SIX Chinese companies operating in Nigeria and working on several major development projects have been blacklisted by the World Bank over alleged fraud and corruption that bars them from getting certain international contracts.
According to the World Bank, CCECC Nigeria Railway Company, CRCC Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and CCECC Nigeria Company, China Railway Construction International Nigeria Company, China Railway 18th Bureau Nigeria Engineering Company and CCECC Nigeria Lekki Company, all have cases to answer. They were among several firms from different parts of the world that were sanctioned by the bank.
They were accused of violating the global bank’s procurement guidelines, would not be eligible to be awarded any World Bank contracts between June 4, 2019 and March 3, 2020. Companies 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. It further disclosed that some of the firms were sanctioned as a result of cross-debarment in accordance with the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions dated 9 April 2010.
A World Bank spokesman said: “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.”
As of July 1, 2011, the decisions had been made effective by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank. The World Bank added that it might apply other actions to firms and individuals that might not result in debarment.
The period of ineligibility of any of the sanctioned companies also extends to any firm directly or indirectly controlled by them, according to the World Bank. Efforts to get specific details of the allegations tabled against the six Chinese companies were not successful as of the time of filing this report.