Again, there are multitudes of jobless Nigerians across the country but there is no social security or welfare where the unemployed are paid monthly stipends as safety nets. Since there is no social security for the masses, the unemployed Nigerians find it very difficult to cope with life. It is not only the employed that suffer from lack of social security. The old people in Nigeria have nowhere to turn to for financial assistance since there is no social security for them too. Under this scenario, old people go through hell in order to survive especially those without children or those whose children are not employed.Even Nigerians that are employed are paid far below living wages in contrast to international salary standards as their take home pay of N18,000 minimum wage can’t really take them home at the end of the month! In spite of the poor salary which the few employed Nigerians receive, they have many people depending on them who in turn lower their standard of living. Thus, Nigerians who are jobless have no social security; old people have no social security; those employed receive a paltry N18,000 minimum wage which cannot take them home at the end of every month; with hopelessness staring Nigerians in the face, how then can they eschew corruption when they don’t know what the future holds for them? How can the millions of jobless Nigerians shoulder these responsibilities without engaging in corrupt practices?
In addition, Nigerians provide their own roads by hiring the services of caterpillars that help to grade their roads. They also dig their own gutters for the channelization of water from their homes. These are the fundamental responsibilities of governments which the citizens bear on their shoulders as a beast of burden with overloads!
The uncharitable treatment of pensioners also encourages corruption. Pensioners are not paid as at when due as they are usually owed many months or years before they are paid. There are reported cases of pensioners dying in queues while waiting for their mingy pensions to be paid to them. Not even the new pension funds administrators could alleviate the hardships pensioners are made to surmount before they are paid their miserly pensions. This writer was in the office of one of the pension funds administrators where one pensioner was lamenting how he has been going to that pension funds administrator for the past eight years without receiving his pension! In the course of the discussion, one of pensioners said if he was corrupt and had stolen enough money, he would have abandoned the pension and enjoyed his loots! In that same pension funds administrator’s office, another pensioner caused commotion that day! She also complained about the delay she had suffered for about six years without being paid by her pension manager! Every pensioner in that office on that fateful day had one bitter tale to tell about the difficulty they encountered in processing and accessing their pensions. The pension funds administrators were established in 2004 to alleviate the sufferings pensioners were experiencing in accessing their pensions which were hitherto in the management of the federal government. The status quo remains as the pension funds administrators have also constituted themselves as clogs in the wheel of progress to pensioners in this country.
If incorruptible old men and women who served this country meritoriously could be owed pensions in arrears and subjected to psychological traumata before they are paid their beggarly pensions then who is that Nigerian that will want to remain incorruptible? Who is that Nigerian that will not steal and loot for the rainy days or old age?
The untold hardships pensioners are subjected to before they are paid their pensions are some of the factors that precipitate corrupt practices across the country. Nigerian workers both in the public and private sectors see how pensioners suffer before they receive their pensions so they do everything possible to ensure that they steal humongous sums of money that can last them their lifetime after retirement because they don’t want to suffer the same fate as past retirees. This is one of the major reasons why the looting of public funds is rampant among public office holders! Even workers in the private sector are not free from corruption because many of them are not entitled to pension in their various companies since they are casual or contract workers. Those who are entitled to pension don’t receive pension at retirement since many companies don’t remit the pension contributions they deducted from their employees to the pension funds administrators they registered with.
There is no other country in the world where the citizens are the sole providers of electricity, water, houses, security, roads, gutters, education, health etc. There are numerous unemployed Nigerians yet there is no social security or jobseeker’s allowance for them. The old people have no social security too. In a situation where the citizens provide everything by themselves which makes the cost of living so exorbitant can only encourage corruption. The prevailing high cost of living in the country can even prompt the angels of God to engage in corrupt practices. If Americans and British are confronted with the type of hardships Nigerians have been experiencing over the years, they will even be more corrupt than Nigerians. Thus, corruption will remain prevalent in this country as long as the three tiers of government continue in the dereliction of their statutory duties which are the provision of infrastructures and social security for the citizens.