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Enron Subsidiary Azurix In Corruption Scandal in Ghana


In March 2000, the World Bank cancelled a $100m water project loan because of corruption concerns. Ghana has also been called upon to pay $800,000 for the costs of preparing the defunct project.

The UK's Department for International Development also cancelled a $30m rural water project.

The company Azurix, an Enron subsidiardy, which which was awarded the contact on a 'non-transparent basis', Enron subsidiary Azurix, denies press allegations that the company paid a $5m bribe to senior officials to secure the contract.

Peter Harrold, the bank's country director, who informed the government of its intention to kill the loan, said: "There were suspicions of corruption, and a draft schedule of payments by Azurix showed a Dollars 5m upfront payment."

The recipient was not specified, though Azurix executives, who deny bribery, said the payment was to the water company for taking over an asset.

The bank was also concerned about the cost of the water, which, at 95 cents a cubic metre, was at least one-third more expensive than the average in the capital area. After the loan was cancelled, Enron pulled out. Though five other water companies entered the open competition, Azurix did not.

This development was said to anger the Enron chairman Kenneth Lay who as a way of making contact with senior officials from the institution, and advancing its own agenda, committed Enron to financing a survey of the future of the World Bank by the Center of Strategic and International Studies. Lay was co-chairman of the panel and drafted the survey.


References
Financial Times  [Publication date: 12/2/2002] 'Enron: over there and overpaying' by THOMAS CATAN, STEPHEN FIDLER, KHOZEM MERCHANT, GWEN ROBINSON and ROBERT WRIGHT
[ Date URL accessed: 25/3/2002 ]

Africa Energy & Mining  [Publication date: 29/3/2000] 'Rocky Ride for Enron'
[ Date URL accessed: 28/3/2001 ]

Africa Confidential  [Publication date: 17/3/2000] 'Ghana: World Bank turns off the taps on water project , 17 March 2000'
[ Date URL accessed: 25/3/2002 ]

'WEST AFRICAN CONFERENCE CIVIL SOCIETY AND ECONOMIC POLICY'
   http://www.diakonia.se/files/Eng-Conference%20report%20Final.pdf
[ Date URL accessed: 5/5/2004 ]


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