AfDB, W/Bank blacklist 20 Kenyan Firms

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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, according to an official statement seen by APA in Kigali last Friday.

Nairobi-based consultancy firm Africa Development Professional Group (ADP) is the latest firm with Kenyan links to join the financiers’ blacklist after the World Bank banned it for alleged fraud.

The World Bank recently said an investigation conducted by its corruption-fighting unit had established that ADP had engaged in fraudulent practices during a bank-funded project in Somalia.

“According to the facts of the case, ADP recklessly omitted the disclosure of a conflict-of-interest relationship when submitting a proposal for a contract under the project, which is a fraudulent practice,” said the World Bank.

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.

ADP says that it provides “consultancy and advisory services on management, investments, business solutions, corporate finance and business development”.
The firm also says it has undertaken several multi-million shilling projects for government agencies.
Several other Kenyan firms have been banned by the AfDB in recent months, turning the spotlight on how local firms bid and clinch lucrative tenders with the two multilateral lenders.

A spot check on the  AfDB website shows some of the recently banned companies by AfDB based in Kenya include 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.

Arising from the huge number of Kenyan firms that have been blacklisted, the AfDB recently revealed plans to hire quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects.

Under a new regime, Kenyan firms bidding for the multi-billion shilling projects funded by the AfDB are set to face more scrutiny as the lender moves to seal graft loopholes.

“Bank’s portfolio in the region is facing a number of challenges and requires close monitoring,” said AfDB in an internal document seen by the press.

"The consultant will participate in country/regional meetings to review project and  portfolio-related reports, including but not limited to project concept  notes, project appraisal reports, project completion reports, country  portfolio performance reviews reports.”

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 will serve as framework for collaboration on corruption prevention, training and information sharing,” said AfDB then.

AfDB’s recent move to engage consultants is seen as meant to enable the bank have a tight leash on projects it finances.