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Nigeria Rises from the Bottom of the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix TableNigerian Government's efforts in making the country viable for international trade.
In 2014, Nigeria was considered the biggest risk for bribery in terms of cargo transportation. This meant that cargo to Nigeria from the UK and other countries were the most subject to bribery which meant the greatest risk to those doing business with the country.
That has changed considerably as the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix Table, which calculates the inherent risk of bribery for every country moved Nigeria up from the bottom at #200 in 2014 to its latest standing at #162 in 2019. While still relatively low, that move represents a significant shift upwards in terms of less bribery and greater safety for crew and cargo.
How the TRACE Ratings are Measured
There are four attributes that are measured to determine the overall risk of bribery from every nation. The risk entails the encounters with officials that the goods make as they enter the country.
- Business Interactions w/Government
- Anti-Bribery Laws and Their Enforcement
- Transparency of Government and Civil Service
- Civil Society Oversight Capacity
Improvements in all four areas are considered vital for reducing the risk of bribery and other government-related abuse in terms of arriving goods.
Perhaps the biggest gain that Nigeria made towards reducing its bribery risk was the implementation of new transparency standards. One of the most important happened late in 2019 when the public was granted access through a web portal about transparency policies in the country. This means an easier tracking of spending and proper financial reporting that is more public and out in the open.
And the key to disrupting the age-old practice of bribery starts by being more transparent with the funds used to source the bribery from government officials. Although more than half of the 35 African countries surveyed demonstrated a rise in corruption and bribery practices, Nigeria managed to bring their ranking down in that area.
Until 1999, Nigeria was a dictatorship that was rife with corruption. And while that has been lessened considerably over time, progress until recently was slow. This is where the civil society oversight capacity for the Nigerian government has improved considerably. The reform movement combined with greater transparency has been making steady progress towards better public accountability.
While not all accountability procedures are in place and bribery is still a big issue, the steps that have been taken so far have started to make positive changes in the country. Because the democratic system in Nigeria is still in its early stages relatively speaking, this has allowed for new institutions and private foundations to begin the work of bringing down long-standing practices of corruption.
Given that the process must happen from within, there has been a greater emphasis to work towards internal management and organization rather that relying on outside foreign sources for the resources needed to make real change.
Opportunity to trade with Nigeria
For those who are considering shipping cargo to Nigeria from the UK or another other location, the lessening risk of bribery is welcome news. Although the risk is still there, actions from the Nigerian government have gone a long way towards minimizing the chances of facing bribery.