This paper uses ordinary least squares with firm effects and Probit regression models to investigate the determinants of firm performance and the likelihood of firms to pay bribes. Results for the manufacturing firms in Nigeria show that skilled workforce, exports, foreign ownership and capital investment influence firm performance. Conversely, poor electricity delivery and difficulty obtaining finance impede firm performance. Total sales and time spent dealing with government regulations increase the likelihood of firms to pay bribes. Surprisingly, foreign firms are as much likely to pay bribes as domestic firms. Policy implications from the findings are important considering that the manufacturing sector assumes an important role in the Lewis theory of economic development.