CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria / Eleme Fertilizer-01/Port Harcourt

IEFCL employees
Date Filed
April 11, 2018
Labor, violation of PS2, low wages, discrimination, safety
Case Status
Open - Compliance


Project Overview

In 2013 and 2018, IFC provided loans to Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd. (IEFCL, the company) to construct and expand a nitrogenous fertilizer facility in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The facility was constructed next to Indorama Corporation’s petrochemical facility. 




In April 2018 a complaint was filed with CAO by 134 IEFCL employees raising a series of concerns regarding the company’s labor and working conditions and use of security forces. Specifically, these concerns pertain to: (a) salaries/welfare; (b) discrimination; (c) unionization; (d) tax calculation and union dues withholdings; (e) discipline and treatment of employees who complained to CAO and/or who criticize management; (f) workplace safety, hazards, and hazard allowance; (g) healthcare coverage; and, (h) impacts associated with a July 2017 protest.



CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in May 2018. The CAO team conducted an assessment trip in September 2018. During CAO’s assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO facilitated dispute resolution process. In accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s compliance function. An assessment report is available at the below link.


In December 2019, CAO completed a compliance appraisal of the case. While the range of issues raised by the complainants are potentially serious, enhanced supervision by IFC subsequent to the July 2017 protest has considered the company’s approach to labor issues and security. Where gaps against Performance Standard requirements were identified, IFC documented implementation of corrective actions. However, while IFC supervision provides general assurance of the company’s PS2 performance, questions remain as to IFC’s response to allegations that the company has taken a retaliatory approach to workers who have raised grievances with the company. CAO concludes that this issue raises substantial concern regarding the application of PS2 to IFC’s investments and requires further investigation by CAO. CAO’s investigation will be limited in scope to IFC’s review and supervision of the company’s disciplinary procedures and approach to grievance handling, including its response to the specific grievances raised in the complaint. 




In June 2021, CAO finalized the compliance investigation report in relation to the Nigeria – Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited complaint 01. The investigation report is currently with IFC for formal response. IFC’s response is due by July 8, 2021.


Status as of June 22, 2021

Project information

Project Name & Number
Eleme Fertilizer 30967; Eleme Fertilizer II 40420
Manufacturing & Services
Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd.
Sub-Saharan Africa
Environmental Category
Includes two A loans (resp. US$150 M & US$120 M)

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed


  • Under Appraisal: Completed
  • Under Audit: In Process