The opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to constitute an independent ad-hoc committee to investigate those who reportedly misapplied ‘millions of United States dollars’ at the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL.
The CDC said it is not just sufficient to force heads and other key players of NOCAL, including its President/Chief Executive Officer, Vice Presidents into retirement and set up an interim team to spearhead the entity, but the President must take gigantic step by probing those who once served the institution since its creation by an act of the Liberian Legislature.
The party’s Chairman, Nathaniel McGill told this paper, via mobile from the Washington DC, United States Monday, that he was appreciative of the president for her action, but forceful retirements were not enough, and that the Liberian people would not happy if those who reportedly mismanaged the NOCAL funds went free without investigation.
Mr. McGill emphasized the need for the President’s son, Robert Allen Sirleaf, to also submit to the investigation, and that such investigative should be headed by someone from the civil society with good reputation in the eyes of the public.
He noted that results of the investigation must be submitted to the Justice Ministry for action. “It is not just dismissing them and they go with the stolen monies; the key factor that we at the CDC want is for all key players at NOCAL since its establishment, which include the president’s son, Robert Sirleaf, must all answer questions as to how the Liberian people monies vanished in thin air,” he said.
According to him, it was regrettable and appalling, despite the high level of poverty unwarrantedly inherited by Liberians, for a few group of people to corrupt such huge amount…, and the president only forced them to retire – that’s unacceptable in this contemporary time and age; and interestingly, the Congress for Democratic Change will not take this likely. They must account or be prosecuted,” he said.
The CDC chairman warned that gone are the days when government officials stole public funds and went with impunity, stressing that the CDC will champion the cause to ensure that the rightful measures are erected or the legal battle will be pursued.
McGill said NOCAL was considered a source that could have rescued the country from its financial crisis, but it later became clear that the institution, with so many vice presidents at the time, was a “ welfare center” that was heading in the wrong direction ( bankruptcy).
Recently, several officials of the Company tendered in their resignations as the company sinks deeper into financial crisis, while its President and CEO, Dr. Randolph McClain, heads for retirement. Their resignations came just days after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf endorsed the company board’s Sustainable Action Plan or SAP, aimed at restructuring and reducing the number of employees. The Vice President for Administration, Mrs. Vida Mensah, acting Vice President for Corporate Social Relations, Mr. Pete Norman and Vice President for Public Affairs, Mr. Lamini A. Waritay and the President of the Company tendered in their resignations and retirement.
Their departure also come just hours before the company announced an interim management team headed by Cllr. Althea Sherman, Chief Operating Officer. Other members appointed by the Board of Directors to the Interim Transitional Management Team are the Vice President of Technical Services, Mr. Rufus Tarnue, and Vice President for Finance, Mr. Karmo Ville.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Edited by George Barpeen