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World Bank Blacklists 18 Nigerians, Firms



By Adedapo Adesanya

The World Bank said it blacklisted 18 Nigerian individuals and firms for engaging in corrupt practices, fraud and collusive practices in its 2021 fiscal year.

This was disclosed by the global lender in a new report titled World Bank Group Sanctions System FY21.

It further stated that the debarments were made by the World Bank Sanctions Board, World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The debarments made by AfDB were recognised by the World Bank, making the affected firms to be barred under the cross-debarment policy.

World Bank Group’s David Malpass stated that the bank had granted over $157 billion to assist developing countries, as he emphasised the need for integrity and transparency standards in public finance.

“Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed more than $157 billion in critical assistance to developing countries. The crisis has required us to be rapid and innovative in mobilising this historic support.

“Yet, for these resources to have the needed development impact on the hundreds of millions of people who live in extreme poverty, we must ensure that resources are used efficiently, effectively, and for their intended purposes. And that means remaining vigilant to the scourge of corruption and ensuring that we promote the highest integrity and transparency standards in public finance,” Mr Malpass said.

He noted that some of the consequences of corruption could be devastating to people and their communities.

“The negative impacts of corruption on lives and livelihoods are well known. Corruption diverts scarce development dollars from the people who need them most and corrodes the systems and services that are integral for reducing extreme poverty,” Mr Malpass said.

Based on the World Bank Sanctions Board’s decision, Mr Elie Abou Ghazaleh and Mr Fadi Abou Ghazaleh, alongside their firm, Abou Ghazaleh Contracting Nigeria Limited, were debarred for six months for collusive practices.

Based on the decision of the World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, a Nigerian firm, Swansea Tools Resources, was debarred for fraudulent practices for two years and 10 months.

Referred to under Sanctions Case No 651, it was disclosed that the firm misrepresented its past experience in its bid for a road maintenance contract.

Another Nigerian firm, Juckon Construction and Allied Services Nigeria Limited was debarred for corrupt practices for three years. Referred to under Sanctions Case No 649, it was disclosed that the firm made improper payment to a public official.

A Nigerian, Ms Okafor Glory, was debarred for fraudulent practices for four years, while the firm involved, Unique Concept Enterprises, was debarred for five years for the same reason.

Another Nigerian firm, Asbeco Nigeria Limited, was debarred for five years for corrupt practices.

The matter which involved Ms Glory and the firm, Unique Concept Enterprises, was presented under Sanctions Case No 691.

Based on the World Bank’s Sanctions Board Decision, A.G. Vision Construction Nigeria Limited was debarred for fraudulent practices and collusive practices for four years and six months.

Not included in the report is a recent debarment of a Nigerian consultant, Mr Salihu Tijani, who is a consultant for the National Social Safety Nets Project, a project designed to ensure cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.

Mr Tijani was barred for 38 months for engaging in corrupt practices.

Aside from the firms mentioned so far, there are some firms that were debarred by other multilateral organisations under cross-debarment, which makes them debarred by the World Bank.

Sangtech International Services Limited, Sangar & Associates (Nigeria) Limited, Mashad Integrated and Investment Co Limited, and Medniza Global Merchants Limited were debarred by the AfDB for two years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

ALG Global Concept Nigeria Limited, Abuharaira Labaran Gero, Qualitrends Global Solutions Nigeria Limited, and Maxicare Company Nigeria Limited were debarred by the AfDB for three years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

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