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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Owolabi Bakre, Sarah George Lauwo and Sean McCartney

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the claim that Western accounting reforms, in particular the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the claim that Western accounting reforms, in particular the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) would enhance transparency and accountability and reduce corruption in patronage-based developing countries such as Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises the patron/clientelism framework to examine the dynamics of Western accounting reforms in the Nigerian patronage-based society, in which the institutions of governance and regulatory structures are arguably weak. The paper utilises archival data and interviews conducted with representatives of state bodies (elected politicians and officials) and professional accounting associations.

Findings

Results from two major reforms (the sale of government-owned residential properties in Lagos and the monetisation of fringe benefits for public officials) are presented. Despite the claim of the adoption of Western accounting standards, and in particular IPSAS 17, which requires full accrual accounting and the utilisation of fair value in property valuation, historical cost accounting appeared to have been mobilised to massively corrupt the process for the benefit of politicians, other serving and retired public officials and family members.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the current literature by providing evidence of the relationship between patronage, corruption and accounting in wealth redistribution in the patronage-based Nigerian socio-political and economic context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Sarah George Lauwo, Olatunde Julius Otusanya and Owolabi Bakre

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing debate on governance, accountability, transparency and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the mining sector…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing debate on governance, accountability, transparency and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the mining sector of a developing country context. It examines the reporting practices of the two largest transnational gold-mining companies in Tanzania in order to draw attention to the role played by local government regulations and advocacy and campaigning by nationally organised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with respect to promoting corporate social reporting practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a political economy perspective to consider the serious implications of the neo-liberal ideologies of the global capitalist economy, as manifested in Tanzania’s regulatory framework and in NGO activism, for the corporate disclosure, accountability and responsibility of transnational companies (TNCs). A qualitative field case study methodology is adopted to locate the largely unfamiliar issues of CSR in the Tanzanian mining sector within a more familiar literature on social accounting. Data for the case study were obtained from interviews and from analysis of documents such as annual reports, social responsibility reports, newspapers, NGO reports and other publicly available documents.

Findings

Analysis of interviews, press clips and NGO reports draws attention to social and environmental problems in the Tanzanian mining sector, which are arguably linked to the manifestation of the broader crisis of neo-liberal agendas. While these issues have serious impacts on local populations in the mining areas, they often remain invisible in mining companies’ social disclosures. Increasing evidence of social and environmental ills raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the regulatory frameworks, as well as the roles played by NGOs and other pressure groups in Tanzania.

Practical implications

By empowering local NGOs through educational, capacity building, technological and other support, NGOs’ advocacy, campaigning and networking with other civil society groups can play a pivotal role in encouraging corporations, especially TNCs, to adopt more socially and environmentally responsible business practices and to adhere to international and local standards, which in turn may help to improve the lives of many poor people living in developing countries in general, and Tanzania in particular.

Originality/value

This paper contributes insights from gold-mining activities in Tanzania to the existing literature on CSR in the mining sector. It also contributes to political economy theory by locating CSR reporting within the socio-political and regulatory context in which mining operations take place in Tanzania. It is argued that, for CSR reporting to be effective, robust regulations and enforcement and stronger political pressure must be put in place.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Olatunde Julius Otusanya and Sarah G. Lauwo

“Corrupt practices” is a recurring feature of media coverage. The paper seeks to encourage debates about the influence of institutional structures on agency to break away…

Abstract

Purpose

“Corrupt practices” is a recurring feature of media coverage. The paper seeks to encourage debates about the influence of institutional structures on agency to break away from methodological individualism. This paper aims to encourage reflections on the role of both the structures and actors which have shaped the continuous expansion of corrupt practices in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

Whilst recognising that deviant behaviour by some individuals is always possible, this paper has rejected methodological individualism and shows the value of locating anti-social practices within the broader socio-political and historical context. Within a socio-political framework, this study adopts the theories of critical realism, developmental state and globalisation to understand the relationship between social agency and society, focusing upon the institutional structures and the role of social actors.

Findings

The evidence shows that socio-political and economic development, politics, power, history and globalisation have continued to reproduce and transform the institutional structures and actors which have facilitated anti-social practices in Nigeria. The paper concludes that large sums of government revenue have been undermined by the anti-social practices of the Nigerian political and economic elite (both local and international), which have enriched a few, but impoverished most, Nigerians.

Practical implications

As a consequence of recurring corrupt practices in Nigeria, there is a pressing need for reform to curb these practices which have had, and continue to have, a serious effect on Nigeria and its future development.

Originality/value

It provides a framework for understanding and explaining the inter-relations of actors and institutional structures and the linkages and influences that have shaped the practices in Nigeria.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Olatunde Julius Otusanya and Sarah Lauwo

In addition to contributing to the supply side of corruption in Africa, the West has historically played a major role in laundering the proceeds. The Offshore Financial…

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1636

Abstract

Purpose

In addition to contributing to the supply side of corruption in Africa, the West has historically played a major role in laundering the proceeds. The Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) are characterised as jurisdictions that attract a high level of non‐resident financial activity. The purpose of this paper is to examine how senior political figures, their relatives and close associates have used OFCs in moving funds that may be a product of foreign corruption into Western countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper locates the role of OFCs within the political economy theory of globalisation to argue that mobility of capital has been promoted by a number of advanced countries and micro‐states that use their sovereignty and law‐making powers to create an environment conducive to anti‐social practices by the major corporations and the political elite. The paper uses publicly available evidence to illuminate the role played by offshore financial centres in facilitating elite money laundering practices.

Findings

The evidence shows that, in pursuit of organisational and personal interest, the offshore financial centres create enabling structures that support illicit activities of the political and economic elite from developing countries. The paper concludes that the establishment of money laundering laws and the creation of anti‐money laundering agencies had not brought about ethical conduct within the global banking systems.

Practical implications

It is impossible to quantify the volume of money laundered, but it has been estimated that money laundering may account for as much as 5 per cent of the world economy.

Social implications

Substantial amounts of illicit money undoubtedly flow out of developing countries. Combating money laundering is a key goal in all democracies, due to its corrosive efforts on the rule of law, economic development, democratic principles, and its serious consequences for people everywhere.

Originality/value

The paper examines predatory practices of the international financial industry in money laundering activities.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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