Corruption eats into scare resources otherwise to be deployed for the development of the poorer people iof a nation. The fact that the very people who are in public service are corrupt - makes fight for corruption an extremely difficult task through policy, transparency and prosecution against the corrupt. The rot in the very machinery that should be responsible for upholding public probity - the bureaucracy and the police are themselves at times in deep collusion with the politicians and even the judiciary is now accused of complicity in this.
There seems to be little deterrent for indulging in corrupt practices. The prominence of material value and a deep common perception that it's a way of life make it a kind of institutionalized phenomenon. The work of Transparency international and other local and global bodies in this regard is commendable - being the only beckon of hope.