The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma

The psychological consequences of sexual trauma among survivors have been widely studied, but research investigations continue, in part, because rates of violence against girls and women remain high. The National Violence Against Women Survey found that 18% of women reported experiencing a completed or attempted rape during their lifetime (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). More than half (54%) of the rape survivors that responded to the survey were younger than age 18 when they experienced their first attempted or completed rape. Ongoing research attention to mental health outcomes is also driven by evidence that survivors’ responses are largely complex and unique to each individual (Briere & Jordan, 2004). Some individuals experience severe symptoms or long-term distress, whereas others do not (e.g., Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993).

The diversity in outcomes may be attributed to characteristics of the violent acts, environmental conditions, survivor attributes, and availability of social support and resources Another contributing factor is the use of different methodologies across research investigations Although some individuals may be resilient to the negative effects of sexual trauma, it does not minimize the observation that for other women sexual victimization is the most devastating event they will experience.

This article describes current research findings on the effects of childhood and adulthood sexual victimization on women’s mental health. Existing data on understudied communities and risk factors for mental health problems are also presented. Childhood and adulthood sexual violence are discussed separately because, contrary to public opinion, sexual violence against children is fairly common and is frequently associated with psychological distress that continues into adulthood.

There is also evidence that the mental health effects of childhood sexual victimization might be different from those due to adulthood victimization (e.g., Coid et al., 2003). This document does not cover other health outcomes, such as chronic medical conditions and reproductive and maternal health problems, because those outcomes make up a distinct body of literature that requires a focused review in their own right.

Having knowledge in this area is critical for all individuals working with survivors, including victim advocates, community health workers, and policy makers. First, it promotes continued empathy and support for survivors.

Second, the knowledge may help diverse groups of service providers respond to current trends toward professionalization of the field of sexual violence. As state and federal funding for violence against women face budget cuts from year to year, organizations have had to move away from grassroots models to professional models (Patricia Yancey Martin, 2005). Professional models include the use of evaluation and analytic tools and other activities related to writing proposals and managing grants and contracts. This requires knowledge of the research literature and the language and conceptual models frequently used by scientists and professionals. This paper provides a review that will hopefully facilitate discussions of the psychological consequences of sexual victimization across different individuals and organizations that work with or for survivors.

Definitions

The terms childhood sexual abuse and adulthood sexual violence are based on definitions developed by the American Medical Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, respectively According to the American Medical Association (1992), childhood sexual abuse
consists of contact abuse ranging from fondling to rape and noncontact abuse, such as modeling inappropriate sexual behavior, forced involvement in child pornography, or exhibitionism.
Adulthood sexual violence includes contact and non-contact acts performed without the survivor’s consent since age 18. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Basile & Saltzman, 2002), sexual violence is defined as completed or attempted contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration; contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus; penetration of the anus or genital opening; and intentional touching of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks. Non-contact acts include voyeurism and verbal and behavioral sexual harassment. The acts are considered sexual violence if they are nonconsensual or committed against someone that is unable to provide consent (Basile & Saltzman, 2002).

There are many different terms for sexual violence. In this paper, sexual trauma is the main term that is used . Sexual trauma refers to one or multiple sexual violations that invoke significant distress.

The term sexual trauma is recommended and used by many clinicians and advocates in response to observations that some survivors do not label their experiences as rape or assault due to familiarity with the perpetrator or the absence of force. Clinical observations have also suggested that sexual trauma may be a less stigmatizing term for some survivors and may promote healing by acknowledging the impact of the violent act on the individual’s well-being. In contrast, most research investigations examine specific types of sexual violence (e.g., rape and sexual assault). It is recognized that the term sexual trauma compounds the acts of violence with survivors’ responses. As a result, sexual trauma is used when presenting a clinical viewpoint and terms related to specific types of violations are used when conveying particular findings in the scientific literature.

Childhood Sexual Trauma
Psychological Consequences

Survivors of childhood sexual trauma are at high risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the American Psychiatric Association (1994), the diagnostic criteria for PTSD include exposure to a traumatic event that invokes intense fear, helplessness, or horror and a range of symptoms, such as reoccurring recollections or dreams of the event, persistent avoidance of all things associated with the trauma, numbing and lack of responsiveness, and increased alertness to perceived threats. In a recent study, women who reported childhood sexual abuse were five times more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD compared to nonvictims (Coid et al., 2003). Another study showed that the lifetime rate of a PTSD diagnosis was over three times greater among women who were raped in childhood compared to nonvictimized women (Saunders et al., 1999).

Survivors are also more likely to suffer from depression, suicide, and other mental health problems. In one study, the rate of lifetime depression among childhood rape survivors was 52% compared to 27% among nonvictims (Saunders et al., 1999). A separate investigation showed that childhood sexual abuse was associated with an increased risk of a serious suicide even after accounting for the effects of previous psychological problems and a twin’s history of suicidal behaviors (Stratham et al., 1998). Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have also been shown to be at greater risk of problem alcohol use (Galaif, Stein, Newcomb, & Bernstein, 2001) and eating disorders (Wonderlich et al., 2001) later in life.

