Tag Archives: Corruption

Re – examining the Fight against Public Sector Corruption in Nigeria: Has the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) lived up to its billing? (Published)

Issues of corruption have continued to feature prominently in the management of national affairs globally, and particularly in transitional States. Public governance in Nigeria has been serially accused with verifiable proofs of unbridled corruption, and is therefore a huge contributor to Nigeria’s embarrassing corruption perception on the Global Corruption Index. The ICPC as an institutional response to the ugly trend, is intended at curbing the incidence, severity, and depth of corruption in Nigeria public service. It is however worrisome, that public sector corruption is yet to witness a significant downward review, as bizarre incidences of public sector corruption continues to emerge even with the presence of ICPC. This paper therefore leverages on a Desk Study, hinged on Documentary Analysis, to interrogate how effective the ICPC has been, in the fight against Public Sector corruption in Nigeria, and to also ascertain, some of the challenges that militate against its operations. The findings show among others, that although the ICPC made some contributions to the fight against corruption, it is generally adjudged quite weak and ineffective, for reasons that range from wide political interferences/lack of autonomy, absence of the requisite political will, and poor funding. It is recommended among others, that the ICPC should be redesigned to make it much more autonomous and insulated from the likelihood of detrimental political influences as much as possible.

Keywords: Corruption, Effectiveness, Independent, Public Sector, institutionalization

Examination Malpractices and Corruption among Students at Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria (Published)

Examination malpractices have become a recurrent decimal in higher institutions in Nigeria. Misconducts in examinations tend to have a connection with corrupt practices involving students in these institutions as it provides opportunities for them to get an education by fraudulent means. That questions the validity and credibility of the grades they earn in academics and reflects in their overall performances in the labour market. Based on the Bandura’s social cognitive learning theory, an ex-post facto was conducted to inquire about the correlation between examination malpractices and corruption among students in Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Calabar, Nigeria. Three research questions and null hypotheses were developed for the study. 800 participants were randomly recruited from the population within the research site. Data was analyzed via Pearson product moment correlation coefficient statistic. The findings indicated that cheating, gratification and bribery have significant relationships with corruption among students at CRUTECH. Simply put, these are among the practices students employed to commit examination fraud. It is recommended that key stakeholders, inter alia, need to develop holistic and workable methods to curb the menace in the interest of national development.

Keywords: : examination malpractice, Corruption, Higher Institutions, Students

Anti-Corruption War under President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria: The Arsenal, Casualties, Victories and Corruption Perception Appraisal (Published)

This paper assessed and appraised the status and/or level of victories of President Muhammadu Buhari government’s anti-corruption war in Nigeria. In doing so, the paper examined the various anti-corruption policies, legal and regulatory frameworks that have been put in place by this present administration to fight against corruption scourge in Nigeria. The paper observed that Nigeria, no doubt, has adopted some of the provisions of the international conventions against corruption. However, Nigeria has, regrettably and consistently, remained on the negative corruption perception index, regionally and internationally. Nevertheless, the paper found that the present administration under President Buhari, has adopted and/or introduced home-grown laudable anti-corruption policies and legal frameworks. These include Treasury Single Account, Whistle-blowing, Code of Conduct Bureau and its Tribunal, and Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Governance Code among others, to fight against corruption. This effort has brought about a modicum of victories in certain aspects of the corruption perception index. Also, the paper perused the perceptions of Nigerians based on write-ups and commentaries about some corruption casualties and found that opinions of Nigerians are tendentiously divided between and among ethnics, religious and political party lines. Therefore, the paper recommends among other things, that President Buhari, where the bulk stops at his table and his cabinet, should make the rule of law and international best practices their watchword and benchmark at fighting against corruption. Also, all policies formulation and enforcement in the direction of fight against corruption should be non-selective, non-ethnic and/or political party affinities or persuasion.

