The World Bank has suspended at least four Nigerian firms for engaging in procurement frauds.
One of the firms is Sargittarius Nigeria Limited, located at 22B Adebayo Doherty Road, Lekki Phase 1 Lagos. The second delisted company is Sargittarius Henan Water Conservancy Engineering Limited. Both firms share the same address and were sanctioned on the same date – 30 August, as contained in the official database of the World Bank.
They specialise in hydro-engineering and construction such as dam and waterworks construction, surface and underground water supply schemes, and erosion flood control.
Asbeco Nigeria Limited is the third company debarred on 25 May by World Bank. According to the public record, its office is located at 10 Effanga Mkpa Street, State Housing Estate, Calabar in Cross River state.
The fourth Nigerian firm sanctioned by the global financial institution just within four months is Maxicare Company Nigeria Limited. It was disqualified on May 19.
By this resolution, and under the agreement for mutual enforcement of debarment decisions, the firms are also prohibited from doing businesses with the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a specific period of time. The pact aligns with the resolution of the five international financial institutions signed on April 9, 2010.
Though the bank earlier sanctioned a few other local firms, those listed above were suspended this year.
Asbeco Nigeria Limited was particularly blacklisted due to corruption-related offences.
In a Statement of Accusations and Evidence (SAE) signed by World Bank’s Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer (SDO) Jamieson Smith, at the Office of Suspension and Debarment, the accused firm allegedly paid N2m to the project engineer of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to influence the award of an erosion control contract. Another N50, 000 was paid to the project cashier.
Asbeco also failed to respond to the allegation within the 90 days notice submitted to contest the corruption allegation.