The political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Mr. Simeon Freeman, has called for thorough investigation of the regime of Mr. Robert Sirleaf when he served as chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).He made the statement over the weekend in a press conference held in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.He said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed Mr. Sirleaf who he described as “a failed Wachovia banker” to head NOCAL, that he claimed he would have strengthened NOCAL’s weaknesses; attract American Investors to Liberia’s oil sector and make NOCAL internationally competitive.He said during Mr. Sirleaf’s tenure, the records showed that Mr. Sirleaf hired NOCAL’s Interim Management Team of 300; $7 million in its budget; brought in NOCAL’s Chief Operating Officer – Cllr. Althea Eastman Sherman – who should have been the first on the dismissal list without pay or bear one of the greatest responsibilities for the huge overspending at the firm. He also said Cllr. Sherman, who is Mr. Sirleaf’s best friend and a 1978 former classmate from CWA the Vice President for Finance and another Robert Sirleaf appointee – Karmo D. Ville – who ran the firm’s financial affairs and should have borne the greatest responsibility for the firm’s failure. He said these individuals mentioned are being empowered to transition a firm which, he alleged, Mr. Sirleaf ruined.He asserted that in order to boost NOCAL’s operations, Mr. Sirleaf should have reduced NOCAL’s workforce to 50 as part of his reorganizational plans, using his appointed chief operating and finance officers. Mr. Sirleaf should have reduced NOCAL’s wage bill drastically and overhauled its executive, removing several vice presidents who received fabulous salaries and benefits.“Madam Sirleaf on August 25, 2015 addressed the nation on the state of affairs at NOCAL. Certain declarations caught our attention: the immediate resignation of the vice president for Administration, Corporate Social Relations and Public Affairs; the establishment of an Interim Transitional Team comprising of the Chief Operating Officer, the vice president for Finance, the vice president for Technical Services, reduction of the total institutional workforce to 50 persons; and reducing the size of the board.“The three vice presidents who were asked to resign are regular appointees with no special attachments to Robert or Madam Sirleaf, they were not the core officers running the daily affairs of NOCAL and NOCAL’s failure can be squarely blamed on the 3 actors asked to transition the very firm they ruined,” Mr. Freeman said.He disclosed that it is unclear which of the persons were dropped from the board, but they are all confidants of President Sirleaf and Mr. Sirleaf. He named such confidants of the president as Mr. Seward Cooper, Chairman; Fred Bass Golokeh, Vice Chairman; Amara Konneh, member; Patrick Sendolo, Member; Joseph Howe, member; Ms. Jacqueline Khoury, member; and Peter Bonner Jallah, member. “Those who enjoyed less support from Mr. Sirleaf could have been dropped because, in President Sirleaf’s statement, she endorsed the board’s action and took the blame for NOCAL’s state of affairs, which is unclear what the mandate of the board was and why did the very board finally come to this position when it could have done this several years ago.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
It has been one month since the drainage works along the Parika Access Road on the East Bank of Essequibo (EBE) have caused a rupture at the side of the roadway. This rupture continues to expand, and until now, efforts have not been initiated to fix the mishap.Speaking with Guyana Times on Thursday, Chairman of the Parika-Mora Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Jaideo Sookhoo, explained that under the guidance of the Public Infrastructure Ministry, works were carried out by a private company to fix the main drainage system.He noted that this road is the main access road to some communities, and while the roadway has not been obstructed, the crack can cause the road to collapse, due to the absence of a support mechanism. Moreover, he said, the crack poses a danger to motor vehicles in the night, and can cause serious accidents.This publication was told that the road was recently upgraded and paved with asphalt. However, the rupture expanded and wooden planks were used to alert drivers to the danger.“A construction company was doing work at the main drain, and their machine (caused) the land to ‘pull’ and cause that. People are using the same road, but it is dangerous and can erode. They need to fix it, because it is dangerous. It is the only main access road for Parika Back, Naamryck and that area,” the Chairman stated.The damaged area along the roadway which has expanded and is now metres deepMeanwhile, one individual related that she was driving on the street a few days ago when she almost lost control from driving onto the fissure. At that time, the gap was just a few inches wide, but it has been expanding after several observations were made.“This road will sink or break off if they don’t fill the space, because it’s a few feet deep. Apparently I didn’t see it at first, and then I drive over and the car just swerved, and then there’s no light,” she stated.Guyana Times attempted to contact the Public Infrastructure Minister for a comment on the matter, but those calls went unanswered.Meanwhile, this is not the first exercise in recent times which has affected NDCs. Just recently, the Tuschen-Uitvlugt NDC was affected by the excavation of the Boeraserie dam by persons who were using the excavated material to fill a playground. After intervention from the Regional Democratic Council, those operations were halted.