Business Hilights
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Nigeria: Danger as W/Bank’s supported schemes handled by CCECC in trouble

Less than two months after the news broke that what a Chinese firm working in both Nigeria and Ghana charges to do similar jobs vary exponentially to the detriment of Nigeria, suggesting veiled undercurrent deals, the World Bank has blacklisted the same construction firm and five others from same country on grounds of dirty deals and fraud.

The statement coming from the procurement unit of the bank, and entitled ‘Procurement – World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms and Individuals,’ however said the six companies were among several other firms from different parts of the world that were sanctioned by the bank.

Fact checks showed that all the affected firms were accused of violating the bank’s procurement guidelines, and that they would no more be eligible to be awarded any World Bank contracts between June 4, 2019 and March 3, 2020.

Though it was not clear if the endless Lagos-Badagry expressway reconstruction and even several railway schemes being handled by some of the affected Chinese firms will survive the withdrawal of World Banks suspension, analysts say if the apex global lender maintains its latest stand, several infrastructure works in Nigeria may be grounded.

The affected Chinese companies, according to a statement currently on the World Bank’s website, are CCECC Nigeria Railway Company Limited, CRCC Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and CCECC Nigeria Company Limited.

Others are China Railway Construction (International) Nigeria Company Limited, China Railway 18th Bureau Nigeria Engineering Company Limited and CCECC Nigeria Lekki (FTA) Company Limited.

Business Hilights gathered further that firms involved in World Bank projects including contracts are obliged to adhere strictly to the guidelines, which stipulate a high level of ethics and frowns on all manner of fraud and corruption including bribery and misappropriation of funds.

Although the specific cases involving the blacklisted companies were not disclosed, the World Bank explained that the firms were given an opportunity to respond to allegations brought against them or continue to stand suspended in World Bank’s supported schemes worldwide.

According to the bank, “The firms and individuals listed below are ineligible to be awarded a World Bank-financed contract for the periods indicated because they have been sanctioned under the bank’s fraud and corruption policy as set forth in the Procurement Guidelines and the Consultant Guidelines (for projects before July 1, 2016); or through the World Bank Procurement Regulations for Investment Project Financing Borrowers (for projects after July 1, 2016).

“Such sanction was imposed as the result of (1) an administrative process conducted by the Bank that permitted the accused firms and individuals to respond to the allegations.

“Through July 2007, this process was conducted in accordance with the Sanctions Committee Procedures adopted on August 2, 2001.

“The process is currently conducted in accordance with bank Procedure: Sanctions Proceedings and Settlements in the Bank Financed Projects,. World Bank averred.