Nigeria Helpdesk (Est. 2019)
Members have used the service
Port calls registered (122 escalated as incidents)
Cases successfully resolved (2 incidents remain open)
Updated June 2023
MACN Nigeria background
Background and Rationale
MACN identified Nigeria as one of the most challenging countries to do business in. Corrupt demands posed a major risk to its Members. Companies faced cases of extortion, harassment, and threats of violence. Moreover, regulations and procedures in ports were lacking in detail and consistency, giving authorities wide discretionary powers.
Since 2012, MACN has implemented a collective action initiative to reduce corruption in the port sector in Nigeria. MACN’s strategy aims to have a long-lasting impact and has focused on conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, engaging with stakeholders, implementing actions to improve transparency and governance, and driving institutionalization and capacity building to combat corruption in the Nigerian port sector.
- Root Cause Analysis: A comprehensive risk assessment was conducted to identify specific forms of corruption, underlying drivers, and actions to address root causes across six ports. This led to the recommendation of an integrity plan.
- Integrity Reform: MACN has been working with local stakeholders from the private and public sectors to implement the actions identified in the assessment and build a robust solution landscape. This includes the development of tools, procedures, and mechanisms with the aim to improve transparency, strengthen governance frameworks and increase the ease of doing business in Nigerian ports and terminals.
- Institutionalization: MACN has pushed for the institutionalization of the solution landscape by anchoring activities within government agencies and building capacity for compliance functions of port agencies. The aim is to ensure the implementation of the Nigerian Ports Process Manual (NPPM), compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and boost enforcement activities for non-compliance to promote integrity in Nigeria’s maritime sector.
Outcomes and Impact
The anti-corruption solutions adopted by the Nigerian government are the result of several years of engagement with the Vice President’s Office and key governance agencies by MACN and CBi.
- Anti-Corruption Toolkit: MACN and CBi contributed to the development of anti-corruption measures including the SOPs, the Port Service Support Portal (PSSP), the NPPM, and the establishment of a Grievance Mechanism.
- High-Level Support: The Federal government provided significant support through the Vice President’s involvement which facilitated the development of the Anti-Corruption Toolkit, indicating a commitment to combat corruption at the highest level.
- HelpDesk Implementation: MACN launched and operationalized the HelpDesk, which complements the PSSP. The HelpDesk enables port users to report and track incidents of corrupt demands. This initiative has increased stakeholder capacity for anti-corruption management and reduced the cost of doing business.
- Ensuring Compliance: The Port Standing Task Team ensures full implementation of the NPPM and compliance with SOPs. It promotes integrity in Nigeria’s maritime sector by dismantling corruption networks at the ports and terminals.
- Legislation to Institutionalize Reforms: Executive Order No 001 of 2017 on the Ease of Doing Business became law in February 2023. This legislation requires all government agencies, including port agencies, to publish their SOPs, application procedures and timelines, redress mechanisms, and consequences for process delays. It aims to institutionalize ongoing reforms and promote transparency.
- International Recognition: The project has received international recognition and won the Anti-Corruption Collective Action Award 2022 for Outstanding Achievement.
The development of a results-based solution landscape has empowered the private sector and reduced the risk and associated costs to vessels and companies. The usage of the HelpDesk and the Nigerian PSSP has increased over time. The illustration below shows pre-arrival notifications (i.e., the vessel is calling a Nigerian port). Please note that a pre-arrival notification does not indicate a corrupt demand. Since the launch of the HelpDesk over 800 pre-notification arrivals have been processed through the system.
Prior to the HelpDesk operation, case resolution took up to 7 – 10 days. Since 2021, vessels reported an average case resolution time of 1 – 8 hours. For a shipowner, the operational costs (staying in port, being delayed, processing paperwork) have therefore been reduced from approximately USD150,000 – USD20,000 per port call.
MACN’s Local Partner
CBi was established in 1997 with the mission of promoting ethical business practices, transparency, and fair competition in the private and public sectors. Over the years the Convention has continued to gain support and followers in West Africa and is recognized globally as a very innovative and positive contributor from Africa to global best practices relating to the promotion of good governance– at the governmental level and vis-à-vis the private sector.
As MACN’s local partner, CBi assumes a pivotal role in implementing project activities, conducting training programs, liaising with government officials, and actively participating in the project steering committee appointed to drive the port integrity project forward. One important element of MACN’s project in Nigeria is the training of public officials, delivered by CBi. CBi also acts as a liaison with senior government officials and can escalate issues through the HelpDesk and ensure challenges are appropriately addressed.