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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More