World Bank suspends Nigerian firm, MD for five years over ‘corrupt practices’

The Cable

World Bank Group says it has suspended SoftTech IT Solutions and Services Ltd. (SoftTech), an information technology solutions company based in Nigeria, for 50 months over corrupt allegations in the National Social Safety Nets Project.

The global institution also announced a 60-month debarment of Isah Salihu Kantigi, the company’s managing director.

World Bank said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to the Bretton Wood Institution, the debarments make SoftTech and Kantigi, a Nigerian national, ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the bank.

“They are the result of settlement agreements under which the company and Kantigi acknowledged their responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment,” the statement reads.

“The project is designed to provide access to targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system. According to the facts of the case, as an individual consultant, Mr. Kantigi made “appreciation” payments to project officials as a reward for his receiving a Bank-funded consultancy services contract. 

“Mr. Kantigi also entered into an arrangement with other individual consultants and facilitated similar payments by them to project officials. This constitutes a corrupt practise under the World Bank’s Consultant Guidelines.

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