The Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), T. Nelson Williams, has alleged that former National Oil Company of Liberia CEO Christopher Zeohn Neyor had “unauthorized discussions with the Kuwaitis” in which he “requested US$8 million” from the Kuwaiti Government.
Speaking at the Information Ministry’s regular press conference, Thursday, June 19, Mr. Williams stated: “Mr. Neyor, for reasons unknown to the LPRC, held secret meetings and unauthorized discussions with the Kuwaitis. It was subsequently revealed that contrary to the original request of the Liberian Government, an additional request of US$8 million was made by Mr. Neyor without any reference to the President.”
However, when contacted for his reaction to Mr. Williams’ allegations, Mr. Neyor told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview Thursday from his home in the United States, that all of Mr. Williams’ allegations against him are all “fabrications and lies.”
“I was never a part of any discussions that requested from the Kuwaitis US$8 million. Mr. Williams will need to prove that by saying who in the Kuwati Government, I had put this request to,” Dr. Neyor said.
Neyor is also a former Managing Director of Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).
Mr. Williams, the LPRC MD, said Dr. Neyor’s claims that he “initiated and spearheaded sensitive negotiations” with Nigeria and Kuwait for the allocation of crude oil to Liberia are appalling.
The LPRC boss further stated while he cannot pass judgment on the motive of Neyor’s “Open Letter” to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he “cannot, however, permit these brazen lies and insinuations to fester unchallenged in the public domain.”
According to the LPRC MD, in the case of the Nigerian allocation, President Sirleaf wrote her Nigerian counterpart requesting the allocation.
“The Presidential Letter neither introduced Mr. Neyor nor did it mention him as the responsible party to follow up on the negotiations, which is often the case with such ‘quiet diplomacy,’” Williams stated.
The LPRC Managing Director disclosed that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice along with the LPRC acted out their respective roles and functions in relation to the “hammering out of the agreement.”
“On the Kuwaiti oil agreement,” Mr. Williams explained, “we recall that Mr. Neyor was amongst officials of Government, who accompanied President Sirleaf on a State visit to Kuwait and he (Neyor) was present when the Liberian leader requested diesel fuel to be sold to Liberia at concessionary prices by the Government of Kuwait.”
In his interview with the Daily Observer last night, Dr. Christopher Z. Neyor confirmed that he (Neyor) was indeed a part of the President’s delegation to Kuwait.
“Because of the sensitive nature of such discussions,” Neyor recalled, “in the room were only me, President Sirleaf, the Kuwaiti Oil Minister, who is a member of the Royal Family and a communications person from the President’s Office.”
According to him, after that meeting, he made a follow-up visit with the Kuwaitis through the Liberian Mission to that country; and in the follow up meeting with the Kuwaitis were him, the Liberian Ambassador to Kuwait, the Kuwaitis, the late Tarnue Mawolo and another person.
Dr. Neyor said it was after these follow up discussions, that he brought Mr. Williams on board in the discussions. “This was because the discussions had reached to the listing of the products, which LPRC is charged to do.”
That was the last meeting I had with the Kuwaitis, said Neyor.
He added: “Since that time, I have never been back to Kuwait nor had any further discussions with them.”