The National Social Security & Welfare Corporation or NASSCORP rejects reports that it contributed a sum of US$1.4 Million to the Liberty Party for campaign purposes under the pretext of investing in the Cocopa Rubber Plantation or Nimba Rubber Incorporation (NIR) in Nimba County.
The denial comes amid ongoing probe here by the Liberian Senate of reports that the Corporation gave the US$1.4 Million to the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine thru the Nimba Rubber Incorporation then headed by Mr. Harrison Karnwea, now Vice Standard Bearer of the LP.
The LP has acquired fleets of twin-cabin 4-wheel drive pick-ups and several hundred motorbikes in readiness for start of official campaign on July 31for the October Presidential and Representative elections.
Liberty Party youthful Chairman Banjiman Sanvee, bragged recently in a chat with reporters that the party is prepared to outspend rival parties in the impending elections, stressing that the LP is desperate for the Presidency.
But NASSCORP Managing Director Dewitt vonBallmoos, clarifies in a press statement issued on Monday, 3July that the Corporation has no direct or indirect link to any political party in Liberia and will never be a part of any spending that is not fiscally prudent for its survival.
“Let it be truthfully declared and established that the National Social Security & Welfare Corporation is non-partisan and has no direct or indirect link to any political party in Liberia and will never be a part of any spending that is not fiscally prudent for the survival of the Corporation least to dish out money to a political party”, Mr. vonBallmoos rejects.
A rather facially upset vonBallmoos, surrounded by several senior officials in the conference room of the Corporation, reads from a prepared text, recounting that NASSCORP was established to administer Liberia’s pension administration with the mandate to collect contribution, payout benefits and invest into institutions for the sustainability of financial solvency as enshrined in 89.63 of both the New NASSCORP Act and PRC Degree 14.
Holding his bio-focal on his face with one hand and the other hand on the pile of prepared texts on the desk, the NASSCORP Boss explains that in fulfillment of said mandate, the Corporation with the authorization of its Board of Directors in August 2015 approved an investment in the amount of US$1.5 million equivalent in Nimba Rubber Incorporation for the rehabilitation of its Cocopa Plantation.
“NASSCORP’s investment involved the purchase of convertible debentures of NRI with a maturity of five (5) years which provides NASSCORP an annual interest (yield) of 12% on its investment”, he continues.
Mr. vonBallmoos says the Debentures also gives NASSCORP an added advantage or option of converting the facility into common stocks of the Corporation in the future, adding that the facility was disbursed in November 2016 to NRI at a ratio 80:20 in Liberian Dollars and U.S. Dollars, respectively. The Debentures are to be redeemed in full at maturity in U.S. Dollars, according to him.
He details that the Nimba Rubber Incorporation Management had approached NASSCORP two years ago with a proposal for financing the rehabilitation of Cocopa Plantation but the Corporation turned down the request due to lack of clarity of a comprehensive plan. However, he continues that a revised proposal from NRI which was approved in August 2016 sets out four (4) key priorities, including settlement of wage arrears, acquisition of new modern rubber processing plant, rehabilitation of plant infrastructure and establishment of a rubber processing facility.
Mr. vonBallmoos declines to take questions from the press after reading the statement, telling journalists, “Come and take your recorders.” Members of the press requested opportunity for questioning, but the NASSCORP Boss maintains, “The statement is self-explanatory” as he walks out of the conference room, instructing his communication director to distribute statement to the media.