World Bank bars tech firm and MD from ‘appreciation payments’ to project leaders


The World Bank on Wednesday expelled a Nigerian technology company and its managing director for corrupt practices related to a project in Nigeria.

SoftTech IT Solutions and Services Ltd. (SoftTech) was banned for four years and two months, and its chief executive Isah Salihu Kantigi was banned for five years. Both SoftTech and Kantigi are ineligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed projects and operations during the respective debarment periods.

According to the World Bank, Kantigi, acting as a consultant, made “appreciation” payments to project officials as a reward for winning a consultancy services contract. Kantigi has also assisted other consultants in facilitating similar payments to project managers, which constitutes a corrupt practice within the meaning of World Bank guidelines for consultants.

SoftTech, acting under the direction of Kantigi, served as the channel through which he and the other individual consultants made payments to the project managers, the World Bank noted.

The $1.8 billion World Bank-funded project was designed to provide access to targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households as part of an expanded national social safety net system.

As part of the settlement, Kantigi has pledged to complete corporate ethics training that demonstrates a commitment to personal integrity and business ethics. SoftTech is committed to implementing a corporate ethics training program and code of conduct that reflects the principles set forth in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelinessaid the World Bank.

In addition, any affiliate controlled by Kantigi or SoftTech – directly or indirectly – will be required to similarly implement a code of conduct and corporate ethics training program.

The exclusion is eligible for cross exclusion by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank.

A list of all World Bank Excluded Entities and Individuals is here.


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