On February 23, 2022, the World Bank Group announced that Nigeria-based consulting firm AIM Consultants Limited and its Managing Director, Amin Moussalli, were debarred from World Bank projects for 34 months followed by an 18-month conditional non-debarment for engaging in corrupt practices in connection with the World Bank-financed Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project. According to the World Bank, while providing engineering consultancy services under two World Bank-financed contracts, AIM Consultants made improper payments to project officials. The World Bank stated that the improper payments totaled to 12,954,400 Nigerian naira (approximately $45,500), and that all of the improper payments were authorized by Moussalli.
As part of the settlement with the World Bank, AIM Consultants and Moussalli acknowledged their responsibility for the improper conduct. They received reduced periods of debarment for admitting their misconduct, undertaking remediation, and cooperating with World Bank investigators. AIM Consultants and Moussalli will be ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks during the 34-month period of debarment. Once the debarment converts to a conditional non-debarment, Moussalli and AIM Consultants can participate in World Bank projects as long they comply with their obligations under the settlement agreement.
As a condition of release from debarment, Moussalli must take personal integrity and business ethics trainings, and AIM Consultants must implement a compliance program that reflects the principles in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. In addition, any affiliate that AIM Consultants or Moussalli controls is required to implement similar integrity compliance measures. As part of the settlement, Moussalli and AIM Consultants also committed to continue cooperating fully with World Bank investigators.