failure in the system has led to two major problems namely:

  • Information deficit
  • Lack of control of governance

Psychological Factor

A lot of debate has been going on as regards this factor. But be it as it may, the study of Holmes (1993, P. 165) has been widely accepted. In his study,it categorized this factor into two namely:

  • Internal factor
  • External factor

Internal factor

This applies to individuals who are naturally evil. They commit all sorts of crime including corruption in any system they find themselves.

External Factor

According to Holmes, individual’s relationship with other groups is a strong determining factor to his/her view towards corruption. The power of peer pressure and peer comparison can be great. In other words one can be influenced into corrupt act by the activities of people around him/her.

Another external factor is fear. Fear of under-fulfillment in family responsibilities may encourage a public officer to act corruptly.

With this, it is obvious  you’ve understood what is corruption, types of corruption and causes of corruption.

Let me ask you now, is stealing corruption or Not? Please drop your answer at the comment section below

Please share to reduce corruption among Nigerians



Israel Chima

Israel Chima is a pro blogger that derives joy in helping small and medium businesses gain an online presence.

He guides business owners in having a full online presence by creating world-class websites, social media marketing, and content marketing.

Well-written SEO content ranks easily on the first page of Google, which translates to getting real customers.

Israel chima is an authority in planning and developing well-structured SEO content. So, you can contact him for your blog content.

He is the author of book 3 books on entrepreneurship, education, and transportation business. You can check out his book on Amazon titled “Discover to Recover.”

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