WASHINGTON, February 23, 2022 — The World Bank Group today announced the 52-month sanction of AIM Consultants Limited (AIM Consultants), a consultancy company based in Nigeria, and its Managing Director, Engr. Amin Moussalli (Engr. Moussalli), in connection with corrupt practices as part of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project.
The sanction consists of a 34-month debarment followed by an 18-month conditional non-debarment. The debarments make AIM Consultants and Engr. Moussalli ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group. They are the result of settlement agreements under which the company and Engr. Moussalli acknowledge their responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.
Following the initial debarment period, the sanction of AIM Consultants and Engr. Moussalli will convert to a conditional non-debarment. During this time, they will be eligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group as long as they comply with their obligations under the settlement agreement. Otherwise, the conditional non-debarment will revert to a sanction of debarment with conditional release, and the company and Engr. Moussalli then will become ineligible to participate in World Bank Group projects and operations until the conditions for release set out in the settlement agreement are met.
The project aims to reduce vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watersheds. According to the facts of the case, during implementation of two World Bank-financed consultancy services contracts for the provision of engineering design and supervision works in Enugu and Cross River States in Nigeria, AIM Consultants made improper payments totaling Nigerian naira 12,954,400 (approx. US$45,500) to project officials. The payments were through AIM Consultants’ Resident Engineers in both States. Soon after receiving payments from the project, AIM Consultants transferred money to the personal accounts of the two Resident Engineers for onward transmission to various project officials. All the payments were authorized by Engr. Moussalli. This constitutes a corrupt practice under the World Bank’s Consultant Guidelines.
The settlement agreements provide for reduced periods of debarment in light of Engr. Moussalli’s and AIM Consultant’s voluntary corrective action, cooperation, and admission of the misconduct. As conditions for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreements, Engr. Moussalli commits to undertaking corporate ethics trainings that demonstrate a commitment to personal integrity and business ethics, while AIM Consultants commits to implementing an integrity compliance program that reflects the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. In addition, any affiliate that Engr. Moussalli or AIM Consultants controls, directly or indirectly, will be required to similarly implement appropriate integrity compliance measures. Engr. Moussalli and the company also commit to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.
The debarments of Engr. Moussalli and of AIM Consultants both qualify for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.