Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI



World Bank debars Ghanaian firm over bribes


October 2, 2013 | Will Green

The World Bank has debarred a Ghanaian company for paying bribes in deals connected with a $17.6 million urban sanitation project in Liberia.

Waste management company Zoomlion Ghana will not be eligible for any contract financed by the World Bank for two years, after the firm acknowledged misconduct in the Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation Project.

According to the World Bank the company “paid bribes to facilitate contract execution and processing of invoices”.

The bank said the debarment was part of a “negotiated resolution agreement” that acknowledged the company’s “cooperation and disciplinary measures against staff involved in the misconduct”.

As part of the settlement the company will need to demonstrate “full and satisfactory compliance with the World Bank integrity standards”. The sanction came into force on 24 September.

Leonard McCarthy, integrity vice president at the World Bank, said: “This is a case where a company under a World Bank investigation is demonstrating responsibility for wrongdoing by enforcing disciplinary action and committing to a new standard of integrity governing its operations.

“Promoting this type of corporate responsibility while holding companies accountable for wrongdoing is one of the strategic pillars of the World Bank’s anti corruption strategy.”

The Liberian sanitation project, costing $17.6 million, is designed to assist the Monrovia City Corporation in providing waste services and increase the volume of collected waste from around 30 per cent daily to 45 per cent.

Huge oil deposits discovered In Liberia

February 22, 2012

MONROVIA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — The African Petroleum (AP), an oil and gas exploration and development company in West Africa, announced on Tuesday that a potentially large accumulation of oil deposits had been found off the coast of Liberia. The discovery was made at National Oil Company of Liberia (NACOL) Narina-1 exploratory well drilled in Block LB-09… According to McClain, the process necessitating the tests for the oil’s discovery would take a pretty extended time. He told reporters that the country’s oil evaluation would indicate as to whether the deposits are in sufficient quantity to be commercially viable for production. NACOL said a period of additional 5 to 7 years is expected for the project immediately after the appraisals.

The discovery by the AP is said to have taken place in Block LB- 09 off the coast of Liberia. This block is one of the blocks being operated by the company under a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA). The PSA was negotiated by the executive branch and then later ratified by the legislature in 2008. The exploratory well is among several that have been drilled during the periods 2011 and 2012Read more.

Liberia: LPRC Ready For Probe

February 16, 2012

AllAfrica aggregates reports from Africa‘s news media. This is an article from the Liberian press. It is not a report by AllAfrica.

The resignation of Cllr. Negbalee Warner as chair of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) would have faded away as the private affair it is, except that it has degenerated into allegation trading. Mr. Warner says he resigned to protest impropriety within the LPRC; but the board thinks he is covering up his double-dealings. Besides, it is putting up a challenge for proof of impropriety, if any. The Analyst, reports.

The 9-man LPRC Board of Directors says while it does not dispute that the company faces challenges, business impropriety is not part of the challenges, and that it was ready to undergo any scrutiny, audit, or investigation to prove it.

If there is any impropriety, the board says, it is likely to be that perpetrated by former board chair, Cllr. Negbaleee Warner, whom it accused of engagement in conflict of interest, but who claimed his resignation relates to the management of the Japanese Oil Grant and the Motherwell Contract and financial management.

The board said while it respected Mr. Warner’s right to resign, it was necessary to establish the truth in order for the government, the Liberian people, and Liberia’s economic partners to know that the LPRC board and management comprised individuals of integrity and honesty who are guided by love of country.

It then expressed its willingness and preparedness to prove that all of its transactions were in accord with established guidelines for inter-agency collaboration, procurement guidelines and procedures, bilateral protocols, and government policies.

The board notes, thus, in the concluding statements of the press statement it issued yesterday under the signature of its Secretary General, Mr. T. Nelson Williams:

The Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) stands ready to undergo any scrutiny, audit, or investigation of its operations and especially the allegations of the former Chairman of the Board, Counselor Negbalee Warner.

We invite the General Auditing Commission, the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ministry of Justice, and any other Concerned Agency to probe the validity of Counselor Warner’s allegations…Read more.

Watchdog group warns of oil corruption in Liberia

Voice of America

By James Butty

A new Global Witness report says corruption is rampant in Liberia‘s oil sector even before any oil is discovered

The international watchdog group Global Witness says corruption is rampant in Liberia’s oil sector, even before any oil has been discovered.  In a report Monday, the group said government and business officials have been involved in bribery to get contracts approved.

Global Witness campaigner Natalie Ashworth said some government officials choose to “break their own laws.

There were three findings which highlight the problems.  First, we discussed evidence of the payment of lobbying fees. NOCAL, which is the National Oil Company, paid lobbying fees to the legislators to get oil contracts passed. The second is an inadequate legislative framework to protect communities and the environment and, thirdly, there is a lack of capacity by the National Oil Company and by the EPA, which is the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the environment sector,” she said.

Ashworth said the report calls on the government to investigate evidence of corruption in the oil sector.

“When it comes to the National Oil Company, we’re recommending a number of things.  One, we’re recommending that all the allegations that are in the report and in the General Auditing Commission audit of the National Oil Company need to be investigated.  We are also recommending that the power to regulate be taken away from the National Oil Company and given to a separate agency,” Ashworth said.

The report said the actions by some lawmakers to accept bribes are against Liberian laws.

“Liberia’s penal code makes specific reference to bribery, and the general auditor has deemed these lobbying fees to be bribes,” she said.

The report said Monrovia has made some promising improvements in the resource sector.  But, Ashworth said these changes have been poorly managed.

Christopher Neyor, president and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia, questions the timing of the global witness report, especially as Liberia prepares for next month’s presidential elections.

He said the government was already implementing some of the recommendations contained in the global witness report.

“Our position on this Global Witness report is clear. We are delighted that they have acknowledged that the president has appointed someone with a reformist agenda and they had earlier spoken with us and we had given them the outline of our agenda. So, basically, while we appreciate the input of Global Witness, just about all what they are recommending are things that we initiated and, not only initiated, we [are] implementing at the National Oil Company,” Neyor said.

He said, in a sense, the government agrees with much of the findings in the Global Witness report.

Neyor said there is nothing new about NOCAL paying members of the Liberian legislature lobbying fees to ratify oil contracts between 2006 and 2008.

“That again is nothing new; it’s been around for a while in the media. It has been debated and the debate had centered on the definition of the lobbying fee, or facilitation fee, or what you may call it.  There are some people who like to call it a bribe,” Neyor said.

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