Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Corruption in Nigeria: Multi-nationals pay $3.2b fine
Written by Olawale RasheedSunday, 21 August 2011
GLOBAL companies face more corruption related prosecutions due to their corrupt dealings with Nigerian officials and have paid a total of three billion, two hundred million dollars [$3.2b] fine between 2010 and 2011 to the United States government and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), officials of the American Department of Justice has disclosed.
The fines were paid by many global companies after their indictments and prosecutions for paying huge sums of money to secure contracts and services in Nigeria and other countries of the world.
Nigeria appeared seven times from 2010 to date while the United Kingdom featured five times and Germany, Costa Rica, Italy, Norway, and the Holland once each.
Of the seventeen spots, Siemens occupies three and sits on top with a whopping $856 million fine paid in Germany.
The list which points to companies which had paid fines in the United States for corrupt dealings in Nigeria included Siemens, Haliburton, Snamprogetti, JGC Corporation,Royal Dutch Shell and Tecnhicap.
The fines paid into the treasury of the United States Government is however said to be too high with Nigeria ,the victim nation, getting only about fourteen per cent of the fines, a situation that prompted on-going moves to change the situation in favour of more payment to the country where such foreign companies commit such atrocities.
Of the total fine paid, about three billion, eight seven million dollars went into the coffers of the American Government while Nigeria‘s share was only one hundred and fifty two million dollar.
Meanwhile, the penalty for paying bribes in Nigeria may increase following demands from a Nigerian NGO that the Nigerian government seek its share of the recent anti-graft bounty.
In a recent statement, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), noted that bribery by trans-national corporations “has caused immense damage and devastation to the economy and to institutions of governance, and directly undermined the full and effective enjoyment of internationally recognized human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights of the citizens.”
SERAP subsequently petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, advocating that trans-national corporations pay commensurate damages to the Nigerian people for the foreign bribery committed in the country.
It urged the commission to “urgently take steps to seek adequate damages and compensation against multinational corporations who have been found guilty in the US of committing foreign bribery in Nigeria and to take all necessary steps to effectively bring to justice the Nigerian officials complicit in such cases of bribery.”
The non-governmental organization stated further that the penalty disparity violates the fundamental provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption whose Article 35 provides that persons who have suffered damage as a result of an act of corruption have the right to adequate damages and compensation.
While the EFCC was yet to reportedly act on the petition, the possibility of such companies paying another fine to the Nigerian anti-corruption body was generating ripples within the American Department of Justice which administers the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.