It is obvious that corruption is widespread in Nigeria due to certain incontrovertible reasons. One of the causes of corruption in Nigeria is maladministration that has bedevilled the country over the years. Maladministration by successive governments over the years has caused infrastructural dilapidation. The failure of governments in performing their statutory duties of meeting the socio-economic, educational, housing, roads, healthy, welfare and security needs of the masses had also made life unpalatable for Nigerians. Since there is no presence of government in the lives of the citizenry as they have become their own governments and by providing everything for themselves. Life has also become very knotty for them. Therefore, in a bid for Nigerians to provide certain infrastructures and other basic necessities of life for themselves, they are subjected to high cost of living. The provision of infrastructures by ordinary Nigerians has turned the country as one of the most expensive countries to live in across the world.
Nigerians are the sole provider of their own water as there is no public supply of water by the three tiers of government that run the country. The citizens provide their own water by sinking boreholes or digging wells from where they get water. Poor Nigerians who live in rural areas and can neither sink boreholes or dig wells resort to fetching water from filthy stream and rivers. This in most cases exposes them to water born diseases which further causes them more distress.
Electricity which is the backbone of industrialization is erratic in Nigeria. So, every Nigerian provides their electricity through the purchase and maintenance of varied power generating sets; depending on the financial status of the individual Nigerians concerned. And it is costly to power generators as the prices of petroleum products are on the high side. The power generating sets are powered either by diesel or premium motor spirit (petrol). The prices of these two products are extortionate since the local refineries are not functioning hence the frequent importation of refined petroleum products despite the fact that Nigeria is the sixth largest oil producing nation in the world. Thus, with fuel scarcity being witnessed frequently in the country, a litre of petrol goes for as much as N150 in the Lagos metropolis why in other parts of the country, it goes for as much as between N250 to N300! This is because Nigerians depend solely on petrol to power their generators, cars, motorcycles and machines in their cottage industries. Large industries use diesel to power their machines which is not cheap too.
Education which is the best legacy parents bequeath to their children is gradually becoming an exclusive preserve for the children of the rich. In the last 32 years, most parents in Nigeria have been relegated to the lower class of the society and cannot afford the high school fees being charged by private school proprietors. Education is even more costly at the primary and secondary levels which are the foundations of education. This is as a result of governments not building new schools across board. Therefore, these two levels in the education sector which are the bases of education are left in the hands of shylock proprietors who subject parents to provocative demands. Aside the high school fees they charge, they subject parents to all manner of charges such as varied school uniforms, sport wears, end of year parties, excursions, graduation gowns etc. All these abnormalities were introduced by private school proprietors just to make abnormal incomes at the expense of parents. In these obnoxious practices, a pupil that is promoted from a nursery class to primary one is compelled to buy a graduation gown at exorbitant price! How can a sane person say a child that is promoted from a nursery class to primary one is graduating and should buy a graduation gown? But parents have no options than to comply with such inordinate demands since public schools are in short supply. But do the few available public schools encourage such immoderate practices?
It is noteworthy that education at the primary and secondary school levels are the foundations of education and should never be toyed with under any circumstances. Once a child misses education at these two levels, they will find it practically impossible to get education when they grow to adulthood. But many children are already losing out at these two levels of education because their parents cannot afford the cutthroat fees being charged by private school proprietors! So, in order to pay the high school fees of their children and wards, many parents are involved in corrupt practices; if education is free the reverse would be the case.
Another factor that encourages corruption in Nigeria is outrageous rentals. The non-availability of low cost houses for the masses in major cities in Nigeria has prompted landlords to adjust their rents up astronomically. Since human beings must live in homes, Nigerians are compelled to pay rents through their noses. One can imagine the relief Nigerians will enjoy if governments have low cost houses across the country where citizens pay very little rents as it is obtainable in other climes. This also promote corruption.
Likewise, Nigerians provide their own security since the government has also failed in the provision of security to protect the lives and property of the citizenry. Thus, Nigerians engage the services of private security guards to protect them from criminals. This also depletes their finances largely hence many take to corrupt practices in order to meet up with the huge bills that confront them daily!