Liberia’s Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel McGill has sharply responded to the recently dismissed Environmental Protection Agency Executive Director Mr. Nathaniel Blama on the allegation that Minister McGill was briefed on the US$20 million deal that led to his dismissal.
Minister McGill cautions Mr. Blamato take full responsibility of his action and should stop shifting blames.
Speaking yesterday, August 06, at his residence along the Roberts International Highway, Minister McGill said he wouldn’t deny having discussion with Mr. Blama on the issues but the discussion did not reach the point to signing of deal or committing the government to company that he (McGill) did not know.
The presidential minister averred that it is impossible for one head of a government’s agency to commit the government to financial or any deal that has legal responsibility.
“The president makes decision based on what is right and normally I wouldn’t deny if I had prior knowledge about the deal because according to Mr. Blama, I was briefed but it does not qualify him to sign a deal on behalf government without the input of Finance and Justice Ministries. They are statutorily charged with these functions especially anything of legal and financial matters. I support anything legal that we as government can use to raise money but the fact is I have no knowledge neither the Ministry of Finance. I spoke with the Minister of Finance when the document relating to the deal came to the country through a foreign source. Yes indeed, there are conversations about the sector to see how Liberia can sell carbon hydrate or CO2Bit coins but to say we discussed and concluded, that’s far from the reality,” he said.
CO2BIT is part of an international dispersed group of technologists and philanthropists undertaking the oration and support of CO2Bit, a Shun Network Bashed Digital asset created as a mechanism to finance and promote the proliferation of sustainable carbon neutral energy generation projects and assets to enable evolving participation in global economy.
Minister McGill further stated that there have been several discussions on how the government can start a deal by giving out the carbon hydrate but the government is yet to find a suitable company for such deal.
According to him, he told President George Manneh Weah that he (McGill) talk to the Finance Minister as to whether he’s in the know of the deal but the Minister Samuel Tweah and Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean both said they have no idea of the deal.
He asserted that if he was in the know of the deal, it couldn’t be difficult to tell the president but Mr. Blama kept things in secret until foreign source brought the full deal to the Executive Mansion, that unfair and the president to his decision to serve as deteriorate to others.
Minister McGill narrated that the sector also involved the Forestry Development Authority but the authorities of FDA also were left out of the discussion, so that makes it difficult for anyone to understand the entire deal and creates shade.
He noted if Mr. Blama knew that others should be involved those sectors should have been involved in the initial discussion, “it is unfortunate that he finds himself in that situation, every contract, agreement and concession interaction, the Ministry of Justice must be involved. When the matter was brought to our attention, the Justice Ministry was contacted and the ministry told us that legal procedurals were not followed,” he said.
On August 05, President Weah dismissed Blama, Executive Director of Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Mr. Blama, who was recently reinstated by the President, was dismissed on Wednesday, August 5th for acts of fraud.
Mr. Blama on March 7 2020, reportedly unilaterally signed US$20million contract without the signatures of the Ministers of Justice and Finance contrary to the law and established governmental principles and procedures. Investigation conducted by the Ministry of Justice established that, Mr. Blama did not adhere to legal requirements, standard procedures regarding the selling of the Government of Liberia assets.
Mr. Blama challenged the government to prosecute him with evidence if he did any wrong. He had been in conversation with the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel McGill and the Minister of Finance concerning the agreement and they both expressed optimism that it would be a fruitful agreement.
“It’s a platform like the Green Climate Fund, like the Adaptation Fund, like the Global Environment Facility Fund – it’s the same kind of platform set up globally. We have had this discussion with the finance minister before, I’ve had the discussion with the Minister of State and they are aware,” he said.
He explained that he signed the agreement on March 8, though it was dated on March 07 before leaving for Switzerland where he later returned COVID-19 positive.