On May 23, the Acting Chairman of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, offered to provide business intelligence to prospective investors in Nigeria.
Speaking at a virtual conference of 500 Nigerians in diaspora around the world, Magu stated that the EFCC, which is responsible for preventing, investigating, prosecuting, and penalizing economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, “is aware of the frustration, uncertainties and risks, local fraudsters are posing to credible businessmen and women abroad, who wish to invest in the Nigerian economy.” For that reason, he said, the EFCC “is ready to offer intelligence services to anyone seeking genuine business partners in Nigeria.” He explained that the EFCC would obtain and deliver “[p]rofiles of potential business partners in Nigeria . . . to the foreign-based investors” to assist them in making decisions on who might be a legitimate local business partner.
Magu further offered to provide “intelligence on any line of business desired by the Nigerians in the diaspora. We are ready to do all these to encourage credible and serious investors who do not want to be defrauded by fraudsters at home.”
Magu also urged Nigerians in the diaspora to avail themselves of the opportunities the EFCC is offering, to bring more investments into the local economy in Nigeria, and to support the EFCC’s anti-corruption efforts “by exposing foreign assets of local politicians” under the Nigerian government’s whistle- blowing policy.
Note: Companies that are interested in doing business in Nigeria, but that have concerns about the reliability of prospective business partners there, should take Acting Chairman Magu’s offers seriously. While Nigeria continues to grapple with its longstanding reputation for extensive fraud and corruption, the EFCC has repeatedly demonstrated, to Nigeria and other countries, its effectiveness and integrity in investigating and prosecuting fraud and corruption. Chairman Magu’s offers reflect a sincere interest in enabling prospective investors to avoid running afoul of criminal groups.
Companies should therefore test the waters with the EFCC and request business intelligence on several prospective and current Nigerian business partners. As this service will cost a company nothing, and potentially enhance the company’s corporate due diligence, companies can determine for themselves the value of the EFCC’s assistance, and, if it proves beneficial, expand its use of the EFCC’s resources for future due diligence. Contact information for the EFCC is available here.