Childhood sexual trauma may also affect certain developmental processes, such as the ability to develop and maintain relationships. For instance, clinical observations have revealed that some adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse report problems with low sexual interest and few close relationships. In other cases, some survivors display high-risk sexual behaviors (e.g., promiscuity) that may be attributed, in part, to modeling some of the behaviors shaped earlier in life by the perpetrator.

Distress experienced by adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse may also be related to their use of particular coping strategies (Fritsch & Warrier, 2004). Survivors may use different coping behaviors to protect themselves from negative feelings, thoughts, and internal conflict, but in some cases, the mechanisms may contribute to additional distress. For example, some survivors experience changes in consciousness and memory, producing a trance-like state or perceptions that one is living in a dream or a movie (APA, 1994). When these experiences are severe, abilities to work, socialize, or engage in other activities sometimes become impaired.
Extreme experiences of victimization are also associated with symptoms of a personality disorder known as Borderline Personality Disorder. As defined by APA (1994), personality disorders are characterized by symptoms associated with maladaptive and inflexible personality traits. Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by enduring patterns of instability in relationships, goals, values, and mood, nonfatal suicidal behavior and suicidal threats (i.e., parasuicidal behaviors), and other impulsive behaviors that may be harmful (e.g., substance abuse, unsafe sex). Research has shown that among the most severely impacted survivors of childhood sexual trauma, such as women in high security psychiatric hospitals, Borderline Personality Disorder is a common diagnosis (Warner & Wilkins, 2004).

The diagnosis of a Borderline Personality Disorder has been historically stigmatizing and controversial because it implies that the individual’s personality is flawed and may not be altered or changed. Stigma surrounding this disorder is also due to observations that individuals with these symptoms are particularly difficult to treat and they often terminate treatment prematurely.

Knowledge about this diagnosis, however, is vital to early detection and utilization of specialized therapeutic approaches. One of most promising treatments is Dialectical Behavior Therapy and it consists of individual therapy, skills group, and phone counseling (Linehan, 1993). Dialectical Behavior Therapy has been shown to be effective in lowering levels of parasuicidal and impulsive behaviors and alcohol use (van den Bosch, Koeter, Stijnen, Verheul, & van den Brink, 2005).

Childhood sexual trauma is also associated with other personality disorders, including those that are distinguished by enduring patterns of distrust and suspiciousness (i.e., Paranoid Personality Disorder), grandiosity and need for admiration (i.e., Narcissistic Personality Disorder), social inhibition and feelings of inadequacy (i.e., Avoidant Personality Disorder), or submissive and clinging behavior (i.e., Dependent Personality Disorder, APA, 1994). A recent study, however, found that individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder reported higher rates of sexual abuse compared to individuals diagnosed with other personality disorders (Yen et al., 2002).

The literature on Borderline Personality Disorder among sexual trauma survivors has caused some researchers and clinicians to advocate for the use of a newer PTSD diagnosis: Complex PTSD. The diagnosis of Complex PTSD includes the behavior characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder. This disorder is associated with experiencing an interpersonal stressor and symptoms related to mood swings, changes in states of consciousness, physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis, and altered sense of self and others (Pelcovitz et al., 1997). In a recent study, women with a history of childhood sexual trauma met the diagnostic criteria for both Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD (McLean & Gallop, 2003). As a result, the researchers suggested that survivors might be better understood by a single diagnosis of Complex PTSD.

Understudied Communities

Although girls of all backgrounds are vulnerable to childhood sexual trauma, little is known about the psychological effects experienced by understudied communities. Communities that are frequently left out of research include racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation minorities, women who are homeless, and those who are disabled. There is a growing body of literature with Latina survivors, but it has yet to be determined whether they experience worse or different consequences compared to other groups. One study showed that Latina childhood abuse survivors reported less intrusive PTSD symptoms than non-Latinas (Andres-Hyman, Cott, & Gold, 2004). Another investigation found that Latina survivors experienced more distress, including greater self-blame compared to Anglos (Katerndahl et al., 2005).

Findings with understudied populations need to be interpreted with caution. Differences may be partly or wholly explained by common characteristics of minority status in the U.S. including high levels of life stressors, limited educational and employment opportunities, and exposure to poverty.

Discrimination and oppressive conditions may contribute to fewer physical and emotional resources among survivors of understudied communities, leading to increased vulnerabilities to mental health consequences. Group differences may also reflect barriers to participating in research and disclosing intimate experiences to strangers who use structured assessment tools. Such methods may lack sensitivity to cultures and communities that are frequently marginalized in society.

Risk Factors

Given the diversity of consequences, researchers have attempted to identify factors that may predict the severity and duration of psychological symptoms that some adult child abuse survivors, but not all, experience. To date, the findings are inconsistent. Whereas some studies have shown that distress levels are associated with the frequency and duration of victimization (Steel, Sanna, Hammond, Whipple, & Cross, 2004),
other investigations indicated that qualities of the family environment, and not abuse characteristics, predicted adult outcomes (Fassler et al., 2005). The findings on the effects of family environment suggest that supportive assets may play an important role in explaining individual outcomes.

