The African Development Bank (AfDB) has debarred Maxicare Company Limited for 36 months for collusive and fraudulent practices. The AfDB announced the imposition of the ban on April 28, 2021 but with effect from February 23, 2021. Maxicare Company (Nigeria) Limited is a limited liability company registered in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the AfDB announced the ban after the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption investigations established that the company engaged in the said acts.
The investigations revealed that Maxicare Company Limited engaged in collusive and fraudulent practices during a bidding process for a tender. The tender was for the construction of weigh stations and supply of equipment. This was under the Transport Facilitation Program for the Bamenda-Mamfe-Abakaliki-Enugu Road Corridor. This road connects Cameroon and Nigeria.
Moreover, the debarment renders Maxicare Limited and its affiliates ineligible to participate in Bank Group-financed projects during the debarment period.
Cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks
Additionally, the debarment can also attract cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks. This is under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank. Other institutions include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.
Meanwhile, Maxicare Company (Nigeria) Limited will still have the chance to participate in Bank Group-financed projects. This will, however, be after the expiry of the debarment period. Nevertheless, it will be on the condition that it implements an integrity compliance program consistent with the Bank’s guidelines.
The Transport Facilitation Program for the Bamenda-Mamfe-Abakaliki-Enugu Road Corridor is aimed at increasing trade and strengthening cooperation. This is generally between the countries of the Economic Community of the Central African States and those of the Economic Community of West African States. And more specifically, between Cameroon and Nigeria.
Also, the African Development Fund, an entity of the African Development Bank Group co-financed the program. Meanwhile, this is not the first time the Bank is imposing sanctions on a company for such practices.
In 2014, the AfDB imposed a three-year debarment on China First Highway Engineering Co. Ltd. for fraudulent and collusive practices. In addition, the bank levied a financial penalty of USD 18.86 million on the Chinese frim. This was used to support anti-corruption projects on the continent.
Integrity and Anti-Corruption
Furthermore, the AfDB views corruption, fraud, and other sanctionable practices as highly inimical to the achievement of its mandate. AfDB endorses a multipronged approach to combating these harmful practices. This will help spur sustainable economic development and social progress on the continent.
Consequently, IACD uses proactive measures including risk assessments and sensitization programs to deter sanctionable practices. These measures also prevent their occurrence in internal corporate procurement issues. The sanctions also applied to projects financed by the Bank.
Meanwhile, the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption of the AfDB Group is responsible for investigating allegations of corruption. It also contributes to preventing and deterring fraud and other unacceptable practices in Bank Group-financed operations. “Bank Group Financed Operations” are internal corporate procurement issues and operations that the Bank Group finances.
IACD’s operational responsibilities further include risk assessments and employment of surveillance measures towards investigations.
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