Lawmakers Want NOCAL Audited

first_imgIn the awake of the financial turmoil affecting the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Capitol Hill is demanding a full-scale systemic and forensic audit of the company.The nation’s oil and gas regulator is facing a deep financial meltdown, a situation that has forced the one time “wasteful spending entity” into economic failure.Hitting Liberia’s “struggling economy” hard, the financial crisis at NOCAL shocked the state, forcing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to personally intervene in a move aimed at rescuing the public entity.President Sirleaf set up an interim management team with the responsibility of leading NOCAL to a comprehensive bailout.Despite her intervention, lawmakers have started to debate the need for the public spender to submit to a “comprehensive audit” in order to identify the root-cause of the financial meltdown.In separate comments, Representatives Gabriel B. Smith and Julius F. Berrian indicated that commissioning an audit of the entire NOCAL system which would unearth the financial transgression is paramount to addressing the crisis.According to Rep. Berrian, “dismissal or retirement benefits for NOCAL’s executives in the absence of a serious audit will have a negative bearing on national government.”These things happen everywhere, he said. “But ignoring the most important action to institute right now and focusing attention on non-essential issues is counterproductive.”The Montserrado County lawmaker asserted that despite Capitol Hill’s oversight responsibility over NOCAL, “there was no way for either committee of the Legislature with direct oversight to have seen this coming.”For his part, Rep. Smith described the crisis as a “turbulent time for Liberians, particularly those benefiting from NOCAL’s local and foreign scholarship program.”He noted that facing such a financial situation with scores of students placing their hope for a better future through NOCAL is “sad” and needs prompt action.Relative to reports of the President drawing-up a “fabulous retirement package” for few of NOCAL’s executives including Dr. Randolph McClain, the company’s CEO, Smith said; “If such a report is true, the President is not in her right mind.”Meanwhile, sources close to the Capitol Building hinted that the matter will form part of the House of Representatives’ agenda for discussion today Tuesday, September 8.According to sources, a majority of lawmakers have agreed to vote on a decision for the House’s plenary to order the commission of audit of NOCAL by the public anti-graft agency, General Auditing Commission.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

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