nigeria-macn-mainImproving the Business Climate and Reducing Corruption in the Port and Maritime Sector in Nigeria

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. 

MACN’s Strategy

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.  

Outcomes include: 

  • 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. 

Latest MACN News – Nigeria

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. 

Nigeria Helpdesk (Est. 2019)


Members have used the service


Port calls registered (156 escalated as incidents)


Cases successfully resolved

Updated June 2024

Nigeria Bulletin

Volume 9

Volume 8

Volume 7

Volume 6

Volume 5

Volume 4

Volume 1 – Q3

Volume 1 – Q2

Lessons Learned

  • Government support is key to achieving sustainable change. The tone from the top has been instrumental to ensure oversight for compliance of agencies that operate in Nigerian seaports.  
  • Data is key to highlighting gaps and measuring progress. Identifying the key players who have leverage and engaging the government with a solution-driven approach and evidence-based data to show which corruption challenges are systemic has been successful.  
  • It can take a long time to build trust with the private sector and for companies to report systemic integrity risks without fear of retribution. It is important to have a strategy and identify the right stakeholders, including the local private sector, who can drive change. 
  • Building capacity for both the public and the private sector helps to incentivise a change of behaviour. Training should be linked to an organization’s strategy to be effective. 
  • Civil society engagement is needed to keep public-private partnerships mutually accountable and ensure the sustainability of the project. 

These lessons highlight the importance of collaboration, transparency, and long-term strategies to tackle corruption and improve the efficiency and integrity of seaport and terminal operations in Nigeria.  

Click an image to enter gallery mode.

MACN Nigeria Timeline

  • 2023

    • Integrity Alliance has 270 members
    • A New eLearning platform on the NPPM launched by CBi
    • Project emphasis shifts strongly from vessel to cargo to logistics corridors, from Western to Eastern Ports and all off-shore terminals through an extended PSTT (including Customs, Immigration, Road Safety, Maritime Administration, and other stakeholders) with Government emphasis now on Compliance
  • 2022

    • Launch of the National Port Integrity Index
    • Anti-Corruption Collective Action Award 2022 for Outstanding Achievement
    • NPPM enforcement and improved consequence management (38 officials arrested), operational costs due to delays reduced from an average of $150,000 to $20,000 per vessel per call. Joint Inspection of cargoes improves and doubles container throughput
    • Challenge shifts to Logistics corridors
  • 2021

    • Operationalization of the Port Standing Task Team with the Nigerian Shippers Council, The ICPC, and the Nigerian Ports Authority
    • Launch of National Integrity Alliances with over 120 port users
    • Delivered capacity building workshops on Leadership, Ethics and AntiCorrupt Practices for over 100 government officials
    • Formalisation of the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) by the by the Presidency led by the Nigerian Shippers Council and charged with ensuring compliance with the NPPM
  • 2020

    • Funding received from The Siemens Integrity Initiative to tackle corruption in cargo clearance
    • Launched an anti-corruption HelpDesk to support businesses involved in cargo clearance
    • Nigeria establishes sting operations by Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, The Anti-Corruption Commission – ICPC and the Department of State Security, DSS to enforce compliance with SoPs
    • Nigerian Presidency launches a Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM)
    • An Integrity Alliance of Local Port Users was launched by Cbi to complement MACN efforts
  • 2019

    • Funding received from DANIDA to address low awareness of SOPs and the grievance mechanism launched by Nigerian Authorities
    • MACN launched the local Help Desk for vessel operators
  • 2018

    • Additional training for 1,000 port officials on Professional Ethics started in 2016 by CBi is completed
    • MACN and CBi publish an impact assessment report on progress and existing gaps in the reform process
  • 2017

    • 1000 port officials were trained in ethics and integrity
    • The Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) is launched with the purpose of reporting on corrupt demands, but also hosts the SOPs from all port agencies. The Vice President and Minister of Transport attend the launch event of the Portal
  • 2016

    • CBi became MACN’s local partner The Nigerian President approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and grievance mechanism
  • 2015

    • The Nigerian Project Steering Committee starts to draft SOPs with all government agencies
  • 2014

    • Nigerian Project Steering Committee selected and trained in anti-corruption
  • 2013

    • Root cause analysis report and action plan published after risk assessment conducted executed locally by TUGAR
  • 2012

    • In cooperation with UNDP and the Nigerian Government MACN launched its first ever Collective Action project

Further information on our work in Nigeria can be found on our Nigeria member page. This requires a member log in.

Click here if you are interested in becoming a member of MACN.


”10 years ago, MACN and UNDPs joint assessment showed that it takes over 140 paper signatures from point of entering the port to the ship leaving the port of Tin Can and Apapa. Today, MACN’s Global Port Integrity Platform rates Nigeria as a leader in making Standard Operating Procedures for Vessel Clearance transparent and accessible to the industry.”

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