News / Africa

Nigeria Government Fighting Corporate Corruption

President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, June 8, 2011
President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, June 8, 2011

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says fighting corruption is one of the driving goals of his new administration.

President Jonathan says the fight against corruption "must enlist the overwhelming force of Nigeria's collective determination" to ensure that the country's limited resources are best used for the common good.

As the president assembles his new cabinet, Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission is working with business leaders to enforce a revised Code of Corporate Governance to curb corruption and make Nigerian firms more competitive.

The commission's director general, Arunma Otteh, says that will attract more outside investment. "We believe that it is important from the individual company point of view, from a competitiveness point of view to be able to attract investors both local and international. They will have comfort when they know that the company is abiding by the best practice in terms of corporate governance. We also feel that it is a competitive tool for Nigeria as a whole, as we seek as a nation to improve the competitiveness of our country, and ensuring the flagship companies, companies listed on our exchange, are abiding by best practice for us is key," he said.

The managing directors of eight Nigerian banks were last year charged with fraud over illegal loans that threatened to collapse the banking sector and necessitated a $4 billion bailout by the Central Bank.

Otteh says the revised code holds corporate leaders responsible for their conduct. "The companies also have to declare the extent of their compliance to the code and that means there are liabilities for directors for misrepresentations. So in a sense while it is voluntary, there is a mechanism for us to reinforce good corporate governance practice. So it is actually the best of both worlds," he said. "Because when people own an initiative, they tend to take responsibility for that."

Attorney Michael Ellah says the breadth of corruption in Nigeria limits outside investment.

"Because of in many areas of this economy there is a lot of corruption as we all know, so we need to find a way to block this from the corporate culture," Ellah noted.

Harm Ploeger is the finance director for the West Africa branch of the British engineering and construction firm Costain. He says the cost of doing business in a corrupt economy far outweighs what companies will spend to demonstrate their compliance with the new code of conduct.

"[You] can not make the profits sustainably, which means over a large number of years if you do not have any form of corporate governance, I think in the end corporate governance rather keeps you in business than you must see it as a cost," Ploeger stated.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange is also working to reform trading and listing practices after a 60 percent drop in the main stock index between 2008 and 2009. Foreign investment on the exchange last year nearly doubled to more than $2 billion.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid