Nigeria Country Profile
Snapshot of the Nigeria Country Profile
Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and offers investors abundant natural resources, a low-cost labour pool, and a potentially large domestic market. For many years, Nigeria has had a reputation for being among the most corrupt countries in the world, but the problem has received increasing national and international attention in recent years. Although measures have been taken against both public and private corruption, several business surveys indicate that petty corruption is still widespread and constitutes a major obstacle for companies operating in Nigeria. The 2011 presidential elections have brought to the surface the large divide between the Christian south and the Muslim north, increasing the political instability.
Positive developments in relation to corruption and investment:
- 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 (see the section 'Regulatory Environment' under General Information).
- 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.
Risks of corruption:
- 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.
- Both household and corporate respondents consider the police to be the most corrupt institution in Nigeria. X Squad, the disciplinary body responsible for investigating corruption inside the police is reportedly corrupt themselves as well.
Nigeria Corruption News
'Jailed former Delta governor loses appeal in Britain', 3 May 2013
'Sanusi says Nigeria gripped by ‘civil war’ in graft fight', 26 Apr. 2013
- Trust Law:
'Anti-corruption rallies planned for Nigeria', 9 Apr. 2013
- BBC News:
'Nigerian Farouk Lawan charged over $3m fuel scan 'bribe'', 01 Feb. 2013
'Four charged in U.K. for bribing Nigeria officials over tax', 17 Dec. 2012
- Financial Times:
'Corruption: System is rife with abuse', 27 Nov. 2012
- Voice of America:
'KPMG: Zimbabwe, Nigeria, SA top most corrupt African nations', 22 Nov. 2012
'Shell, Eni Nigeria oil deal may violate UK laws - Global Witness', 12 Nov. 2012
'Nigeria president under pressure to act on oil graft report', 05 Nov. 2012
Publication date: December 2012
Data verified by Global Advice Network