The World Bank, Red Flags and the Looting of Nigeria’s Oil Revenues
The World Bank has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in Seven Energy, an oil and gas company operating in Nigeria.
Months before the first investment was made in 2014, the then Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank alleged that the company’s flagship contract involved operating a scheme that was looting billions of dollars in state revenues.
A number of the people associated with the contract are now either on the run or charged with money laundering. Seven Energy has distanced itself from those on the run, saying the fugitives had no involvement in the running of the Company since November 2011.
The World Bank insists that it conducted “comprehensive due diligence” prior to investing.
But, given what was known at the time and what has emerged since, would you have invested if you had been working at the World Bank and tasked with undertaking the due diligence?
What does the investment tell us about the Bank’s due diligence procedures?
Do they comply with international anti-money laundering rules and regulations?
As things currently stand, the Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is a major shareholder in a company that has defaulted on its debts and is claimed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in court pleadings to be partly owned by two suspected criminals who are alleged to have used Seven Energy as a vehicle for laundering stolen oil funds.
Quite where that later development places the World Bank is one for the lawyers. But, from a lay man’s perspective, it is surely not unreasonable to conclude that, should the allegations be proven, the IFC might find itself accused of having profited from money laundering and, thus, of unlawful enrichment.
The report can be accessed on https://www.recommon.org/eng/the-world-bank-red-flags-and-the-looting-of-nigerias-oil-revenues/ or https://goo.gl/5b2WyX
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