Liberian contract was won through competition — Zoomlion
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyapong, has denied allegations that the company paid bribes to secure the Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation (EMUS) project financed by the World Bank.
He said the ban placed on the company by the bank had been largely misunderstood.
According to Mr Agyapong, the contract in Liberia was won on a competitive international bidding and not through the payment of bribes as some people had chosen to interpret the company’s recent ban by the World Bank.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited has been banned for two years by the World Bank for alleged bribery in Liberia.
The two-year ban, which took effect on September 24, 2013, consequently, disqualifies Zoomlion from securing and executing any contract financed by the World Bank Group for the next two years.
But, Mr Agyapong stated that ‘Zoomlion wants to put on record that the Liberian contract was won through competitive international bidding organised by the World Bank, and the tenure of the contract had in fact been extended to December 2014.
He explained that the problem that led to the ban was related to infractions by the local management of the project without the approval of the management of Zoomlion.
‘The Zoomlion Group wishes to point out that it had already recognised the enormity of the misconduct of its officer, and taken swift and decisive action to address it long before the media reportage and commentary’, he stated.
Mr Agyapong also said that the World Bank had recognised and appreciated the timely handling of the issue by the company and had consequently commended it for showing leadership by accepting the wrongdoing.
‘This is a case where a company under a World Bank investigation is demonstrating responsibility for wrongdoing by enforcing disciplinary action and committing to a new standard of integrity governing its operations’, the World Bank Integrity Vice-president, Mr Leonard McCarthy had said.
‘As a good corporate organisation, we will not do anything to tarnish the image of this country or shelve corrupt practices’, Mr Agyapong assured.
‘We intend to do whatever it takes to assure the World Bank, other development partners, the government and all our clients of our uncompromising commitment to doing business in an environment devoid of corrupt and unethical conduct’, Mr Agyapong said.
Mr Agyapong indicated that Zoomlion had corporate standards and values, which all its subsidiaries across Africa were expected to comply with.
By Naa Lamiley Bentil/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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