China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has reacted to the move made by the World Bank to blacklist it, saying it was a case of mistaken identity.
In its rebuttal to the company’s appearance on the World Bank’s black book – a move that could suspend the company for nine months from World Bank contracts, CCECC responded that it was another construction company, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) that was referred to.
This was revealed in a statement which was released by the company.
“Our attention has been drawn to several publications alleging that CCECC Nigeria Limited, amongst other companies, have been blacklisted by the World Bank. As confirmed by the World Bank, it was another construction company, CRCC that was blacklisted. The company was blacklisted for violating the World Bank’s Procurement Guidelines during the prequalification and bidding process.
“The misconduct by the said company borders on submitting wrong information regarding personnel, equipment and experience during the prequalification and bidding process for a highway construction contract. This, according to the World Bank, and not corruption or fraud as sensationally reported by some media was the reason for the blacklisting.”.
A close observation: Contrary to the claim of CCECC, a closer observation of World Bank’s explanatory notes on the blacklisted firms confirmed CCECC Nigeria Limited inclusion on the list of blacklisted offenders.
No. 482 of the explanatory notes on pages 70 and 71 said, “This matter was resolved through a Settlement Agreement.
“China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Company Limited (CR23) and China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited (CRCC International), are debarred for nine months, to be followed by a 24-month period of conditional non-debarment.
“This period of sanction extends to all affiliates that CRCC, CR23, and/or CRCC International directly or indirectly control, with the exception of China Railway 20th Bureau Group Company, and its controlled affiliates, which are exempted.”
No place to hide: A World Bank source familiar with the process said the sanctions imposed on CRCC, by implication, “extends to all its affiliates and subsidiaries around the world it has direct and indirect control of, including CCECC and others in Nigeria. He also disclosed that the World Bank would not speak any further on the issue beyond the report on its website.”
The backstory: A Nairametrics report explained why 6 Chinese firms were blacklisted by the World Bank for engaging in corruption and fraud. The World Bank disclosed this in its publication titled ‘Procurement – World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms and Individuals.’
The companies listed were:
- China Railway Construction (International) Nigeria Company Limited (CRCINCL),
- China Railway 18th Bureau Nigeria Company Limited (CR18BNCL).
- CCECC Nigeria Lekki FTA Company Limited,
- CCECC Nigeria Railway Company Limited
- CRCC Petroleum & Gas Company Limited
- CCECC Nigeria Company Limited
While the specific cases involving the blacklisted companies were not disclosed, the World Bank explained that the firms were given an opportunity to respond to the allegations brought against them.
The firms are now ineligible for any World Bank-financed contract for at least nine months, between June 4, 2019, and March 3, 2020, as laid down in the bank’s guidelines.
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