By Ben Eguzozie & Charles Abuede
African multi-lateral financial institution, African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has debarred Nigerian company, Sargittarius Nigeria Limited and its affiliates, Sargittarius Henan Water Conservancy Engineering Limited from participating in the bank’s projects for an 18-month period. The bank cited fraudulent practices by the firm and its subsidiaries.
The debarment takes effect from 28 July 2021. Sargittarius is a limited liability company registered in Nigeria, and provides a broad range of engineering services in the areas of hydro civil engineering, planning and development.
AfDB said an investigation conducted by its office of integrity and anti-corruption established that Sargittarius Nigeria engaged in fraudulent practices during tenders for the construction of water infrastructure in Ibadan, Nigeria, under the urban water supply and sanitation improvement project in Nigeria.
The urban water supply and sanitation improvement project is aimed at improving access to safe water supply and sanitation services in Ibadan and Jalingo, Nigeria. The project is co-financed by the African Development Fund (ADF), an entity of the AfDB group, and the Government of Nigeria.
The development bank also disclosed that the prohibition will render the company and its affiliates ineligible for the next 18 months from participating in the AfDB Group-financed projects.
The bank further stated that the debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.
According to the AfDB, Sargittarius Nigeria Limited, at the expiration of the ban period will only be considered eligible to only participate in African Development Bank Group-financed projects on condition that it implements an integrity compliance programme consistent with its guidelines.