The hope of a new Nigeria characterised by good governance and rapid socioeconomic development, which accompanied Nigeria’s democratisation in 1999, seems to have largely been squandered 12 years into the process. In view of the effects of dashed hopes on the psyche of most ordinary Nigerians, as well as their impact on the overall development of the country – the pivot around which the African continent should revolve – this article attempts a critical examination of some probable causal factors. Among the various possible factors the paper identifies political corruption as the most prominent and debilitating. It discusses the effects of political corruption on the character of the state in Nigeria as well as the corruptive impact of the system of party funding in the country. Similarly, it analyses the effects of the country’s phenomenal earnings from the sale of crude oil, which are not properly accounted for, and the uncontrolled culture of impunity among many holders of sensitive public office. It concludes that there is a need to re-invent state functionality, particularly through purposely engaging professionals and civil society groups in governance and public affairs in general.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections