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NOCAL denies holding secret meeting

The interim management team of the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL, has clarified that it has not called nor participated in any secret meeting as has been wrongly reported.

In a statement issued Monday, the interim management team also said it had never offered bribe, nor does it plan to offer bribes or illegal payments to any of its stakeholders, including members of the Liberian Legislature.

“The Interim Management Team of the National Oil Company of Liberia maintains zero tolerance for giving and or taking bribes. We do not have funds for illegal or any non-essential expenditures. Hence the reason we sought and continue to engage the government for assistance with the redundancy payouts for our former employees,” the statement read.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of NOCAL, Counselor Seward Cooper said fall in the price of cruel oil on the global market has caused serious fiscal difficulties for the institution. Cllr. Cooper said as a result, the company is left with no options other than putting in place a company-wide restructuring plan to include personnel and related administrative and operational adjustments that could significantly reduce the entity’s overhead costs.

NOCAL’s financial stability has come under public scrutiny over the past month with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf publicly declaring that she is awaiting an audit of the entity’s finances to take an informed decision moving forward. But she was also quick to admit during a radio talk show Conversation with the President, that falling oil prices has also played a role.

Addressing NOCAL’s management and staff Friday, August 21, at a general staff meeting, Cllr. Cooper said despite the best efforts of Board and Management to put in place several austerity measures to manage the situation, the continuing crumbling oil prices have severely undermined NOCAL’s capacity to meet its operational and personnel obligations.

By Ben P. Wesee

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