Nigeria Country Profile

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A Snapshot of Corruption in Nigeria

Corruption in Nigeria is pervasive throughout all levels of society, from petty corruption to cases of high-level government officials embroiled in scandals in connection to the susceptible oil and gas extractive industry. 

The government has aimed at containing corruption through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems, although concrete results are yet to be felt and are seriously undermined by recent reports of vast losses in oil revenue to corruption. For instance, Nigeria has established the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Nigerian subset of the global initiative Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) aimed at improving transparency in payments between extractive industrial companies and government entities, as well as to provide legal instruments to fight for increased transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors in Nigeria. NEITI gained compliant status in March 2011. The government has set up several investment portals providing oversight and information about investment requirements and business registration procedures. Progress has been made regarding public procurement procedures, although corruption persists. Guidelines have clarified procedures, public tenders are now publicly advertised, and observers note that foreign companies are increasingly treated as national companies. 

However, companies should note that it is still considered to be very hard to do business in Nigeria and that, for example, facilitation payments to officials are still very much the norm in order to acquire services. Additionally, firms should know that property rights, contracts and commercial disputes can be difficult to enforce and settle in Nigerian courts due to corruption, inefficiency and under-staffing. Tax administration lacks transparency that has led either to high levels of tax evasion or tax officials demanding bribes in return for lower tax rates. The police are perceived to be one of the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria, and the X Squad, the disciplinary body responsible for investigating corruption inside the police is reportedly no less corrupt themselves 

The levels of corruption within Nigeria’s institutions and sectors are outlined in the profile’s Corruption levels. For an overview of the Nigerian government and civil society achievements in the fight against corruption, visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.


Publication date: August 2013

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions