EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION OF FINANCIAL ABUSE IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR (A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE, SOKOTO STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The rate of financial abuse in the Nigerian public sector
has reached a worrying and dangerous point since 1960 (Independence).Since the
creation of the modern public administration in the country, there have been
cases of financial misuse of resources for personal enrichment. The discovery
of oil and natural gas are major events seen to have led to a litany of ignoble
corrupt practices in the country. Over the years, Nigeria has seen her wealth
withered with little to show for the living conditions of the average citizens
(Wraith and Simpkins, 1993). The above point was attended to by Obafemi Awolowo
when he said, “Since independence, our governments have been a matter of few
holding the cow for the strongest to milk”. Under these circumstances,
everybody runs over everybody to make good at the expense of others (Turner,
The above view was corroborated by Robert who observed that
in Nigeria, vandalism and looting of public property was not seen as a crime
against society. This view is what has degenerated into the more recent
disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public
goods as a collective national property (Robert, 2010). Also, the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recorded 126 convictions most of which are
financial abuse in the public sector in 2014, the commissions spokesman Wilson
Uwujaren, who disclosed this on Tuesday January 13 2015 at a media briefing in
Enugu, said that the figure was more than 117 convictions the media recorded in
2013 (Oseghale 2014). The Federal Inland
Revenue Service is not left out in this financial abuse. For instance: Tax
payers default in paying the exact amount needed to be paid and go on bribing
tax collectors in order to reduce the actual amount collected as a tax. Also,
In the processing of collecting revenue tax, officials especially the tax
collector print their receipt booklet and issue such to the tax payers without
their knowledge and meanwhile, the duplicate carries a different reading from
the original, they may use carbon paper to the duplicate, at time the revenue
collector would receive the money from the tax payer without issuing receipt.
Therefore, for the Federal Inland Revenue Service to meet its statutory
obligations specified in the 2012 constitution, loopholes for financial abuse
in the sector must be minimized if not eradicated. Against this background,
this study evaluates the financial abuse in the public sector with particular
reference to the Federal Inland Revenue Service Sokoto.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There are lots of factors contributing to the financial
abuse in the Federal Inland Revenue Service which ranges from improper
documentation, obsolete work instrument, poor attitude to work, administrative
recklessness, data manipulation etc. These factors constitute a great problem
to the agency in the realization of its statutory functions. Despite the
enormous disadvantage of the financial abuse in the public sector, the Federal
Inland Revenue Service no doubt experiences a lot of problems with regards to
mismanagement of funds. Again, delay in the remittance of funds collected is
also a factor that could lead to financial abuse in the Federal Inland Revenue
Service. When all these factors are not checked early, the operational capacity
and objective for establishing the service will be defeated. To this extent,
the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) ought to urge
the Federal Inland Revenue Service to intensify its effort in recovering huge
amount of money from the tax collection. The emerging question is: why have the
FIRS failed to check the factors affecting its expected delivery services in
terms of revenue control?
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the empirical
investigation of financial abuse in Nigerian public sector. Other general
objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the extent of financial abuse in the Federal
Inland Revenue service’s, Sokoto.
2. To examine causes of financial abuse in the federal
Inland Revenue service Sokoto.
3. To examine the effect of financial abuse in Nigeria
4. To examine whether there is adequate internal control
system in federal Inland Revenue service Sokoto.
5. To examine the problems faced by federal Inland Revenue
service in tax collection.
6. To suggest measures to reduce the financial abuse in the
federal Inland Revenue service Sokoto
To what extent is the financial abuse in the Federal Inland
Revenue services, Sokoto?
What are the causes of financial abuse in the federal Inland
Revenue service Sokoto?
What are the effects of financial abuse in Nigeria public
Is there adequate internal control system in federal Inland
Revenue service Sokoto?
What are the problems faced by federal Inland Revenue
service in tax collection?
What are the measures to reduce the financial abuse in the
federal Inland Revenue service Sokoto?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no
significant effect of financial abuse in Nigerian public sector.
H1: There is a significant effect of financial abuse in
Nigerian public sector.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized;
this is because the findings from this study can be of enormous benefit to top
government officials, public policy experts, non-governmental Organizations and
several others. In addition, the study will no doubt contribute immensely to
existing scholarly literature which had been done on this topic. Finally, it
will be of huge importance to staff of the public sectors precisely the Federal
Inland Revenue Service who has been faced with the challenges of how to
mitigate financial abuses in the sector.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE
The study is based on the empirical investigation of
financial abuse in Nigerian public sector, case study of Federal Inland Revenue
Service, Sokoto state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the
efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature
or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage
in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the
time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Internal control system: To carry on the affair of an
organization in orderly manner safeguard the assets and secure the accuracy and
reliability of the organization.
Public sector: This include all organization set up by the
government to satisfy human want to take care of specific want, specific needs
of the public without profile purpose.
Fraud: This is defined as an irregularity of impropriety
involving the use of deception to obtain an unjust or illegal financial
advantage (Okolie 2013).
Crimes: This can be defined as a dishonest, violent, or
immoral action that can be punished by law.
Economic: According to Longman dictionary of contemporary
English, defined economic as the system by which a country’s money and goods
are produced and used.
Revenue: the entire amount of income before any deductions
are made, it is government income due to taxation.
Cheque payment: To prevent unauthorized payment being made
from bank account control over custody and issue of cheque booklet.
Transparency: As used in the humanities and in a social
context more generally, implies openness in every area of business or globally.
Misappropriation: This is the misuse of public fund
especially by public office holder in the ministries.
Accountability: This is the true openness or giving account
of what has been expended by the public officer holder.
Favoritism: This is a mechanism of power abuse implying a
highly biased distribution of state resources.
Procurement: This is the acquisition of goods and/or
services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the right quantity
Treasury: This is the keeping of accounts of government
funds and investment.
Budget control: This involves strict compliance with all the
variables about the budget.