EconomyNearly 20 Kenyan Firms Blacklisted by the World Bank and AFDB Over Fraud

Nearly 20 Kenya-based companies have been blacklisted by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), in less than two years, over fraud and quality concerns in projects funded by the multilateral lenders.

Recently, the World Bank blacklisted Africa Development Professional Group (ADP), a Kenyan consultancy firm that has undertaken several multimillion shilling projects for top government agencies over fraud.

The multilateral lender said an investigation conducted by its corruption-fighting unit had established that the Nairobi-based Africa Development Professional Group (ADP), which says it provides “consultancy and advisory services on management, investments, business solutions, corporate finance and business development” had engaged in fraudulent practices during a bank-funded project in Somalia.

“The (Somalia) project was designed to strengthen the staffing and institutional capacity of selected line ministries and central agencies to perform core government functions,” said the World Bank in a statement.

ADP and its affiliates have been debarred for 21 months and will be ineligible to participate in any World Bank-financed projects during the period.

AFDB Blacklists Kenyan Firms

Consequently, African Development Bank (AfDB) has also banned several Kenyan firms in recent months after it announced plans to scrutinize firms bidding for the multibillion-shilling projects funded by the lender in a bid to seal graft loopholes.

The bank hired quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects in the wake of financial scandals.

As a result, the lender banned nearly a dozen kenyan firms including Aerospace Aviation, Beta Trading Company, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, Eva-Top Agencies, Madujey Global Services, Mactebac Contractors Limited, Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited (“Techno Brain Kenya”), and Sony Commercial Agencies.

Others are inotec Co. Limited (Kenya Branch Office), Sino-Kenya Engineering Group Company Limited, Rockey Africa Limited, Reef Building Systems Limited (Reef), Ultimate Engineering Limited, Express Automation Limited and Kenya Power contractor Chint Electric.

Two individuals Mr Yuehua Bai and Mr Joram Opala Otieno (also Known as Mr Joram Opala) are also on the list.

The bank said the consultants will also review and edit operations, strategy, and policy-related proposals to ensure “alignment with bank strategy objectives, quality standards, readiness and compliance with bank policies.”

As part of its efforts to improve its cooperation with anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption (PIAC) last year negotiated and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with the Kenyan Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The MoU is set to serve as a framework for collaboration on corruption prevention, training and information sharing.

AfDB’s recent move to engage consultants is seen as meant to enable the bank to have a tight leash on projects it finances as they are expected to assist in the identification of problems related to the bank’s portfolio performance and service delivery, and promptly undertake appropriate action.

A ban from the AfDB over fraud concerns may attract similar actions from other multilateral development banks, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank.

The financial institutions, which are mostly owned and financed by governments, have been keen to curb corruption in their projects, which run into billions of dollars annually.

Read also; AfDB Forecasts East Africa’s Economic Growth to Rise to 4.1% in 2021.

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