Nigeria: ANEEJ Reacts to World Bank Investigation

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has urged the World Bank to change its workplace policy after an investigation found that staff members of the bank were pressured to alter data on Doing Business report.

World Bank leaders, according to independent investigators, placed ‘undue pressure’ on staff members to alter data to inflate the rankings for China and Saudi Arabia in 2018 and 2020 editions of the report.

The bank said it would discontinue the Doing Business report in the wake of the investigation, which was carried out by WilmerHale law firm.

WilmerHale’s report concluded that the World Bank Chief Executive Officer at the time, Kristalina Georgieva, and the office of the then World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, pressured staff members to change data on China to support Beijing’s ranking in the Doing Business report.

However, Georgieva, who is the current Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), described the findings of the law firm as ‘false and spurious’.

In his reaction to the findings, the ANEEJ Executive Director, David Ugolor, called for sweeping policy reforms and total overhaul of the World Bank’s operational system to forestall future occurrence of such irregularities.

He commended the audit firm for the thoroughness in their investigations and the current management of the bank for their courage in instituting and publishing the report and taking action.

‘We are pleased with the internal mechanism of the bank that led to the independent investigations and the outcomes’, he sdaid.

‘The bank will need to take a step further to sanction all those responsible for the scandal as that did not come out clearly in both the audit report and the bank’s response’.

Ugolor urged the World Bank to change its employee practice policies in terms of assessing global businesses and investments.

‘We also urge the bank to commence the promotion of a vision of the economy where the state plays a critical role in ensuring that the private sector puts people and planet before profit’, he added.

Source: ANEEJ 

Photo source: World Bank


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