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Systemic corruption and public procurement in developing countries: are there any solutions?

Sope Williams-Elegbe (Department of Mercantile Law, Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa and African Public Procurement Unit, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

Journal of Public Procurement

ISSN: 1535-0118

Article publication date: 4 June 2018




Corruption affects development and quality of life of citizens in affected countries. The increase in anti-corruption measures globally reflects a consensus that corruption is pervasive and costly. Public procurement is one area in which corruption manifests because of the sums of money involved; the asymmetry of information; and the bureaucratic nature of decision-making, which presents opportunities for abuse. In developing countries, procurement corruption is rife because of institutional weaknesses, lack of enforced accountability mechanisms and culture of silence in relation to public sector malfeasance.


This paper examines procurement corruption in countries with systemic corruption, using Nigeria as a case study, to determine how to reduce public procurement corruption.


The paper will highlight prevalent corrupt schemes in public procurement in Nigeria, examine the reasons for the failure of state anti-corruption institutions and analyze the kinds of initiatives that reduced procurement corruption and increased accountability in other countries and the utility of adopting such mechanisms in the Nigerian context.



Williams-Elegbe, S. (2018), "Systemic corruption and public procurement in developing countries: are there any solutions?", Journal of Public Procurement, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 131-147.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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