Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Ewoh


In 2011, Nigeria was ranked 143th out of 182 countries surveyed by the Transparency International in its corruption perception index indicating the level of corruption in the country as compared to other countries. Although this came as an improvement from the previous years, it did not result from an improved system of governance, rather it was due to an increase in the number of countries that participated in the survey. Between 2010 and 2011, Nigeria’s rank actually decreased by 9 spots, showing an increase in corruption despite the efforts of the government to rid the nation of corruption. This survey shows a lack of accountability from public officials and a lax system of governance in the country. As a result corruptible acts are not harshly penalized and easier to get away with, within the country’s public sector.

It is important to highlight the public sector in Nigeria because it plays a key role in the implementation of public services that are vital to the economic growth of the country. It coordinates the federal ministries, advises political officials, formulates and implements government’s policies, gathers and supplies data for policymakers, ensures continuity of services and public relations services. These roles are important in running the country efficiently because the public sector can either make or ruin any administration.

The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to explore the problem of corruption and public accountability in Nigeria, and 2) to offer some reform measures for the reduction of corruption in the public sector. It is hopeful that the public sector will become more efficient and effective if the recommendations delineated in this analysis are implemented. In order to accomplish the study purpose, the analysis uses an exploratory case method to give a historic synopsis of the country and the impact of politics on corruption. This is followed by a literature review on the causes of corruption and the need for government accountability. In sum, the paper concludes with some recommendations on how to increase accountability in the public sector.