White-Collar Crime in Nigeria: A Conceptual Inquiry

Ogbonnaya Oko Elechi, University of Wisconsin - Parkside

White-collar crime has been variously described as both endemic and widespread in Nigeria. White-collar crime is an offense that is economically motivated and is committed by persons of power and status in the course of their occupations. Generally known as corruption in Nigeria, it is an offense that usually remains unreported because of the general distrust of the Criminal Justice Institutions charged with its control, hence the attitude: why "report corruption to corruption". White-collar crime is blamed for Nigeria's poor economic performance, its political crisis, and poor human rights records. Several factors foster white-collar crime, including weak institutional, economic, political, social and historical bases and, it flourishes in the absence of the rule of law, weak democratic institutions and traditions. All measures put in place by successive Nigerian governments to prevent and combat white-collar crime remain ineffective. This many observe is mostly due to the condoning attitude of the people towards white-collar crime and the fact that everyone is "involved in the act", so to speak. This study therefore seeks to inquire into the concept of white-collar crime in Nigeria. Specifically, the historical, social and cultural factors that foster white-collar crime will be examined.

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Updated 05/20/2006