The Inquirer (Monrovia)

21 June 2014

Liberia: MICAT, LPRC Rebuke Neyor

The Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) have strongly rebuked Dr. Christopher Z. Neyor for his recent open-letter to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, Information Minister, Lewis Brown said Dr. Neyor's letter to the Liberian leader is not only insulting but intends to blackmail the President.

"When you say that the President is disloyal to the state that is more than insult to the office of the President, his letter is about personal interest; you can't sustain the Senatorial race when you write such communication because it's complete blackmailing the President," Brown said.

"My cousin (Neyor) wrote in his letter that he went to the President and told her about his quest for the Montserrado Senatorial race didn't know that the President could destroy him because he alleged that the President wants to destroy him, when he was serving as Energy Advisor, President and CEO of NOCAL, and his wife as a Board member of the LPRC so, why will the President place you in these positions and at the same time want to destroy you?" Minister Brown wondered.

He stated further, "In my cousin's letter he portrayed himself as a sand-cutter, soothsayer and as an Energy Expert and he wants us to believe that George Weah is not anything in the coming race only the President's son; that's his only fear; in fact why didn't he resign when he alleged that he was bribed and refused to take it and that because of that he was ridiculed by her?" Brown said.

He said while speaking at the 1st Business for Peace Conference in New York on June 25, 2013, Dr. Neyor praised President Sirleaf for her economic transformation policy adding, "Is this the same Neyor who now has two heads or tongues? Is he the one talking about marginalized person when he spoke of Liberians not to vote on tribal line and even called on Liberians to do away with the 'Country and Congo' syndrome? I think during those days he considered himself as Chris Neyor but he is now Chris Zeon who is now preaching 'Congo and Country'," the MICAT boss said.

He said Mr. Neyor's letter is not just interesting but troubling as it intends to attack the integrity and loyalty of the President. "When people convert the resources of the state to their personal use, that is disloyalty to the state, but my cousin produced no evidence and as he rightly said people can be destroyed in many ways including fabricated articles, so his letter is intended to destroy the President. His letter is a blackmail, " the MICAT boss expressed.

At the same time, the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) says its attention has been drawn to an "Open Letter" from Mr. Christopher Z. Neyor, former Energy Advisor to the President, in which he claims to have "initiated and spearheaded sensitive negotiations" with Nigeria and Kuwait for the allocation of crude oil to Liberia. According to Mr. Neyor, proceeds from the allocation transaction should have been used to reduce the cost of electricity in Liberia but were not, leaving Liberians with the sad impression that proceeds from the allocation have been abused, misused, squandered, and are unaccounted for.

LPRC Managing Director, T. Nelson Williams described Mr. Neyor's allegation as appalling. He said the LPRC is unaware, and the public records do not support claims by Mr. Neyor that he "initiated and spearheaded negotiations" with the Nigerian and Kuwaiti Governments for the allocation of crude oil for Liberia.

"In the case of the Nigerian allocation, the President wrote the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 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," the LPRC boss said.

Williams said while Mr. Neyor, in his capacity as Advisor on Energy would have had reasons to know about the letter and its content, to claim that that knowledge deferred upon him the duty of 'initiator' and 'spear-header' of the ensuing negotiations and diplomatic efforts, are over-extension of his imagination; an over-exaggeration of whatever staff function role he may have carried out and unfairly dishonors the actual efforts of the line functionaries and relevant agencies of the government which worked diligently to ultimately make the transaction possible.

"The simple truth is that the Agreement between Liberia and Nigeria for the allocation and supply of oil is a bilateral one initiated and spearheaded by the President. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company acted out their respective roles and functions in relation to the hammering out of the Agreement.

He said the Agreement, dated July 19, 2010 was signed by the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company on behalf of the Government of Liberia; on September 13, 2010, the LPRC Board and Management dutifully communicated to the public through the press that proceeds from the allocations would be used for national reconstruction projects.

Williams, among other things added that on February 9, 2011, through a Board Resolution LSD390, 434.00 was released for the West Point road project; additional amounts of over US$2.1 Million out of total deposit of US$2.2Million have been subsequently disbursed for various projects ranging from Bole-hoe wells and hand pumps across the country to the tank construction at Tappita Hospital. He added that all deposits and disbursements are fully accounted for through the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment.

"On the Kuwaiti Oil Agreement, we recall that Mr. Neyor was amongst officials of Government who accompanied President Sirleaf on a State visit to Kuwait and was present when the Liberian leader requested diesel fuel to be sold to Liberia at concessionary mines by the commitment of Kuwait. The proceeds from the Kuwaiti request would be used to assist the LEC in expanding and diversifying its power grid to low income families in and around Monrovia, as well as to create some cushion for the National Transit Authority (NTA) against the burdensome cost of fuel oil for its public buses. This would then lower the transport cost for students, the elderly and security personnel in uniforms who would commune via the NTA buses," Nelson William concluded.

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