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PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTING FRAUD IN NIGERIA
Seemingly, nowhere in Nigeria is fraud more endemic and pronounced than in the Public sector. Public sector accounting fraud remains one of the biggest single causes of nonperformance and distress in the general Nigerian economy. This study therefore sets out to find the common types of fraud that are frequently carried out in the Nigerian Public Sector, the underlying causes, level of staff involvement, consequences and possible means of ameliorating the problem. A convenience sample of 100 respondents taken in federal government’s establishments in Benin City Edo State, Nigeria was studied by means of questionnaire and the response of respondents to rating scale questions were tested for significance using the “t – test statistics”. The analysis revealed that respondents did not view unofficial borrowing as a form of public sector fraud since they were common and a nationwide practice. It also revealed that there was an equal level of staff involvement in initiating and executing fraud, with the concealment of fraud coming last in their agenda. Also, among the factors hypothesized to encourage public sector fraud; greed, infidelity and poverty, inadequate staffing, poor internal controls, inadequate training and poor working conditions yielded statistically significant results. Respondents also viewed greed, lack of personal ethics and weak corporate governance as significant factors that help propagate fraud in the Nigerian public sector. The study recommends the need to further enhance the use of forensic accountants and stringent accounting procedure in the operations of the Nigerian public sector.
Keywords: Frauds, Effects, Remedies, Accounting, Public Sector, Nigeria.