IFI governance

Responding to people’s grievances by piloting an early solutions approach: Nigeria Lagos case

9 October 2014

Panelists: Eimi Watanabe (Inspection Panel Chair, WBG), Felix Morka (Executive Director, Social and Economic Rights Action Center, Nigeria), Ian Bannon (Practice Manager, Urban, Rural and Social Development GP, WBG), Alessandra Masci (Strategy Advisor on Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International), CHAIR:  Satu-Leena Santala (Executive Director for Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, WBG)


Finland ED:

Board welcomes pilot scheme. However no fundamental change in approach on the ways the Panel works.

Chairperson IP:

Pilot process – new initiative. Very special circumstances – outlined in document in Annex of Operating Procedures. To be applied selectively – only where there is an existing plan agreeable by requesters. Different therefore from mediation – as parties have agreed a way forward. IP therefore facilitates discussions.

Emerged as a result of long process of consultation with diverse stakeholders.

Last year 20th anniversary of Panel – first IO accountability mechanism. However also perhaps dated. Valid to expand tools available to encourage management and requesters to move to a more rapid resolution.

A pilot is a pilot – therefore implies collective learning. Learning will be reflected in independent evaluation to be run two years after establishment of pilot. Lagos will be one of the cases to be considered.

WB Management (Practice Management) – Ian Bannon Social Safeguards in Africa Team.

Urban project in Lagos- canal drainage. Prepare an access road and minor resettlement of Badia community.

Evictions were not part of the project design. However clause in agreement required that government use WB rules in resettlement. Perhaps unfortunate that clause was included as required Bank action.

Resettlement Action Plan – normally designed prior to foreseen displacement. Developed grievance mechanism.  93% of population have received compensation – Community will be eligible for vocational training.

WB hopes to use Badia case to inform future activities in large urban areas.

WB staff was enthusiastic in ability to play a part of a solution. Normally Inspection Panel is in a position of defensiveness. Not so in this case, the energy was much more positive.

In Nigeria squatting is considering an illegal act –thus no compensation required. WB makes no distinction between legal and illegal squatters.

No need to wait for process – able to react very quickly. On the grounds within weeks. Very difficult discussions with Lagos government.

More logical response to needs of community. Aware that, as a retroactive Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), numbers may need to be revisited. Thus created a comprehensive grievance mechanism.

Didn’t get everything right, however welcomed the pilot as a chance for positive engagement.

Amnesty International:

 Welcomes any attempts to provide early solutions to communities. Particularly focused on access to justice.

Forced evictions – 9,000 people evicted without notice. Houses destructions.  Other forced evictions linked directly to WB project.

Understand pilot is a test – understand it is not perfect, but concerned.

Case is quite complex.


  • AI agrees that were it not for WB’s support community would not have received any support. That said, that cannot be justification of violations and lack of remedy.
  • No restorations of livelihoods. Forced to live in another slum. People had been previously evicted and likely will be evicted again.
  • Bank nexus: project not directly financed by Bank. Lagos government did mention that people were moved in response to the project. Contractual agreement required Bank action.
  •  Compensation should have taken place in accordance with Bank safeguards.


Three problems:

1.Pilot lacks the capacity to set the balance between parties – Report ‘At the Mercy of the Government’ – issues with access to information. RAP not disclosed to communities.

2.Consultants charged with financial/ compensation analysis did not meet with communities. 1/3 lower than market value.

3.Preliminary consultation – community legal representative not allowed to participate.

After pilot begun (20/ 11)  – Government again reduced offer and was provided on a ‘take it or leave basis’. Important to highlight power context.

Government of Lagos has requested that communities sign an agreement to forego right to any further compensation – extremely problematic.

Policy of Pilot – (pending) very vague.

Panel is to present for use of the pilot. Government and communities must agree. Conditional agreement would require disclosure of RAP to communities, which never took place.

Communities were lead to believe that could exit process and register complaint at a later date, which was not the case.

Requesters did present some complaints while others did voice agreement.

Panel – as 8 of communities were satisfied Panel thought the agreement legitimate. Also Panel – action plan considered properly implemented. IA, however Action Plan in this case was not in compliance with safeguards.

Potential implication – Any mechanism below safeguards will induce/ incentivise borrowers and Bank to use pilot.


Felix Morka – Social and Economic Rights Action Centre – SECR

Seeking to maintain community right to remain. Badia has been under threat for quite some time. 2012 final eviction.

Both good and bad experiences with the Government. Agrees that community was evicted without notice.

Initially government in denial of eviction. Eventually government accept willingness to accept responsibility.

Became aware of Bank’s involvement. Took time on several occasions to discuss with communities the use of pilot process. In Nigeria the courts are useless and therefore the pilot process was seen as the only option.