Keywords: Anti-corruption, Casualties, Corruption, Non-selective, Regulatory Framework

Corruption and Democratic Governance in Nigeria: The Nexus (Published)

This study was aimed at examining corruption and democratic governance in Nigeria. One of the greatest threats to socio-economic and political development of any nation is corruption.   Democratic governance on the other hand is based on the will of the people and it is generally agreed that it is the best form of governance suited for allowing people to live in dignity and freedom, a point that was articulated in the Millennium Declaration by the international community. With huge resource expansion, unparalleled and unprecedented corrupt practices, it is unthinkable to expect democracy to thrive and derive dividend therein. Not only are things very stressful and difficult but the design and reality of democratic governance appears more of a mirage. All these hinge on either ethics or morality. The choice is either democracy or corruption as they are diametrically opposed to each other. This unenviable status continues to assert negatively on the State and the growth of democracy despite the several strategies put in place by past and previous regimes to combat the scourge. The study adopts secondary sources of data collection for overall understanding of the subject matter. Literatures were gathered from works of scholars in the area of investigations under review. The paper argues that for corruption to be curtailed in Nigeria, the constitutional provisions which fosters constitutionalism, rule of law should be effectively enforced. The paper sums up with conclusions and other vital policy recommendations for effective democratic governance in Nigeria.

Keywords: Corruption, Democracy, Democratic governance

A Critical Exposition of the Nature and Manifestations of Corruption in Ben Jonson’s Volpone (Published)

Corruption is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon which characterize the global economy and has different manifestations. To respond to this global challenge, a multidisciplinary approach is crucial in enforcement, investigation and prevention and it is a proven fact that public awareness/education is very critical in prevention. The use of drama to raise awareness and consciousness is very ancient and evident in all types of drama-traditional and modern. This study examines the relationship between drama and public awareness. It reviews the role dramatists have played in the fight against corruption. The nature, types and punishment for corruption as manifested in Ben Jonson’s Volpone is also evaluated. It is established that drama has played and still has a key role to play in the prevention of corruption.

Keywords: Ben Jonson, Corruption, Drama, Volpone

Whistle Blowing Policy as a Mechanism for Energizing the ‘War against Corruption’ in Nigeria (Published)

Corruption in Nigeria, just like in many other countries in the world, is an existential problem. Apart from the billions of dollars lost annually to corruption in the public and private sectors, almost all the social, political, ethno-cultural and religious conflicts in Nigeria can be traced to corruption in one way or another. As a tool for fighting corruption, whistle blowing has proven to be effective in many parts of the world. Within the first six months, the Whistle Blowing Policy in Nigeria, officially launched by the Federal Ministry of Finance on December 22, 2016, attracted thousands of tips, some of which led to opening of over 3,000 investigations and the recovery of several billions of naira. However, while the Minister of Information of the Buhari administration, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, applauded the gains from the policy in different forums as evident of the progress being made in the ‘war against corruption’, controversy has continued to trail the conceptual, ethical and implementation frameworks of the policy so far. This paper is an attempt to examine the theoretical foundations of the policy as well as the current application of its provisions against the ultimate objective of fighting corruption in Nigeria. The Ethical Theory of Whistle Blowing, Universal Dignity Theory of Whistle Blowing and Framing Theory were used to structure the postulations of the study. The paper argues that the policy, which is still awaiting the backing of an enabling law at the time of this study, may need to be further tweaked to speak to the issues of ethics, protection of whistle blowers and impactful communication strategies, in order to serve as a potent energizer to the ‘war against corruption’ in Nigeria.

Keywords: Communication Strategies, Corruption, Ethics, Framing, Whistle Blower Protection, Whistle-Blowing

Governance, Corruption and the Democratic Order in Africa: The Case of Nigeria (Published)

The triumph of the democratic order in Africa will depend to a large extent on the capacity of stakeholders to tackle the ravages of corruption. Across the continent, the quest for economic and political development had been hampered by corruption on the part of the leaders and followers, thus making the democratic enterprise appear as condemned to being subverted, as it turns out, from within. The scourge appears intractable due to its prevalence, thus, encumbering most States in the continent. For decades, Nigeria’s has been performing below average in the transparency international index of corruption. At some point, Nigeria was oscillating between the first and second most corrupt nation in the world. This unenviable status continues to assert negatively on the State and the growth of democracy despite the several strategies put in place by past and previous regimes to combat the scourge. This paper therefore considers the hindrances of corruption to the development of the democratic order and explores the imperative of good governance in remedying the malaise.

Keywords: Corruption, Democracy, Elections, Good Governance, Leadership

Parenting Styles as Correlates of Students’ Attitude towards Examination Malpractices in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State: Implications for Counselling (Published)

Parenting styles refers to practices adopted by parents in rearing their children. A good parenting style is needed to develop in a child interpersonal relationship, capacity to take initiatives, self-reliance, motivation and to conform to societal acceptable code of conduct. Bad parenting style is counterproductive and may as well get children involved in antisocial behaviours including examination malpractices. This work is a correlational study intended to determine the relationship between parenting styles and students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Three research questions and three hypotheses were designed to guide the study. The instruments for data collection were Students’ Attitude to Examination Malpractices Scale and Parenting Style Scale. These instruments were vetted by three experts in Educational Psychology. The reliability coefficient of Attitude to Examination Malpractices Scale measured through test-retest method and Pearson product moment correlation technique was 0.86. The reliability indices of sections of Parenting Style Scale established through Cronbach Alpha technique were 0.68, 0.81, 0.73 and 0.84 for sections A, B, C and D respectively. It was found that though, majority of the students showed negative attitude towards examination malpractices, a sizeable percentage of them showed positive attitude towards the malaise. Authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful parenting styles had a significant joint relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles each had individual negative relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices while neglectful parenting style had a positive relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Based on these findings, it is imperative for the counsellors to assist prospective couples through premarital counselling or marital counselling to adopt good parenting styles especially authoritative parenting style in nurturing their children. Appreciable number of counsellors should be employed by the government of Rivers State and sent to secondary schools to help maladjusted students acquire good value re-orientation that will enable them distinguish what is good from what is bad with a view to avoiding negative tendencies including examination malpractices

Keywords: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Corruption, Examination, Fraud, Test, antisocial behaviour, cheating, malpractices, neglectful parenting styles, permissive

Parenting Styles as Correlates of Students’ Attitude towards Examination Malpractices in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State: Implications for Counselling (Published)

Parenting styles refers to practices adopted by parents in rearing their children. A good parenting style is needed to develop in a child interpersonal relationship, capacity to take initiatives, self-reliance, motivation and to conform to societal acceptable code of conduct. Bad parenting style is counterproductive and may as well get children involved in antisocial behaviours including examination malpractices. This work is a correlational study intended to determine the relationship between parenting styles and students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Three research questions and three hypotheses were designed to guide the study. The instruments for data collection were Students’ Attitude to Examination Malpractices Scale and Parenting Style Scale. These instruments were vetted by three experts in Educational Psychology. The reliability coefficient of Attitude to Examination Malpractices Scale measured through test-retest method and Pearson product moment correlation technique was 0.86. The reliability indices of sections of Parenting Style Scale established through Cronbach Alpha technique were 0.68, 0.81, 0.73 and 0.84 for sections A, B, C and D respectively. It was found that though, majority of the students showed negative attitude towards examination malpractices, a sizeable percentage of them showed positive attitude towards the malaise. Authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful parenting styles had a significant joint relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles each had individual negative relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices while neglectful parenting style had a positive relationship with students’ attitude towards examination malpractices. Based on these findings, it is imperative for the counsellors to assist prospective couples through premarital counselling or marital counselling to adopt good parenting styles especially authoritative parenting style in nurturing their children. Appreciable number of counsellors should be employed by the government of Rivers State and sent to secondary schools to help maladjusted students acquire good value re-orientation that will enable them distinguish what is good from what is bad with a view to avoiding negative tendencies including examination malpractices.  

