The Liberian integrity group, Center for Transparency and Accountability calls on President George Manneh Weah to reverse the illegal appointment of Mr. Gabriel Nyenkan as Head of Secretariat of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative or LEITI.
In a press statement issued here Tuesday, 10 September this would allow the Multistakeholders Steering Group (MSG) to independently recruit a new Head of Secretariat for LEITI and other key staff to help restore the institution’s sanctity and declining image.
CENTAL notes that LEITI has been and remains a key pillar of Liberia’s integrity system and must be allowed to independently play such critical role, moving forward.
Mr. Nyenkan, accompanied by armed police, forcibly took office at LEITI in 2018, following his appointment by President Weah in flagrant violation of Chapter 6.3d of the LEITI Act of 2009.
Section 6.3d of the LEITI Act says, “The power to recruit the Head of Secretariat, Deputy and other staff members of the LEITI Secretariat therefore lies with the MSG, which should comprise of members of the legislature, CSOs and the Executive.”
Since his ascendency, the integrity group says its attention has been drawn to continuous negative developments at the LEITI that have undermined the entity’s independence and lowered stakeholders’ confidence in its activities and processes.
“Since the appointment of the current leadership, against Chapter 6.3e of the LEITI Act of 2009, LEITI has been engulfed by controversies and gross underperformance. The illegal change in leadership and institutional brain drain, caused by undue significant changes in personnel, resulted to the institution’s failure to publish its report for the fiscal period ending June 2016 within the 1 July 2018 deadline”, the statement reads.
CENTAL further observes that as a consequence, Liberia’s membership with the Global Movement was suspended in September 2018.
“Disturbingly, also, at a recent news conference, a visiting Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) delegation said Liberia risks being delisted from the group’s process if ‘significant corrective measures’ are not implemented in a timely manner to revive the institution and improve governance of the Extractive sector”, CENTAL warns. Press Statement