National Bureau of Concession (NBC) has announced how elated (pleased, happy) it has become, thanks to the level of cooperation it now receives from government institutions whose functions, often have overlapped (extended beyond, been related to) theirs, in the past.
Moreover, concessionaires have themselves become involved and more accommodating in eliminating much of this government’s undue waste—as in effort, time and money—associated with keeping concessions honest and compliant (obedient, doing what they are legally bound to do).
NBC is a government agency responsible to monitor and evaluate concessionaires in making sure that concessions live up to their agreements, as they have laid out in their contracts.
In a recent Daily Observer interview, NBC Acting Executive Director, Dixon Yarsiah, announced that they are happy that concession-granting entities in government have agreed to collaborate and cooperate with the NBC in an effort to eliminate duplicating functions while maintaining cohesion and effectiveness in evaluating (watching and weighing) companies that fall in the ‘concession’ category.
In the past, Mr. Yarsiah explained, “concession granting entities like the Ministries of Agriculture, Lands, Mines and Energy and the National Investment Commission (NIC) have been caught in a fight over the same monitoring and evaluating functions; that created a conflict in the national government’s operations,” he pointed out.
We had a situation in which an NBC visit to a concessionaire would be followed a few days later by some other concession-granting entity; unfortunately, for the same purpose!
We are happy that all government institutions now look only to the NBC for such functions.”
Commenting on the importance of such an arrangement, the NBC boss said that government can now engage concessionaires directly and insist that they live up to terms and agreements spelled out in their contracts.
NBC has the expertise and the technical know-how to monitor companies, he said.
“Following the festive season, we will begin monitoring all concessions to ensure that jobs, education, healthcare and other social responsibilities and benefits stipulated in their contracts, are adhered to in the coming year.
“The forest sector is a huge arena in which the government is losing millions of dollars; we have a responsibility to address that as well,” this paper was told.
“Towards that end, we are setting up a national template to serve as a uniform system for government efforts in these areas,” Mr. Yarsiah continued.
“The intent is to create a database for all concession companies operating in Liberia, to accord the public first-hand information on the role and responsibilities of these concessions in their communities,” we were told.
The Acting Executive-Director used the occasion to congratulate the USAID GEM project for its support to NBC’s operations.
He announced that USAID had donated 8 desktops, two laptops and printers, valued at over US$17,000; The gift was intended “…to help strengthen and enhance NBC’s technical capacity,” Mr. Yarsiah concluded.
(With an assist from K. Neville A. Best)