22 January 2014

Liberia: Ellen Appoints New Nocal Board Chair, Others

Photo: Liberian Govt
President Sirleaf meets an oil worker during a tour of an exploration rig (file photo).

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has named a legal advisor in her office, Cllr. Seward M. Cooper as board chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL along with other appointments in government, pending confirmation hearings.

Cllr. Cooper replaces President Sirleaf's oldest son, Robert Alvin Sirleaf at NOCAL, who also was an advisor to his mother, while serving as chairman of the board of NOCAL on a pro bono basis.

Mr. Sirleaf resigned from NOCAL on September 17, 2013, and subsequently relinquished his position as Senior Advisor to her mother, the President, amidst public outcry here, accusing the administration of nepotism.

A group calling itself the "Ellen Step Down Campaign" threatened to stage a peaceful protest in Monrovia and other parts of the country if the President failed to address the issues of nepotism and corruption in her government.

In his letter of resignation dated Tuesday, September 17, 2013 and addressed to President Johnson-Sirleaf, Mr. Sirleaf stated that his resignation "fulfils promise made to the Liberian people" by her mother, the President that his role at NOCAL would come to an end when "reforms were in place."

In response to her son, President Sirleaf narrated: "Mr. Chairman, I accept your resignation as Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia and as Senior Advisor to the President. With your departure, this government will lose one of its most capable and valuable assets... "

According to the Executive Mansion, also appointed by the President are Ciata Bishop, as Head of the Bureau of Concessions; Boima Kamara, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Liberia; Kwame N. Ross, Deputy Executive Director, Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, (LRRRC); Mrs. Loris Shannon, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, Mrs. Ade Jones Captan, Commissioner, Congo Town, Ministry of Internal Affairs; and Yoquoi Vermon Lavala, Member of the Board of Directors, Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, replacing Chea Cheapoo.

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