The World Bank, Red Flags and the Looting of Nigeria's Oil Revenues

by Nicholas Hildyard

first published 20 October 2018

The World Bank has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in Seven Energy, an oil and gas company operating in Nigeria. Months before the first investment was made, the then Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank alleged that the company's flagship contract involved operating a scheme that was looting billions of dollars in state revenues. A number of the people associated with the contract are now either on the run or charged with money laundering.

The World Bank insists that it conducted "comprehensive due diligence" prior to investing. But, given what was known at the time and what has emerged since, would you have invested if you had been working at the World Bank and tasked with undertaking the due diligence? What does the investment tell us about the Bank's due diligence proceedures?