There has also been recent attention to the role of disclosure on adult psychological symptoms. One study found that survivors who did not disclose or delayed disclosure of childhood sexual trauma for more than one month had higher rates of PTSD and more major depressive episodes (Ruggiero et al., 2004). Reactions received by the survivor may also be linked to mental health outcomes. Maternal responses that are supportive and protective have been associated with improved mental health and functioning among survivors (Lovett, 2004). Supportive responses from partners also have positive influences on women’s health and predict fewer symptoms (Jonzon & Lindblad, 2005).

Limitations of the Research

As mentioned earlier, some child survivors experience few psychological effects (e.g., Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993). There are several possible explanations why some child abuse survivors experience few, if any, psychological symptoms. One explanation is that severe distress may be greater when childhood sexual trauma occurs in the presence of adverse family characteristics, such as parental alcohol problems (Fergusson, Horwood, & Lynskey, 1996).

Another explanation is that psychological consequences of childhood sexual trauma may be exacerbated among individuals that experience subsequent sexual victimizations, contributing to worse symptoms in adulthood (Coid et al., 2003). A review of research on repeat victimization concluded that women who experienced childhood sexual abuse were at heightened risk of adulthood victimization and those who were revictimized reported greater mental health problems in adulthood (Messman and Long, 1996).

The topic of revictimization often raises strong sentiments and concerns about blaming the victim. It is noteworthy that some investigations have provided limited or no support for the victim’s contribution to sexual revictimization (e.g., Siegel & Williams, 2003). And, although there is a substantial body of literature on survivor characteristics that increase vulnerability for later victimization (e.g., alcohol abuse, PTSD, interpersonal problems), many researchers are currently shifting their attention to perpetrators and the effects of societal and cultural responses to violence against women (Messman & Long, 2003).

Another explanation for inconsistent findings across studies on childhood sexual abuse is the use of different research methodologies, including the use of very different participants who are drawn from clinical, community, and student groups. Survivors who are surveyed in clinics may report higher levels of distress and greater impairment compared to those surveyed in the general community. Despite reasons for caution in interpreting the research, there is substantial evidence that, for many women, childhood sexual trauma increases vulnerabilities to mental health problems later in life.

Adulthood Sexual Trauma
Psychological Consequences

Women who are victimized in adulthood are vulnerable to short and long-term psychological consequences. Immediate distress may include shock, fear, anxiety, confusion, and social withdrawal (Herman, 1992).

Survivors may also experience some PTSD symptoms shortly after a violent act has occurred, such as emotional detachment, flashbacks, and sleeping problems (Rothbaum, 1992). Many survivors experience a reduction in psychological symptoms within the first few months, but a small group of survivors report symptoms that persist for years (e.g., Kilpatrick & Resnick, 1993). Research has shown that symptom levels of victimized women, although they significantly improved over time, remained elevated for at least two years following a rape compared to women who have never been sexually traumatized (Frazier, 2003; Koss & Figueredo, 2004a,b).
The body of literature on long-terms outcomes of adulthood sexual trauma has predominately focused on PTSD. The reported rates of PTSD among rape survivors vary from approximately 30% to 65% depending on how and when the PTSD symptoms are assessed. The specific timing of an assessment is important because PTSD symptoms decrease on their own within the initial months following the assault.

Some clinicians and researchers have criticized the use of PTSD as the primary diagnosis for sexual trauma survivors. One of the major arguments is that PTSD has received too much attention compared to other mental health outcomes and is ill fitting for serial and escalating forms of violence against women, including intimate partner violence (Mechanic, 2004). Psychological symptoms that may be overlooked in clinical practice include symptoms of depression, physical symptoms without the presence of medical conditions (i.e., Somatoform disorders), severe preoccupations with physical appearances (i.e., Body Dysmorphic disorders), disordered eating behaviors, sexual dysfunction, and extreme body piercing and tattooing (i.e., compulsory body mutilation). There is relatively little research conducted on these other psychological problems among survivors. Research on depression has produced mixed findings. Some researchers have found no association between depression and adulthood sexual victimization (Coid et al., 2003), whereas others have found high rates of depressive disorders among rape survivors (Dickinson et al. 1999). One investigation indicated associations between sexual victimization and parasuicidal behaviors and alcohol and illicit drug use; however, these consequences varied by specific type of sexual assault (i.e., rape versus other sexual assault; Coid et al., 2003).

Understudied Communities

Little is understood about the impact of adulthood sexual trauma among communities typically underrepresented in research. One existing study on ethnic differences showed that Latina rape survivors experienced more psychological distress and greater perceptions of community victim-blaming compared to non-Latina and African-American rape survivors (Lefley, Scott, Llabre, & Hicks, 1993). The implications of these findings are limited until they are replicated with additional study samples.

Risk Factors

Risk of developing mental health problems after adulthood rape is related, in part, to the severity of the assault and the presence of other negative life experiences. Assault characteristics associated with PTSD symptoms include threat to life and injury (Resnick et al., 1993) and substantial use of verbal and physical force (Bennice, Resick, Mechanic, & Astin, 2003). Divorce and exposure to adverse childhood environments (Elliott, Mok, & Briere, 2004) and histories of depression and alcohol abuse have also been shown to exacerbate the impact of adulthood sexual trauma (Acierno et al., 1999).