Keywords: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Corruption, Examination, Fraud, Test, antisocial behaviour, cheating, malpractices, neglectful parenting styles, permissive

Corruption in the Education Industry in Nigeria: Implications for National Development (Published)

This paper sees corruption generally as a condemnable behaviour and particularly identifies corruption in the education industry as a practice that has multiple capabilities for undermining the national development of Nigeria. Corruption in the education industry terribly creates infrastructural deficits that result in poor instructional delivery and making many people not to have access to education which in addition to being a fundamental human right is a spring board for their empowerment and emancipation infrastructural deficits and inability of a people to have access to education systematically renders useless the ability of the people to engineer  national development as generations of citizens are left frustrated, disgruntled and disenchanted in addition to manifesting terrible immorality in the forms of militancy and insurgency. Embrace of militancy and insurgency as a result of lack of access and infrastructure owe their sources to corruption, which disastrously has multiplier effects on the economy and the national development of the Nigerian state: potential human beings who ideally are great assets for the development of Nigeria are lost to actions/activities that are not investor and investment friendly. The paper recommends among other things the teaching of skills that can promote greater transparency and accountability in managing issues in education, stronger and implementable in managing issues in education, stronger and implementable social justice measures for the citizens to developing curricular and pedagogical measures for sensitizing citizens to rise up to kill corruption in Nigeria.

Keywords: Accountability, Corruption, Curriculum, Education, Innovation, National Development, Nigeria, Pedagogy, Transparency

Police Corruption and the State: Prevalence and Consequences (Published)

Corruption is endemic social problem in Nigerian society; it is particularly objectionable in Nigeria Police Force. This study x-ray prevalence and consequences of corruption in Nigeria Police Force. It predominantly utilized secondary data. This study has identified that, in Nigeria, the police force has become an epitome of all multi corrupt and fraudulent schemes which constitute a stumbling block to the effective administration of justice and efficient maintenance of law and order in Nigeria and have soiled the image of the force. Thus, the study recommends fundamental restructuring, reorganization, total war against police graft to re-invent a new image for the police and professionalization through further training and re-education in the force which would hopefully launch the Nigerian Police Force on the positive side of history.

 

Keywords: Corruption, Justice, Law enforcement, Nigeria Police Force, Police, Security, Social problem

Dilemma of indiscipline in Secondary Schools: A Case Study of Toro Local Government Area Plateau State Nigeria, Implications for Corruption and Terrorism (Published)

This research was prompted by the dilemma of indiscipline in secondary schools in Toro local government area of Plateau state. The essence of the study was to identify risk factors of indiscipline, its effects on students’ academic performance, its’ implications for teacher effectiveness and relate its’ potentials for corruption and terrorism. The purpose was to come up with more effective alternative ways to address the phenomenon. The study had six objectives. Ten research questions guided the study. The theoretical anchor was Ivan Pavlov operant conditioning theory which explains maladjusted behavior. The sampling frame was made up of 102 secondary schools, 2887 teachers and 31604 students. The survey design was adopted. The convenient sampling technique was used. The simple percentage and averages were utilized to analyze the data. The sole instrument used was a structured questionnaire. The basic suggestion advocates a rethink of the effectiveness of the teachers and the state of school environment. The government should provide scholarships at secondary and tertiary levels for deserving students, implement free education, and also explore avenues of providing lucrative jobs for graduates as motivating factors. Disciplinary cases should be referred to juvenile courts. The system of education should provide differentiated curriculum.     

Keywords: Corruption, Dilemma, Implication, Indiscipline, Secondary Schools, Terrorism

Internal Control System for Financial Management in the Church: A Case of Protestant Churches in Eldoret Municipality, Kenya (Published)

The study aims at evaluating the Internal Control System (ICS) which can be used for effective financial management in the Church. The objectives were to determine if ICS is in place, its role, challenges faced during implementation and its relationship with financial management among Protestant Churches in Eldoret Municipality. Using the descriptive statistics, 76.5% of the respondents confirmed that ICS was in place. However, only one type of internal control (control activities) existed in the Churches sampled which also plays a minimal role. ICS related challenges faced include lack of ICS knowledge, resistance to adapt ICS, shortage of staff to implement and Church’s management reluctance. This was shown by 76.5%, 52.9%, 52.9% and 58.8% respectively. In regards to ICS and financial management, majority of the respondents (76.5%) indicated their relationship to be positive.  The researchers recommends more scholarly works to be done to make roles of ICS seen to crucial, how to address the challenges faced during development and implementation of ICS as well as how to make ICS an effective financial management technique.

