Abstract:

This review examines the US Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) Act 2023 and its potential impact on the anti-corruption war in Nigeria. The FEPA Act aims to combat corruption and promote transparency in international business transactions. This review analyses the key provisions of the act, its relevance to Nigeria, and the potential implications for the country’s anti-corruption efforts. Additionally, it explores the importance of international cooperation in the fight against corruption and highlights the role of the Nigerian government in enforcing anti-corruption measures. The review concludes by emphasizing the need for a strong political will, robust institutions, and a functioning judiciary to effectively combat corruption in Nigeria.

 

  1. Introduction:

Corruption has long been a pervasive issue in Nigeria, hindering economic growth, undermining public trust, and impeding development. The US Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) Act 2023 presents a significant opportunity to strengthen the on-going anti-corruption war in Nigeria. This review critically examines the provisions of the FEPA Act, its relevance to Nigeria, and the potential impact on the country’s anti-corruption efforts.

 

  1. Overview of the FEPA Act 2023:

The FEPA Act criminalizes foreign corruption, prohibiting foreign individuals and entities from engaging in corrupt practices to gain an unfair advantage in international business dealings. The FEPA Act also establishes stringent reporting requirements for companies operating in the United States. It mandates that companies must implement robust anti-corruption compliance programs and report any suspected violations to the US Department of Justice. This provision is crucial as it encourages multinational corporations operating in the country to adopt stricter anti-corruption measures.

 

Furthermore the FEPA Act empowers the US government to impose severe penalties on individuals and companies found guilty of foreign corruption. Unlike previous US anti-corruption laws that only criminalize and punish corrupt US officials who are involved in corrupt practices, the FEPA Act provides further deterrence by punishing foreign persons who offer bribes and are involved in other corrupt practices with US officials, these penalties include hefty fines, imprisonment, and even exclusion from participating in US government contracts. Such stringent measures serve as a deterrent to corrupt practices by foreign persons.

 

  1. Relevance to Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption War:

Nigeria has made significant efforts to combat corruption, including the enactment of legislations such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act 2004 and the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. The FEPA Act complements these existing legislations by providing an additional legal framework to address foreign corruption and promote transparency in international business transactions. It encourages multinational corporations operating in Nigeria to adopt stricter anti-corruption measures, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts.

 

  1. Implications for Nigeria:

The FEPA Act empowers the US government to impose severe penalties on individuals and companies found guilty of foreign corruption, including hefty fines, imprisonment, and exclusion from US government contracts. These penalties serve as a deterrent to corrupt practices and can significantly impact the anti-corruption war in Nigeria. The Act also fosters international cooperation by requiring the US government to collaborate with foreign governments, including Nigeria, in investigating and prosecuting cases of foreign corruption. This provision opens up avenues for knowledge sharing, capacity building, and joint efforts in combating corruption.

 

  1. Enforcing Anti-Corruption Measures in Nigeria:

While the FEPA Act presents an opportunity for Nigeria to strengthen its anti-corruption war, its effectiveness depends on the commitment and willingness of the Nigerian government to enforce anti-corruption measures. These include building strong institutions, enhancing the capacity of anti-corruption agencies, and ensuring an independent and functioning judiciary. The Nigerian government must demonstrate a strong political will to combat corruption and create an enabling environment for the effective co- implementation of the FEPA Act.

 

  1. Conclusion:

The US FEPA Act 2023 offers significant aid for the anti-corruption war in Nigeria. By criminalizing foreign corruption, imposing stringent reporting requirements, and encouraging international cooperation, this Act has the potential to enhance Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts. However, its true impact will depend on the Nigerian government’s commitment to enforcing anti-corruption measures, building robust institutions, and ensuring a functioning judiciary.

 

The impact of the FEPA Act on the anti-corruption war in Nigeria is likely to be substantial, as it sends a clear message that corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they occur. Effective execution of this Act will serve as a wake-up call for Nigerian officials and businesses, urging them to adopt more transparent and ethical practices in all their international business dealings.

 

 

 


 

NOTE: The section on legal Briefs is a forum for frank and open scholarly notes by research staff and guest contributors. Views expressed in these notes are personal to the authors and are not to be attributed to the Centre.

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