The plenary of the Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Lands, Mimes, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment to commence investigating the operation of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), which is currently under an interim management team.
The Senate’s decision was prompted by a letter from Rivercess County Senator Dallas A.V. Gueh in which he quoted a media report alleging a financially-bloated payroll at NOCAL, where an interim management team of 37 employees is receiving annual salaries totaling US$1 million despite the financial difficulties the oil company is believed to be experiencing.
“There are also reports that the Interim Management Team continues to make very expensive, very frequent and often unnecessary foreign travels, sometimes to visit their families in the United States in the name of official business,” the Rivercess County lawmaker alleged.
Gueh said that an operational update on the activities of NOCAL in the last one and half years would be necessary, “especially in terms of the austerity and other reforms that should have been instituted at the entity to revive it economically.”
Senator Gueh expressed fears that if the interim management team is not monitored and checked regularly, the country’s oil program may sink further in trouble and may be very difficult to resurrect.
“I would therefore request that the Senate Committees on Lands, Mines and Energy and Public Corporations conduct an investigation into the operations, programs, activities and finances of NOCAL since the incumbency of the Interim Management Team.”
The committees were meanwhile requested to report to plenary by next Tuesday.