Corruption is high on the corporate agenda in Nigeria, however rigorous implementation and enforcement are lacking

LAGOS, NIGERIA: 84% of companies with Nigerian headquarters responding to Control Risks’ annual survey ‘International Attitudes to Corruption’ have formal policies in place that explicitly forbid bribes, almost closing the gap on the global average of 87%. This is one of a number of positive developments highlighted in the report, published today by Control Risks, the global business risk consultancy...

However, the implementation and enforcement of anti-corruption programmes still lags behind many international firms:

Of companies with Nigerian headquarters:

  • Only 25% have a board director and/or a compliance committee with specific accountability for anti-corruption – half of the global average of 50% and significantly behind South Africa, with 64%
  • Only 34% have anti-corruption training in place for employees and only 16% have an additional training programme for senior executives and board members – only Indonesia (11%) and Colombia (9%) are further behind
  • Only 44% have a standard clause in agreements with sub-contractors forbidding the payment of bribes (global average 58%)

The survey also highlighted some positive news: One of the areas where Nigerian companies are much better prepared is in the handling of third-party risks. 65% of respondents rated the corruption risk with regard to third party advisors as high or very high and they acted on it: 56% of Nigerian companies have standard procedures in place for integrity due diligence on business partners.

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Tom Griffin, Senior Managing Director,
Control Risks West Africa.

Tom Griffin, Senior Managing Director, Control Risks West Africa adds: ‘We are certainly seeing a positive change in attitude and awareness towards corruption across the region; the Buhari administration will ensure this focus remains high on the agenda. 97% of Nigerian respondents ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statement that international anti-corruption laws improve the business environment for everyone. Many of our clients value the fact that countries with the toughest laws and levels of international enforcement – the US, Germany and the UK – show a greater willingness to take risks and invest in countries with higher corruption risks, as they feel protected by the strong anti-corruption programmes they are required to implement.

‘This approach from international investors is starting to be adopted by our Nigerian clients as well who recognise that demonstrating strong governance and compliance is a source of competitive advantage when seeking international investment, customers and partners. However, companies need to be aware of the potential gap between the perceived protection a compliance programme brings and its actual mitigating effect. Reliance on a tick-box approach to compliance can be dangerous. Most (51%) of global respondents in our survey have conducted no internal corruption investigations in the past two years, highlighting the danger of waiting passively for a whistle to be blown, and perhaps suggests a culture of complacency in some organisations.’

The full survey can be downloaded here: Corruption Survey 2015/16

About Control Risks
Control Risks is a global risk consultancy specialising in political, security and integrity risk that has more than 30 years of experience working in Africa. Control Risks serves global companies that are new to Africa and organisations that know the continent well and are looking to expand their African business. Control Risks has unrivalled experience in helping organisations throughout their investment and operational cycle in Africa and provides clients with high-quality support in entering new markets, realising opportunities and building resilience capabilities to manage risk in rapidly changing environments.

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About the Survey:
Control Risks commissioned a survey of over 800 senior legal and compliance professionals in companies operating across the world to establish whether multinational organisations were sufficiently prepared to manage the complex governance and compliance environment they face today - or whether those responsible for anti-corruption and compliance initiatives are finding it hard to keep pace with global regulations and struggle to protect their businesses across all markets in which they operate. The key question was: are these companies ready for the challenges that they face in today’s compliance environment?

Distributed by APO (African Press Organisation) on behalf of Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd.