Malabu Deal – The end of serious international investment in Nigeria?

The much publicised leaks of internal emails and investigations of Shell and ENI over the Malabu oil deal are problematic for further foreign investment in  Nigeria from serious players.

Western European and US authorities are keen to crack down on participation by their citizens and companies in corrupt practices in foreign countries.

The penalties for being proven to participate in such illegality go beyond damages to corporate image and regulatory issues for the companies.

Individuals can now face criminal prosecutions and jail terms if they are proven to be complicit in corruption and bribery.

The full details of the Malabu scandal are yet to emerge.

But the fact that Shell and Eni executives knew that Dan Etete was involved as a broker of the deal is enough to raise suspicion that they knew of bribery and were complicit, at least through inaction.

This presents a problem for Nigeria in attracting serious foreign investment.

All authorities and individuals know that to get a workable deal in Nigeria normally involves some level of shady payments – be that in cash, property, shares, contracts etc.

Given that Shell and Eni executives are now being publicly vilified for little more than knowing that Dan Etete was involved, who else will come into Nigeria?

Most will think twice and opt for another, say less problematic country for their African investments.

We are our own worst enemy.

Malabu will cast a long shadow over Nigerian investment for many years to come.

The only countries that will invest will be India and China, the neo-colonialists who look to pillage other countries for commodities to feed their ever growing nations.

These countries are corrupt to the core and so we are attracting what we deserve.

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