The Nigeria country profile provides a detailed analysis of the country’s efforts in curbing corruption, but does also dig into Nigeria’s challenges and the effects of these on its business climate throughout its chapters devoted to Business and Corruption and the country’s Regulatory Environment. The government has aimed at containing corruption by enacting laws and enforcing integrity systems, 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.
- President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Access to Information Law as one of his first acts in office.
However, the government still faces challenges in curbing this phenomenon. Challenges include:
- Petty corruption is reportedly widespread and surveys indicate that it is very hard to do business in Nigeria without having to pay facilitation payments to public officials.
- Companies should note 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 X Squad, the disciplinary body responsible for investigating corruption inside the police is reportedly corrupt themselves as well.
An extensive description of the levels of corruption within Nigeria’s institutions and sectors are outlined in the profile’s Corruption levels. To counter these challenges the government has set up a strong legal framework to increase transparency within the government as well as private and public sectors. For a more detailed analysis 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.