-NOCAL denies US$1.2m gift to Legislators
The National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL has categorically stated that it has never given a cent to the Liberian Legislature to conduct county consultations.
NOCAL, in press statement issued in Monrovia on Monday, said it did not disburse funds to the House of Representatives for the purpose of holding the nation-wide consultations on the new Exploration Production Act of 2013.
NOCAL rejected insinuations and reports emanating from individuals and institutions to the effect that it disbursed either the amount of US$1.2 million or US$900 thousand to the House of Representatives to conduct the nation-wide consultations.
However, NOCAL clarified that it provided only technical support to the Legislature during the planning and holding of the consultations.
The statement quoted the company as reiterating its commitment to its core principles of transparency and accountability in discharging its statutory mandate.
The company also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the prudent management of revenues generated from the oil and gas sector.
About two weeks ago, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission invited Deputy Speaker Barchue to present a comprehensive report on the US$1.2M reportedly expended for the nationwide oil consultations.
The money, in question, was reportedly provided to the legislature by the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL for citizens’ inputs on the New Petroleum and Exploration Law of Liberia and the NOCAL Act of 2013 and other consultations.
Out of the total amount, it was alleged that US$1M was given to the House of Representatives, while US$200, 000 was given to the Liberian Senate.
But speaking to the press on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, Deputy Speaker Barchue said the budget for the nationwide consultations was US$900,000 and that, the amount was used accordingly, and ‘not US$1.2 or 1 million’ as circulated here.
He further clarified that the money to facilitate the nationwide tour was provided by the Government of Liberia, through budgetary means and not by the National Oil Company of Liberia as claimed by the Commission and in some quarters.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor