Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Bribery In The Workplace

My friend built this really amazing app. He wants to sell it to a bank. He approaches the head of a segment who could recommend the app. Before the poor guy is done explaining what the functions of the app are, Segment Manager tells him how much he wants. He will only facilitate this ‘deal’ if my friend agrees to his demand.

Another friend got funds for a creative project. As with most investors, funds are paid in tranches based on attainment of mutually agreed milestones. The Project Manager who worked with the investing company could not be bothered. Out of the first tranche, this Project Manager, who earned less than half a million a month, collected over 30 times his monthly salary in one fell swoop. The project faltered mid-way and is yet to be completed over one year after it was commissioned.

Yet another friend got sponsorship from a state government for a project she was working on. ‘The Boys’ as they are called, demand 30 percent of whatever the governor approves or they will not process  her payment.

This system is so entrenched in Nigeria, it is almost impossible for files to move tables without a palm getting greased. It is even more entrenched in companies with strong policies against  this kind of behaviour. 

As a contractor, how do you ensure quality control when half your budget for a project is chopped off from source?

As someone who relies on funding, grants or sponsorship from government or the private sector, how do you deal with this phenomena? 

As a principled, values driven organization or individual who has conduct business in this environment, how do you cope?

As one who freely demands kickbacks or takes one when it is given, what is your justification?

I really would love to know how this system has been perpetuated for so long. Is there a way out? Do you have practical recommendations on how to deal with this?

Very worried Nigerian
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Aderemi Fakunmoju said...

The key word here is "practical recommendations".....very tough situation we have found ourselves in

Anonymous said...

My little advice. Go Retail. As long as your business proposition involves selling to a few large entities you will run into similar problems - just different shades.

With a retail strategy or a solution that targets a lot of corporates, it's easier to say No.

Then build a brand. I agree it takes time but when you do, you can do business on your own terms.