Contract fraud: World Bank blacklists 6 Chinese firms in Nigeria

The World Bank has blacklisted six Chinese firms working in Nigeria.

According to an announcement on its website, it accused the companies and several others around the world of violating the bank’s fraud and corruption policy.

The six companies that were debarred and declared ineligible will not be awarded any World Bank-financed contracts for at least a year, between June 4, 2019 and March 3, 2020.

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.

A report by Premium Times, said it was not clear what specific infractions the companies committed, as there were no available details. No official of the World Bank in Nigeria Country office responded to calls on Sunday to seek for clarifications.

But, details on the bank’s website said the companies were accused of violating the provisions of the Procurement Guidelines, 1.16(a)(ii) bordering on fraud and corruption.

The policy is spelt out in the Procurement Guidelines and the Consultant Guidelines for projects executed before July 1, 2016; or through the World Bank Procurement Regulations for Investment Project Financing Borrowers for projects after July 1, 2016.

The bank’s policy requires borrowers, including beneficiaries of its loans, to observe the highest standard of ethics during the procurement and execution of bank-financed contracts.

In pursuit of this policy, the bank sees a corrupt practice as the “offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party.

Similarly, the bank sees the fraudulent practice as “any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain financial or other benefits, or to avoid an obligation.”

China Railway Construction (International) Nigeria Company Limited has registration No: N1000201600386. Its corporate office address is atNo.34, Amazon Street, Maitama, Abuja.

Also, it is the subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) established in November 2007 in Beijing, China.

At the moment, the company is involved in the construction of the 186 kilometres single standard gauge tracks of the Abuja-Kaduna Railway.

The project is part of the $8.3 billion (N2.5 trillion) federal government rail modernisation programme, whose contract was awarded in 2010 to replace the existing narrow gauge system.

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