How survivors mentally process their experiences of sexual trauma is also related to mental health consequences (e.g., Halligan, Michael, Clark, & Ehlers, 2003). Koss and Figueredo (2004b) documented the influence of background characteristics on the severity of self-blaming thoughts, which predicted the degree of maladaptive beliefs that survivors used to understand and interpret ongoing life experiences.

Maladaptive beliefs were a strong predictor of psychological distress than assault characteristics. Similarly, Frazier (2003) found that survivors’ perceptions of past control (i.e., control over the assault), present control (i.e., control over recovery process), and future control (i.e., control over future victimizations) were related to posttrauma distress. Women who most strongly perceived that they had control over their recovery process were the least distressed.

Conclusion

Psychological consequences of sexual trauma in childhood and adulthood are diverse and highly individualized. There is no one response that is experienced by all survivors.

The diversity of emotional outcomes is evident in the variability in severity (mild distressing to life threatening), timing (immediate to delayed impact), duration (short-term to long-term), and types of consequences (i.e., psychological symptoms, maladaptive behaviors).

Whereas a large portion of the literature has focused on PTSD symptoms, survivors are also at risk of experiencing a range of other mental health problems, such as depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, problem alcohol abuse, disordered eating behaviors, and sexual dysfunction. The research literature, however, includes studies with methodological limitations. In addition, various controversies have emerged, including arguments against the heavy focus on PTSD and the overemphasis of the survivor’s role in responses to sexual trauma with relatively little recognition of role played by social support and societal and cultural factors.

These limitations and controversies highlight the need for future research and the development of strong collaborations across diverse areas, including research, practice, advocacy, and public policy. Maximizing efforts to reduce sexual violence requires combining resources and coordinating activities across different settings (e.g., research, healthcare, criminal justice). Successful collaborations rely on individuals having a basic foundation of knowledge and communicating with a common language and conceptual models of mental health. This is consistent whether mobilizing around issues related to preventing sexual victimization (i.e., primary prevention), minimizing psychological consequences (i.e., secondary prevention), or treating full-blown psychological symptoms and disorders (i.e., tertiary prevention). Of particular relevance to this paper is secondary prevention. Secondary prevention strategies consist of intervening as soon as possible and increasing positive social support to minimize the effects of the sexual trauma.

This review has several implications for advocates. It may be used to advocate for training more providers in specialized therapeutic approaches for sexual trauma. It may also support efforts to place pressure on the formal mental health system to work collaboratively with other public systems, including medical, legal, and law enforcement systems in order to minimize the likelihood of secondary victimizations and long-term distress. Another application is to supporting reforms that help secure permanent funding for rape crisis centers and other specialized violence-related services, including specific prevention and intervention programs. Finally, continued education of the general public on mental health outcomes of sexual victimization is critical to improving reactions to disclosure, reducing stigma, and raising awareness of available services and resources for survivors.

The mental health impact of sexual trauma is clearly a serious public health problem for women. By acquiring a common foundation of knowledge and fostering collaborations, those in the field may increase access to support and resources, so that all women who experience the emotional aftermath of sexual trauma may follow a path of recovery that is healing and empowering.

This article is reproduce with reference to:

Nicole P. Yuan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
University of Arizona
nyuan@email.arizona.edu

Mary P. Koss, Ph.D. Professor
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
University of Arizona
mpk@u.arizona.edu

Mirto Stone, Ph.D.
Senior Therapist
Southern Arizona Center for Sexual Assault
mstone@sacasa.org

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Causes and consequences of corruption: The Nigerian experience

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According Punch News Paper July 17, 2013; The international community has finally come to terms with the reality of the “cancer of corruption” and its ubiquitous nature; hence, we are all in agreement that being a persistent feature of human existence worldwide, its solution lies in the collective action of key global institutions with organised international joint efforts against corruption. These efforts have produced a lot of anti-corruption measures including bi-lateral and multilateral agreements, enactment of national anti-corruption laws such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 by the Obasanjo administration; the designing of international frameworks and strategies for the prevention of corruption and the making of the all-important United Nations Convention Against Corruption which has now become the reference point for anti-corruption fight all over the world.

Nonetheless, the need to study corruption and anti-corruption has continued to generate passionate commentaries and academic interest. While it is obvious that this interest has made the subject matter better understood to an extent, the hundreds of information being incorporated into its study, research data and the diversity of some of the findings have sometimes established some level of complications too. Apart from the fact that some have attempted to mischaracterise corruption as a tool for development under such labels as “grease the wheels” arguments or the “efficiency grease”, the question still persists, for instance, on how corruption should be situated, whether within the context of the “moralist,” “developmentalist,” or “functionalist” definitions.

More directly, should the definition be public-office centred, market-centred or public-interest centred?

Meanwhile, the definition of corruption becomes more complicated when viewed in terms of such classifications as supportive corruption, transactional corruption, extortive corruption, defensive corruption, investive corruption, personal and institutional corruption, traditional and modern corruption, local, national or international corruption, or representational corruption, grand and petty corruption.

