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Causes Of Unethical Behaviours in Nigeria



Unethical behaviours and practices can be traced to a number of factors.

1. LOW INCOME
It is generally believed that the level of income in Nigeria is low especially in the Public Sector and in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The National minimum wage of ₦18,000, which has been recently increased to ₦30,000 per month can barely afford a decent accommodation, transportation, feeding and payment of school fees for low income workers. Some state governments find it difficult to pay the minimum wage and even owe workers salaries for many months. Besides, some Fuel Stations pay their staff salaries as low as ₦7000 per month. Where incomes are low, workers are tempted to engage in unethical practices to augment their earnings.

2. POVERTY
With an unemployment rate of 24% coupled with poor infrastructure in the areas of roads, electricity, health and agriculture, poverty still remains a problem in Nigeria. Although the World Bank (2014) reports that poverty rate in Nigeria dropped to 31% in 2014, the problem is still prevalent. The recent fall in crude oil price, devaluation of the naira and inflation has reduced citizens purchasing power thereby creating poverty especially in the rural areas. Lack of money and poor living conditions can result in unethical practices in order to survive.

3. BAD LEADERSHIP AND POOR MORAL BACKGROUND
Ethical conduct to a large extent depends on the moral values of families. Children growing up are affected by the kind of attitudes and behaviours exhibited by their parents. Where children observe their parents telling lies, offering bribes and cheating they can quickly imbibe such acts and see them as normal way of behaving.

4. WEAK SANCTIONS
Ethical misconduct and malpractices will thrive in an environment where there are no sanctions or weak punishment for offenders. This factor represents a major reason for widespread unethical behavior in Nigeria. It is a common practice for traffic offenders and tax evaders to offer bribes to law enforcement agents and are thereafter let off the look. Cases abound of highly placed individuals in society who commit offence and go unpunished.