Historicising the Phenomenon of Loan Sharking and its Contemporary Economic Impacts on the Civil Servants in Katsina State, Nigeria

Rabe Gambo and Musa Ahmed Jibril
Keywords: Loan sharking, Contemporary economic impacts, Civil servants, Katsina State, Nigeria
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2019 1(1), 1-12. Published: August 13, 2019


Abstract

Loan sharking is a century aged economic phenomenon in many parts of the world. As a globally recognized profitable business many people venture into it to make fortunes. In Katsina metropolis, the phenomenon became more pronounced in the 1980s following the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programme in the country. The program was meant to boost industrialization and create more economic opportunities, but the reverse was the case. This paper therefore, intends to unravel the origin of the phenomenon and its transformation from the early period to date. To achieve this, the paper deployed the methodological tool of descriptive analysis, and interrogated many civil servants, loan sharkers and their debtors to ascertain the extent to which the phenomenon could be viewed within historical background. The findings show that instead of the program to achieve its desired goals, it increased the sufferings of the people following the loss of purchasing power of the naira and corresponding rise in prices of goods and services to the extent that many civil servants found it difficult to meet their daily needs. As a result, there was a massive proliferation of loan sharking and increase in the patronage, forcing many civil servants in Katsina to fall into the traps of bourgeoisies through indebtedness which in many cases led to imprisonment and other forms of human degradation due to failures to meet up with debt obligations.