Or simply put, should corruption be viewed as corruption and nothing more? Many questions continue to arise in our experience and engagement of corruption and corrupt practices.

To this extent and with a focus on the activities of the EFCC in Nigeria, this presentation engages two questions: What are the causes and consequences of corruption in Nigeria and how has the EFCC responded to the scourge? To engage these questions, we will revolve around the causes of corruption in Nigeria, its consequences, the role of the EFCC and a recommendation that focuses on the need for a Special Anti-corruption Court.

The causes of corruption are multiple and have been discussed by scholars under numerous headings but I will briefly discuss some of the major causes that we have identified as some of the common causes of corruption in a political economy.

First, we have identified weak institutions as a major cause of corruption. Corruption has a high propensity to thrive when legal and political institutions are weak and government policies generate economic rents. In most climes, there are so many incentives in the public sector, particularly administrative and legal institutions that leave public officials with wide unrestricted authority and powers to create avenues for unjust enrichment or use the discretionary powers at their disposal to manipulate the system.

According to a World Bank Report; “The normal motivation of public sector employees to work productively may be undermined by many factors, including low and declining civil service salaries and promotion unconnected to performance. Dysfunctional government budgets, inadequate supplies and equipment, delays in the release of budget funds (including pay), and a loss of organisational purpose also may demoralise staff. The motivation to remain honest may be further weakened if senior officials and political leaders use public office for private gain or if those who resist corruption lack protection. Or the public service may have long been dominated by patron-client relationships, in which the sharing of bribes and favours has become entrenched.

In some countries, pay levels may always have been low, with the informal understanding that staff will find their own ways to supplement inadequate pay. Sometimes these conditions are exacerbated by closed political systems dominated by narrow vested interests and by international sources of corruption associated with major projects or equipment purchases”.

Closely related to the issue of weak institutions is the role of formal rules and the criminal justice system. There is hardly any country where corruption is legalised; to the contrary, there are several formal rules and laws prohibiting corruption and corrupt practices with appropriate sanctions and punishments. In addition to organic laws, several public institutions such as the Police, Customs and Immigration, Road Safety Corps, Fire Marshals, the Armed Forces , internal revenue agents, and other institutions including the judiciary have comprehensive Codes of Conduct to regulate their behaviours which also prohibit the receiving or accepting of bribes, gifts, gratifications, etc.

However, in a political economy that is laced with corruption, such formal rules are usually supplanted by informal rules or customs that allow corruption to flourish. For instance, the law may criminalise the giving and taking of bribes but in practice, one can hardly get anything done without gratification or in Nigerian parlance, “settling” someone.

In Nigeria, until the establishment of the EFCC, the laws were hardly enforced and the informal rules prevailed. The EFCC was thus established to strengthen the institutions and to shift emphasis back to the recognition and enforcement of formal rules. In addition to the formation of the EFCC, the Federal Government, recognising the need to have a strong formal rules, had also enacted various other laws such as The Money Laundering Act, the Advance Free Fraud Related Offences Act and the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act and several other appropriate legal frameworks to control corruption and strengthen the legal and economic institutions including the criminal justice administration.

The Act also made the EFCC the designated Financial Intelligence Unit in Nigeria, which is charged with the responsibility of co-coordinating the various institutions involved in the fight against money laundering and enforcement of all laws dealing with economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.

Essentially however, the incentive to engage in corruption and corrupt practice is stronger where the probability of being discovered or prosecuted is remote or non-existent.

Another cause of corruption is public perception. Corruption is supported when some/few societal culture promotes corruption. Why should a convicted corrupt individual be offered a chieftaincy title by traditional rulers in his community? Why do governors, some of whom have been fingered in corruption, be given awards or be elected into the Senate by the electorate?

There are also other instances where religious institutions have ordained corrupt public officials and sometimes organised thanksgiving services for corrupt ex-convicts who were just being released from prisons.

The nature of the economy is also a crucial factor. It has been argued that rent-seeking or rent-based systems tend to promote corruption. If this view holds, then, because the Nigerian economy is based on rents from crude oil and gas, it follows that there would be a number of “leakages” that would allow for the easy flow of cash and favours, sometimes in illegal ways.

Until recently in Nigeria, public officers would deliberately delay the implementation of national budgets with the hope that at the end of the financial year, unspent funds would become a largesse to be shared by the senior civil servants. This is why it is often said by experts that for corruption in the public sector to flourish, public officials must possess “the authority to design or administer regulations and policies in a discretionary manner”.

However, with the passage of new government policies which have made it mandatory for any unspent budget heads at the end of the financial year to be returned to the federation account and the passage of the Freedom of Information Act which is aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in government finance among others, this practice has also become a thing of the past in Nigeria.

Other identified causes of corruption in Nigeria include poverty, poor remuneration or incentive system.

SOURCE:  http://www.punchng.com/

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NO USEFUL TIPS FROM JONATHAN SAYS BUHARI

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Gen. Muhammadu Buhari President-elect says the outgoing Goodluck Jonathan government hasnt given him any advise on how to kick-start his administration on May 29.

 He made this statement on Thursday when a committee from the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, presented a five-point policy document to him at the Buhari Support Organisation office in Abuja.

