Nigerian businesses lagging in corporate corruption policies

Recent research by Control Risk, a global consulting firm, indicated that 84 percent of Nigerian companies have formal policies in place forbidding bribes -- slightly below the global average of 87 percent -- yet, bigger gaps exist in other areas.

For instance, only 25 percent of Nigerian-based companies have a board director or a compliance committee with specific accountability for anti-corruption, which is half of the global average of 50 percent.

The report also found that only 34 percent of the country's companies have anti-corruption training in place for employees with a mere 16 percent offering training for senior executives and board members. Only Indonesia and Colombia are further behind, at 11 and 9 percent, respectively. 

Of all the companies surveyed in Nigeria, only 44 percent have a standard clause in agreements with sub-contractors forbidding the payment of bribes, compared to the global average of 58 percent. 

The study did find, however, that the majority of companies -- 65 percent -- recognize the risk of corruption by third-party advisers and have acted on it. 

Another positive is that 56 percent of Nigerian companies have standard procedures in place for integrity due diligence on business partners, while an overwhelming 97 percent of Nigerian respondents agree or strongly agree with the statement that international anti-corruption laws improve the business environment for everyone. 

"We are certainly seeing a positive change in attitude and awareness toward corruption across the region," Tom Griffin, senior managing director of Control Risks West Africa, said. "Many of our clients value the fact that countries with the toughest laws and levels of international enforcement – the U.S., 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 programs they are required to implement."

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