Keywords: Corruption, Internal Control System, financial management

Effect of Competence, On Internal Audit Professionals Skepticism, Implications on Regional Head of Corruption Practices (Case Study District / City in West Java Province) (Published)

This study aims to determine the professional competence of the Internal Audit, Corruption. The purpose of audit professionals is basically one of the spearheads in the fight against corruption. Because was never brought positive result but the consequences of Evil is constantly generated. Harmful consequences , among others, Decreased Quality of Public Services, Damaged Joints-Joints Principles of Financial Management System of State, Government occurrence Puppet, Rising Social Inequality, loss of investor confidence. Occurrence of Moral Degradation and Work Ethics. Internal auditors assist management in designing and maintaining the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control structure. The internal auditor is also responsible for assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of each control system which guarantees the quality and integrity of the financial reporting process.

Keywords: Competence, Corruption, Professional Internal Audit

The Irony of Nigeria’s Fight against Corruption: An Appraisal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s First Eight Months in Office (Published)

Nigeria as a country is not only popular for its economic and man power potentials but also, for monumental corruption ‘manifestations’ that plagues its government and institutions. The country, in the past decades has been ‘decorated’ with top ten position among the league of corrupt nations by Transparency International and other international watchdog organizations. With anti-graft in his campaign manifesto, it was an ‘easy’ task for Muhammadu Buhari to succeed the government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which was famous for corruption ‘manifestations’ and impunity in the 2015 presidential elections .This work appraises Nigeria’s strategy in the fight against corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s first eight months in office. The work argues that Buhari’s anti-graft strategy in its first eight months is misguided and misconceived. A theoretical framework is adopted for clear focus and distinction between the blurred edges of corruption and its manifestation. Primary evidences in the form of interviews and official reports are complemented with secondary and tertiary evidences gathered from Newspaper reports, textbooks, publications from journals as well as internet sources in the course of carrying out this research.

Keywords: Corruption, Corruption Manifestation, Fight Against Corruption, Root Of Corruption, Strategy

Contemporary Social, Political and Religious Satire under the Silent Penetration of Poverty and Class Discrimination: An Exploration on Aravind Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger’ (Published)

“The White Tiger” is a Man Booker Prize (2008) winning book is written by the great Indian-Australian writer, Aravind Adiga. This article lets us know how the class discrimination is engulfing the Post-Colonial Indian Society under the silent penetration of poverty and corruption and how the human morality is decaying under the religious and political unrests. Here, the narrator and protagonist, Balram Halwai, struggles against his lower class society from the very initial time of his life. His life undergoes with serious sufferings from economical solvency because of being in the lower Hindu cast. He senses the tortures of the elite class people towards the deprived poor. He witnessed the deaths of many dreams in a poor family. He observes it as a “Rooster Coop” that stands for the extreme poverty where the people below the social margin remain in a great danger and never rebel against the society as they have no wealth and power. He scrutinizes the huge corruptions in politics and in every class he went through. As a driver, he has had a great chance to discover the great Indian corruptions on the root levels of cities and towns. His mind always rebels against those terminations but he is to go on as to be alive in his ways of being an enlightened person. Nevertheless, he takes in a great loss of pain but what he has gained at last is nothing but dishonesty and rampancy of corruption because all his perceptions are only for earthly happiness of money. What he got after killing Mr. Ashok and stealing his money (700,000 Rs.) is really a mystery to the readers. Significantly, Aravind Adiga has tried to rectify the human society by upholding the above facts that are running on ahead.

Keywords: Corruption, Discrimination and Nihilism, Economics, Politics, Poverty, Satire, Sufferings

The Challenge of Democracy and Development in Nigeria’s Niger Delta: The Case Of Delta State, 1999-2014 (Published)

This article examines the challenge of democracy and development in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, using the example of Delta State, 1999-2014. Against the backdrop of an expansive literature on the region’s state of decay, poverty, and conspiracy between the Federal Government of Nigeria and MNOCs to deny the Niger Delta of the benefits of its God-given oil resources, with attendant insurgency, this micro study cautions against the pitfalls of sweeping generalization. Adopting the critical, evaluative method of contemporary history, built on secondary sources, this work is significant in drawing attention to the manipulation and diversion of insurgency initially directed against the local elite by an aggrieved community to achieve political relevance and primitive accumulation by the former, who failed to judiciously and transparently utilize the huge sums of money from statutory allocation and donor agencies to transform the state. The paper calls for a review of the conventional wisdom on the subject

Keywords: Contemporary Nigeria, Corruption, Democratic governance, Development, Niger Delta problem, Resource curse

Corruption and People’s Opinion on the Removal of Police Check-Points in Yobe State (Published)

Police checkpoint is one of the most dreaded sights by motorists in Nigeria due to the dominance of extortion over all other activities at checkpoints instead of the normal stop-and-frisk expected of a security agent thereby affecting the efficiency of the force in preventing, detecting and containing crime. Yobe state with its high number of Boko-Haram induced checkpoints is one of the states where strong reactions follow the removal of police blockades in other parts of the country. This paper attempts, using survey research technique to assess the perception of the people of Yobe state on the removal of police frisk-barricades from the roads as a means of reducing police corruption in the country. The research found out among other things; that people of Yobe state believe that the removal will tremendous effect in reducing police extortion that has direct bearing on the common man. The study recommends inter alia the review of police salary and welfare packages, introduction of technology driven frisking system and policing the police technique of fishing out corrupt personnel.

Keywords: Corruption, Extortion, Perception, Police

AN ANALYSIS OF DIFFERENTIAL PERFORMANCES OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) ALONG LEADERSHIP REGIMES IN NIGERIA (Published)

One of the greatest enemies of human growth and societal development is corruption. More worrisome is when there is manifestly a deliberate failure to get rid of its spread and existence. This research is a survey type that assessed the perception of Nigerians on possible differential performance of EFCC along leadership regimes. This research is an extraction of a Ph.D thesis that explored both primary and secondary data. The theory of prismatic society provided a frame work for the analysis. The study reveals a differential perception on the performance of the EFCC along leadership regimes. It also shows that president Olusegun (1999-2007) is favorably higher in ranking in the fight against corruption than the YarAdua regime with Goodluck’s administration at lowest ebb of the score. The research concludes that the premise for this leadership cocksureness is the vacuum created by weak institution of governance. This vacuum provides an avenue for tendentious attitudes and despotic inclination to governance. The study recommends inter alia; a need for virile institutions of governance, political culture of discipline and leadership consciousness and conscious national agenda.

Keywords: Anticorruption, Corruption, Leadership, Performance, Regime

THE EFFECT OF CORRUPTION ON SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES: PERSPECTIVE FROM A DEVELOPING COUNTRY (Published)

This paper investigates the effect of corruption on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Specifically it looks at the relationship between corruption and SMEs performance including price, profit, growth, productivity, wages and employment. Researches on the effect of corruption on SMEs in developing countries are scarce. Therefore, there is a value in investigating the effect of corruption on SMEs. As a result, this paper filled a research gap in the study of SMEs.In order to achieve the purpose of the study, qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. The qualitative research was carried out using semi-structured interviews. Alternatively, the quantitative method was conducted using questionnaires as the principal survey instrument complemented by personal interviews. The data for the study was collected using mainly 340 questionnaires. The sampling design for the survey was based on stratified random sampling. The stratification was by region and business sector.The results from this study indicated that corruption is positively related with price. As predicted, corruption is negatively associated with growth, productivity and employment. But it shows no significant statistical relationship with wages and profit. In addition, the descriptive survey analysis reveals that corruption reduced SMEs owner/managers access to finance. Another interesting finding was that a large number of the respondents perceived corruption as a practice that leads to extortion by government officials. This study contributes to knowledge by providing insights on the effect of corruption on SMEs performance in Sierra Leone. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study is one of the few studies ever done in a developing country context.

Keywords: Corruption, Sierra Leone, Small and Medium-Enterprises (SMEs)