SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 20 – The World Bank has blacklisted six Chinese companies carrying out vital infrastructure projects in Nigeria, citing allegations of corruption as the rationale for the move.
The companies include China Railway Construction (International) Nigeria Company Limited, China Railway 18th Bureau Nigeria Engineering Company Limited, CCECC Nigeria Lekki (FTA) Company Limited, CCECC Nigeria Railway Company Limited, CRCC Petroleum & Gas Company Limited, and CCECC Nigeria Company Limited.
All the companies are very active in Nigeria, with ongoing or completed contracts for the construction of railways, highways, housing estates, airport terminals, municipal engineering, water resource, and hydro-power engineering projects for federal and state governments.
The World Bank announcement on its website accused the companies and several others around the world of violating the bank’s fraud and corruption policy.
Consequently, the six companies were debarred and declared ineligible to be awarded any World Bank-financed contracts for at least a year, between June 4, 2019 and March 3, 2020.
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.
The bank 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.
“The process is currently conducted in accordance with bank Procedure: Sanctions Proceedings and Settlements in the Bank Financed Projects.”
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.
Analysts suspect that the new move by the World Bank may be an extension of the US-China trade war.
It is widely known that US exerts immense influence on the World bank. The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American. The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.C., and work closely with each other.
Today’s Echo published a report shortly before the February presidential election on how the trade war between the two giants may hurt the Nigerian economy due to an increasing dependence on Chinese loans.
Most of Nigeria’s borrowing from China is coming from the Chinese Export-Import Bank (Exim) .
The following projects are currently being carried out by Chinese companies in Nigeria and financed by Chinese loans:
Mambila hydro-electric power plant – $4.8 billion
Railway modernisation coastal project (Calabar-Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Seaport segment) – $3.5 billion
Abuja mass rail transit project – $1.6 billion;
Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project (Lagos-Ibadan segment double track) – $1.3 billion
Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project (Kano-Kaduna segment double track) – $1.1 billion; and others – $6 billion.