NOCAL Audit, Not Severance Benefits

first_imgFollowing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s endorsement of the recommendation of the Board of National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) to pay severance benefits to the entity’s president and chief executive officer (CEO), Dr. Randolph McClain and other officials, an anti-corruption group has described the president’s action as “unfortunate and supportive of corrupt practices in the public sector.Central for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) last Friday during a press conference alleged that it was Dr. McClain’s “poor judgment” which had plunged the oil company into a serious financial crisis and as such, he and his colleagues do not deserve any lucrative benefits from NOCAL.Recently, President Sirleaf, addressing a press conference at her Ministry of Foreign Affairs office called for the immediate retirement of Dr. McClain and several others with severance pay to be approved by the Board of NOCAL.She did not mention how much money NOCAL’s board has allotted for McClain and his deputies as severance benefits neither did she say where the money would come from, with NOCAL teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.Mr. Anderson Miaman, acting executive director of CENTAL, said it is surprising that the president whose government has been stigmatized with corruption could endorse NOCAL board’s recommendation.Miaman suggested that the best thing President Sirleaf could have done was to order an immediate independent audit and an investigation to understand how millions of United States Dollars disappeared over the years from NOCAL.But, he said, he believes that the president was only interested in using taxpayers’ money to pay huge severance benefits to Dr. McClain and his collaborators.“What is even more baffling is the president’s decision to endorse NOCAL board’s recommendation to pay huge severance benefits to these very individuals whose poor judgment led to bankrupting the entity,” adding, “we take serious exception to her action and urge the president to rethink her decision.”Mr. Miaman said the most logical action would have been dismissals and the referral of McClain and his deputies to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).“We cannot continue to encourage misuse of the country’s resources by paying bonuses and benefits to individuals whose poor judgments lead to misuse of meager public resources on activities with no tangible benefits and impact on the lives of the people,” he stated.“We anticipated that the president would have forwarded senior officials and board members of the entity to the LACC to verify their assets and determine whether or not they illegally acquired wealth while serving in their respective positions,” Mr. Miaman complained.“That course of action is necessary to support efforts to fight corruption and ensure that public resources are judiciously expended and properly accounted for no matter who are involved.”NOCAL, he alleged paying fabulous benefits and travel allowances to a handful of Legislators and senior executives of the company in the name of compensations for countywide, local and international consultations on the Draft Petroleum Law of Liberia.“We are faced with the harsh reality of the institution’s bankruptcy and its inability to maintain its current workforce. If all the signs and recommendations coming from different circles of the public had been heeded, this embarrassing situation would have been averted,” Miaman stated.CENTAL is part of a consortium of civil society organizations committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in Liberia’ oil sector which recommended to the government that it should investigate spending by NOCAL during the consultation on the draft petroleum law.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SON OF WELL-KNOWN FORMER COUNCILLOR TO STAND FOR ELECTION

first_imgThe son of a former Donegal County Councillor is seeking to follow in his father’s footsteps.Election candidate John O’DonnellJohn O’Donnell has confirmed he will run as an Independent in the upcoming local elections.A native of Kilmacrennan, John is the son of the late Councillor Eddie O’Donnell and his wife Anne. A popular figure among young and old, O’Donnell will officially launch his campaign in The Lagoon, Termon on Friday, 7th February at 8.00pm.Everyone is welcome to attend the launch, which is an excellent opportunity for people to hear what John has to say and learn how, working together with the people of Donegal, he will be a force for change.A past pupil of Kilmacrennan N.S. and Mulroy College (formerly Milford Vocational School), John grew up in a busy political household, watching his parents work tirelessly for their constituents.This grounding in political life gave him a unique insight into the importance of strong political representation at a local level and he wants to see a return to an open door policy for constituents. Coupled with this, O’Donnell has a wealth of national and international business experience that belies the fact that he is still only in his early 30’s. He is keen to bring this drive, energy and enthusiasm to the political sphere – something, he believes, is severely lacking.O’Donnell’s vision for Donegal centres on addressing key areas which he feels successive governments have neglected. These include creating a viable future for farmers, facilitating business and entrepreneurship, protecting people and services, developing tourism and infrastructure, restoring and renewing communities and empowering young people through education, training and employment.Commenting on his decision to run, O’Donnell said: “I’m running as an Independent because I want to see a smarter approach to local politics, with more common sense solutions for the people of Donegal. I’m disappointed by the way successive governments have neglected and ignored the citizens they represent.“I know firsthand how businesses are struggling and failing because the country is failing business. I want to ensure farmers, young and old, are properly and fairly rewarded for the hard work they do. I believe we can do better for everyone, but we need to vote for change.”In particular, John is appealing to younger voters to take a stand against the way successive governments have continued to ignore their plight. “I know that young people are disillusioned, struggling to see the value or relevance of politics in their lives. That’s understandable. Across the board, people in power have let them down, putting personal gain before the best interest of the country.“But now is the time to act; to use your vote to empower change. We can only make the future better and fairer for all, by doing things differently today. And if we don’t vote for change, then how can we complain when things stay the same?”SON OF WELL-KNOWN FORMER COUNCILLOR TO STAND FOR ELECTION was last modified: January 30th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:John O’DonnellkilmacrennanLocal electionslast_img read more