 Hours before the event which held behind closed doors, the All Progressives Congress,accused the Federal Government of not cooperating with the transition committee set up by the President-elect.

“Buhari regretted that the outgoing government that is supposed to give him tips on how to take off has done nothing so far,” Garba Shehu, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, told journalists after the presentation by the committee.

Shehu added that the President-elect “thanked the Obasanjo initiative for the gesture, assuring the committee that his incoming administration will be needing advice as time goes on.”

Areas covered by committee in the   document    include the economy, security, power, education and infrastructure.
Earlier on Thursday , the APC described as untrue, a statement credited to the spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Oliseh Metuh, that the   Jonathan administration was cooperating with the transition committee constituted by the President-elect.

It also described Metuh in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, as a man with “an incurable disdain for truth.”
The PDP spokesman had   in the said statement accused the APC of raising a false alarm over happenings within the Jonathan and the Buhari transition committees.
However, Mohammed insisted that the uncooperative attitude of the Jonathan team   had continued despite its public posturing.

The   APC statement Read, “We say with all sense of responsibility that as of today, May 14, 2015, just about two weeks to the May 29 handover date, no shred of information as to the status of governance from any ministry, department or agency of government has been given to our transition committee.”

“If that qualifies, in Metuh’s lexicon, as cooperation, then there is a problem somewhere. We dare Metuh or anyone for that matter, to controvert the fact that not a line of handover note has been handed over to our transition committee.”

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SHOULD GEN. BUHARI PRESIDENT-ELECT ASK LOOTERS TO REFUND STOLEN FUND? READ RESPONSE!

Buhari will ask looters to refund stolen fund – El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor-elect, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has stated that the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is leaving a huge debt for the incoming government.

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The ex-FCT Minister said the incoming government to be led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would ask politicians both at the state and federal levels, to return looted funds.

The Governor-elect, who spoke to executive members of the National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, who were on a courtesy visit to him in Kaduna, believed such politicians must be ready to refund ill-gotten money after May 29.

According to him, “We will politely ask those who stole government money to return the funds.
“This is because the APC government is made up of people who are ready to work for the masses and the betterment of the country.
“We will work with the textile union to ensure that the lives of the average Nigerians get better.”

The ex-minister also lamented the sorry state of the textile industry in Kaduna State, promising that his administration would bring back the liquidated industry.

He lamented the current employment figure of 1,600 employees in the textile sector, describing the situation as unacceptable, adding that the textile industries in Kaduna used to employ about 33,000 workers.

According to el-Rufai, the APC government would revive the textile industries, which he hoped would generate employment and impact on the lives of the people.

He said, “We have met at a forum of northern governors-elect and we decided to ensure the revival of the textile industries.
“It is a shame that the largest economy in Africa imports textile materials from Senegal and other countries”.

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The Economic Cost of Terrorist Attacks in Nigeria

Incidences of terrorists’ activities have, by most accounts, provoked electric mix of insecurity and threat to socio-economic undertakings in recent time. Separating realities from emotions, economic analysts hold a view that in the event of wanton destruction of lives and property in any society, investments and other economic developments will suffer.

The Economic Confidential takes a critical look at the recent wave of terrorist activities in the country and what the trend they hold for its economy.

Generally, analysts agree that terrorism has a suppressive effect on an economy and study shows that it has actually never done any good in any part of the world.

In Nigeria for instance, it is inadequate to mention terrorism in Nigeria without reference to the activities of Boko Haram, a terrorist group which has taken responsibility for most of attacks in some parts of the country; especially the North East.

The increase in terrorist activities has, by most analysts’ ratings, complicated the Nigerian business climate and made it investor-unfriendly. The impact of these nefarious activities on Nigerian economy has been intense so much so that the Minister and Deputy Chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, have course to says in a remark that terrorist activities of the group have created a lot of distortions in the economic activities in the northern region.

The direct implication of this includes declining investor confidence and reductions in foreign direct investment. With a reference to the 2012 Doing Business Data of the 183 economies sampled, Nigeria is ranked 133rd, maintaining the same ranking as that of 2011, an indication that no significant improvement has
taken place because of terrorist activities.

In the same manner, the World Bank Investment Climate Assessment Report for the 2011 fiscal period indicates that the Nigerian business environment in spite of the ongoing reforms, remain hostile. According to the report, investors are losing 10 per cent of their revenue as a result of the hostile investment climate, poor quality infrastructure, crime, insecurity and corruption.

Major contributions to the non-inspiring business growth were the bomb blast on October 1, 2010, during Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations in Abuja, suspected to be sponsored by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a group of Niger Delta militants.

The subsequent blasts on January 1, 2011 at a market in Abuja and the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Suleja, Niger State, eventually sent
danger to investors.

Indeed, these crises spread to parts of the northern states of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Kogi among others with new face of herds men attacking farmers in Benue State.

These are commercial centres of the country in which terrorists activities have paralysed socio-commercial activities.

In Maiduguri, the frequent bombings and clashes between terrorists and security agents have a grim consequence on socio-commercial activities. Media reports say the Maiduguri Monday Market and the Baga fish market; the biggest markets in the city is seriously affected as hundreds of shop owners, especially southerners have closed their businesses and left for other peaceful parts of the country.

It is reported that no fewer than 15, 000 shops and stalls in this markets have been abandoned by traders. Banks and their customers are also said to be operating under difficult situation and have reduced their business hours to guard against being attacked by members of the sect, according to reports.

According to the Borno State Commissioner of Information, Mr Inuwa Bwala, it will take the state 20 years to recover from the current predicament it has found itself. “It is only natural that when you have such a situation as we have now, it will affect the economic fortunes, especially where people go out to do business under the atmosphere of fear. `So there is no doubt that the crisis has taken its toll on our resources, on our business and on our economy.

The commissioner added that it would take not less than 20 years to recover and get to the position the state was before the crisis started. “It is our prayer that those who fled in the height of the crisis and those with general apathy among business men to invest in Borno State should do a rethink and come back, ’’ he told journalists by telephone” .

In Kano, the commercial nerve centre of the northern part of Nigeria, the group’s activities have once crashed the economy. Fear has crawled into every corner of
public life; traders in Kano say that sales are down by half as customers dare not venture out, according to a media report.

According to an analyst, Dr Richard Adebayo, a consultant psychiatrist, terrorists’ activities in Nigeria were relatively unknown in the early years of independence, but became rampant in the late 1990’s, culminating in today’s epidemic proportion. He said kidnapping and terrorism are the results of youth unemployment and display of stupendous inexplicable wealth by leaders.

Defining terrorism, the psychiatrist said, terror, from the Latin verb terrere, means to frighten. Explaining further, Adebayo says the purpose of terrorism is not the single act of wanton destruction, but the reaction it seeks to provoke; economic collapse.

For instance, observers say oil terrorism; a new lexicon introduced by security analysts to describe the pipeline system attacks, is an imminent threat to Nigerian economy.

However, some optimistic economic economy say Nigeria’s huge energy reserves continue to attract investment in spite the threats posed by militant groups and corruption.

In a remark, Mr Alec Weisman, a graduate of Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution from the University of California, said it is deduced that in spite a sizeable increase in militant activity in Nigeria, foreign companies remain committed to expanding their investments in its natural gas and power sector.

However, growing levels of violent activity and corruption could lead these companies to eventually reconsider their investments in the country. As a result, the incoming government should expand its efforts to combat the militants, terrorist and corruption  and to improve the investment climate.

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HAPPENING IN SPORT: Carver John awaits Newcastle fate

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     John Carver

John Carver expects to learn if he has been successful in his bid to earn the job of Newcastle head coach on a permanent basis within 48 hours of their final game of the season.

The 50-year-old insists he remains in pole position to upgrade his four-month interim status, despite winning just two of his 18 games in charge to leave the club’s Premier League future in the balance.

Newcastle can clinch safety with a victory at already relegated QPR on Saturday, allied to Hull City failing to win at Tottenham.

His side have taken one point from the last 27 in the wake of an eight-game losing streak, but Carver hopes by leading his hometown club to safety he will head-off competition from a string of names to have been linked with the post vacated at St James’ Park by Alan Pardew midway through the season.

Newcastle finish their campaign at home to West Ham a week on Sunday, and Carver said: “There have been no talks because I’ve been focused on the games.
“But I go away on holiday the Wednesday after the season finishes and I’d like to know where I am by then.

“Even if we get safe before that last match, I don’t want any discussions before the West Ham game, to allow us to concentrate on trying to end the season on a high. Am I in pole position? Yes, because I have the job, and they have to take it off me now.”

JANMAAT RETURN

Carver is again without long-term injury absentees Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Rob Elliot and Massadio Haidara as fourth-bottom Newcastle go in search of a first away win since January.

Forwards Siem de Jong and Adam Armstrong won’t be at Loftus Road because of injury.
However, Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat is available after suspension, and French midfielder Gabriel Obertan returns to the squad as Newcastle look to stretch a 20-year unbeaten record against London club QPR to increase their two-point advantage on the bottom three.

QPR’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed last weekend following their dismal 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, and manager Chris Ramsey expects to learn of his own fate in the next week.

Ramsey was appointed on a short term contract in February and while Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes is expected extend the manager’s stay, the club have yet to confirm whether or not they intend to make a change.
“I’m sure the club will make an announcement within the next week or so with what they’re going to do,” said Ramsey. “Nothing is 100 percent yet but I’m hoping I’ll be in charge next season.

“I haven’t spoken to them regarding myself for a good week or so in depth but we’ve brushed on it. They’ve told me we will make an announcement within the next week. I’m hoping it’s going to be me.

“As far as I know there hasn’t been an interview process but football managers tend to pop up when there’s not an obvious interview process.”
Ramsey has endured a testing first stint as manager with Rangers’ former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton claiming disruptive influences in the dressing room had not helped the west London side’s cause.

“There were some issues, I’m not going to deny that, but we dealt with them at the time,” said Ramsey.

