LIBERIA: Senator Sherman Calls For Forensic Audit At NOCAL

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman has recommended a forensic audit at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) dating back to the signing of the company’s Production Sharing Contract (PSC) by the National Legislature in 2010.

The recommendation was one of several made during the Senate’s second day Extraordinary Sitting of the Fourth Session of the 53rd Legislature at the Capitol Building Tuesday.

Sherman said the audit will authenticate and determine what led to the financial crisis that nearly sent the oil company to bankruptcy, prompting the restructuring of the company at its executive level.

He also recommended that government should withhold the proposed severance benefits for senior executive officials of NOCAL as their actions led to the crumbling of the entity.

He recommended that instead, severance benefits should be paid to employees at the middle and lower levels, noting that in accordance with best corporate practices officials at executive levels should resign or be fired.

This argument was also backed by a host of other senators, including Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, Peter Coleman of Grand Kru County and Sinoe County’s Milton Teahjay.
The senators’ propositions were prompted by a report presented on the state of affairs at NOCAL, done by the Senate Joint Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment; Public Corporations and Ways Means, Finance and Budget.

Contrary to the committee’s report which calls for the payment of severance benefit to all employees of NOCAL, amongst others, Senator Johnson noted that payment to executives of NOCAL will be a waste of tax payers’ resources.

This view was subsequently buttressed by Coleman and Teahjay, who indicated that benefits for NOCAL senior management be withheld and that the reconstitution of the company be done in a manner that will avert the current circumstance.

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