My next lesson in the culture of corruption came at the Shell “year end celebration” at the Eko Hotel in early December 2012 (it is understandably not PC to have a Christmas Party in a country that is half Muslim). The invitations stated that the party would start at 5 pm and I arrived a little “late”. I found that there was almost no one there and the doors to the banquet hall at the Eko were still locked. Fashionably late in Nigeria is not arriving at 5:15 for a party that starts at 5:00 pm but is arriving about 8:00 pm. I met another Shell expat and we chatted while we waited for the doors to be unlocked.
I related the story of my illegally imported car to him. My colleague told me that Shell’s contract with the MPS contractors actually required that they provide vehicles that were less than one year old and that the vehicles used to be inspected for safety by Shell but someone had stopped the safety inspections by Shell. The Shell Code of Conduct was starting to seem pretty empty when someone could get away this but as the saying in the Ozarks goes “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”