“Unfortunately, these things happen in football and our dirty laundry has come out. We’ve dealt with those situations and what we need to do is draw a line underneath that and move on.
SOURCE: Barclays Premier League

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Gerrard bids farewell to sanctuary of Anfield

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    Gerrard Steven

Almost seventeen years after making his debut there, Steven Gerrard will play at Anfield for the final time on Saturday when Liverpool entertain Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

His last game before he leaves for the Los Angeles Galaxy may yet occur at Stoke City on the season’s final day, but with Liverpool realistically unable to qualify for the Champions League and Palace long safe from relegation, Saturday’s match will serve as his farewell party.

After 708 appearances, 185 goals, 10 trophies and innumerable moments of drama, it will be an occasion of unique poignancy, and the 34-year-old midfielder knows it will be difficult to keep his emotions in check.

“I’m really looking forward to the game,” he said. “I want to win my last game at Anfield. It will be a bonus if I can get on the score-sheet.
“But once the game finishes and I say goodbye to the fans that are here – and I know it’s being televised, so it’s a good chance for me to say goodbye to the fans worldwide as well – it will be emotional, not just for me, for my family.

“I’m sure there will be a few supporters that are emotional too. After 17 years, that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
Gerrard will be granted a guard of honour by both sets of players prior to kick-off, while supporters will display giant mosaics in the Kop and the lower part of the Centenary Stand.

The club will make a presentation to him on the pitch at the final whistle and the captain will then address the crowd for the final time.
When Gerrard passes beneath the famous ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’ sign in the tunnel prior to taking the field, it will be 6 012 days since he made his first appearance there, aged 18, as a late substitute for Vegard Heggem during a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on November 29, 1998.

Manchester United’s Old Trafford has sprouted over 20 000 seats in the intervening years, while Arsenal and Manchester City have both moved into new stadiums, but Anfield has barely changed.

OLYMPIAKOS GOAL

By his own admission, Gerrard’s career has been a tale of “really cruel lows and incredible highs”, but for the most part, the 123-year-old ground has been a sanctuary.

The lows have tended to happen elsewhere, be it major tournament heartbreak in foreign fields with England, FA Cup final disappointment at Chelsea’s hands in 2012 or the 2007 loss to AC Milan in the Champions League final in Athens.

He has also drawn strength from the stadium’s association with the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which his 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest of the 96 Liverpool fans who perished.

Writing in his autobiography, Gerrard said that every time he drives through the Shankly Gates into Anfield, he “slows to a crawl” in order to cast a glance at the Hillsborough Memorial.

It was thoughts of Gilhooley that doubtless caused tears to spring to his eyes after Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2 at Anfield on the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough in April last year.

Gerrard saw Anfield’s sanctity violated two weeks later when he succumbed to the infamous slip against Chelsea that was to cost him a first league title.

But it has also been the scene of some of his greatest moments, including a slaloming run through the Sheffield Wednesday defence to score his first Liverpool goal at the Anfield Road end in December 1999.

There have been countless astonishing goals since, many hit as sweetly as it is possible to strike a football, such as the last-gasp pile-driver against Olympiakos in front of the Kop on an electrifying December night in 2004 that inspired Liverpool to glory in the Champions League.

Gerrard has often risen to the occasion and with two goals in his last two games, he is in goal-scoring form at present. The stage is set once again.
SOURCE:  Barclays Premier League

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Patience Jonathan In Court For Hosting AFLPM

Following her decision to host the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) summit in Abuja on Friday, May 15, as against June, which is the scheduled date, First lady, Patience Jonathan has been handed a law suit.

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    Patience Dame Jonathan

The plaintiffs, whose suit was submitted at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, prayed the court to restrain Patience, from holding the emergency meeting.

The plaintiffs also said the meeting organised by the incumbent first lady was intended to scuttle the chances of the first lady-elect, Aisha Buhari, from becoming the President of the mission.
Leadership newspaper listed the plaintiffs to include; Nana Module Onwodi, Ekemma Ugborough Arisa, Louisa Ono Eikhomun, Deborah Oboh, Juliet Mene, Juliet Pearce, Sonia Adolf and Kate Duru.
The court will be sitting today to hear the application to stop the meeting.

The case would have been heard yesterday (Wednesday) but was moved to today (Thursday) because the procedure for proof of service had not been completed.
The plaintiffs were appearing on behalf of Concerned Women for Peace and Development.

The prosecutors informed that Patience has been President of the AFLPM after Turai Yar’Adua, stepped down due to the death of her husband, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

The plaintiffs argued that the tenure of office of President of the Mission is three years, which is expected to elapse in July 2015.

It was gathered that any attempt by Patience Jonathan to convene a peace meeting summit, would short-change the right of Mrs. Buhari, to participate and even contest for the office of the president in July 2015.

Aisha Buhari will be sworn in as first-lady on May 29 which is the handover date.
The plaintiffs argued that: “the defendant/respondent’s intention to hold an election on May 2015 is inimical to the progress and development of the country” as “not only shall we be affected as individuals but the entire nation will be affected as our position in the committee of African nation’s will be relegated.”

Meanwhile, Patience Jonathan has revealed that her intention for hosting the African First Ladies’ Peace Mission is not to deny the First Lady-elect, Aisha Buhari, the chance to become the president of the mission, but rather to conduct elections to appoint a new president.

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