FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

28 July 2014

Liberia: Why I Left Nocal - Ex-CEO Boss, Neyor Throw Jabs At Rob Sirleaf

As expected, the race for the coveted Montserrado County senatorial elections was always penned down to be one of predictability. As crowded a field as the one featuring the likes of football legend George Manneh Weah, Robert Sirleaf, Benjamin Sanvee and incumbent Joyce Musu Freeman, is, political observers have been salivating at one potentially-grudged battle between Sirleaf and Neyor, who once enjoyed a cordial working relationship, until Neyor bolted under controversial circumstances.

Today, both men find themselves on opposing an end of a senatorial race already fueling intensity and some unfinished business resulting from the feud in the aftermath of Neyor's exit.

On the record, Sirleaf insists that he has no beef with Neyor, telling FrontPageAfrica recently. "Chris is fine in my world, I have no personal issues with Chris, I've never expressed anything publicly about his performance. Chris was CEO of the company when I was actually on the board. I wasn't the chairman at the time; the chairperson was Clemenceau Urey. Chris has expressed publicly his thoughts; sometimes it's discouraging because I certainly don't (for the years that we worked together); would publicly express any type of frustrations. "

"Anytime you work with anybody in a company, you don't necessarily agree with the decisions they were making. The history of NOCAL during his tenure, you can look at that. What was the performance? It's not me to go second guess; that's something in the past. He's a longstanding member of the church; he's very active in his church so as a Christian, Chris has got to do whatever is on his conscience."

But in an exclusive FrontPageAfrica interview, Dr. Neyor says he has not seen Sirleaf at least since the argument they both had in, the board room at NOCAL in 2011, a bust-up that led to Neyor's exit. Neyor explains: "We were at the board meeting and he wanted to dominate the board and I told him he did not know what he was talking about concerning this oil and gas business and should shut up. He wanted to dominate because he was the President's son and he was just a board director and he tried to disrespect me in the boardroom and so there was the argument and I have not seen him since that time."

Adds Neyor: The last time I saw Robert Sirleaf again was two weeks or so ago and quite interestingly when I got back to our country, I saw in the Chronicle Newspaper a cartoon that says, I refused to shake Rob Sirleaf hands in Accra. I did not respond to that because that was a lie which I did not know where it came from. The fact of the matter was that my wife and I were coming from Accra and we boarded the flight and we were in business class on the last first row and Rob Sirleaf was in business class too but in the last row and so we got in and sat and the plane took off. "

"When we landed at the RIA, we were the first come out, Dewitt Von Ballmoos, the Director General of the CSA, George Werner was also on that flight and we came and went to the bus that passengers were getting on. Von Ballmoos got on, also the CSA Director General, we all got on the bus and then because he was at the back, he came and he had his VIP car to take him to the VIP area and we went about our business on the bus. We saw him getting in his car with his security and he left."

Dr.Neyor says that no contact was made between him and Sirleaf at the airport in Accra. "We did not come into contact with him, hand shaking distance and for him to come up and tell the Chronicle that he extended a handshake to me and I refused, it has been just disingenuous and I will want to say that was a lie. Never, for him to even say he extended the handshake in the business class lounge in Accra, in the business class lounge he was never there with me, it was Von Ballmoos, Cllr. Michael Wright, he was on his way to Abuja and we all sat together and talked he was not there. We only saw him when we got on the flight. So there is nothing, only a matter policy of difference that's all. He has a different philosophy of this country and I too have a different philosophy, I don't think he adheres to good governance and I am committed to my people and all comes out as a matter of being good and where do you take your resources from."

Neyor, who has come under fire from critics questioning the timing of his new assault on the establishment, says it is all about the timing. "I will make this very clear everything in life happens in the fullness of time. It happens when the time comes. You were born when it was time, we will all die when it is time, nothing happens before its time and so we have to be very clear about that when you are in the King's palace you play by the King's rule. You take that lesson from Moses, Moses, who was raised in Pharaoh's palace, he got all of the best education, he wore all of the finest silk and became a man in Pharaoh's place and he reality he was an Israelite. Moses did not come out to help Egyptians until the fullest of time. Now when Moses killed that Egyptian who was abusing his people and ran away and when God called him to come and rescue the people of Israel, Moses then was no longer in the palace he had left the Pharaohs' palace and went to the Israelites and said the Lord sent me to set you free. Let say suppose the Israelites had all said Moses when you were in Pharaohs Palace, why didn't you think about freeing us, when you were eating all the good food, when you were wearing all those good clothes and you were in the horses with all those carriers around you why you did not think about us and you say you have come now to free us."

Continued Neyor: "Everything happens in the fullest of time when you are in the King's palace, play by his rule when you are in Pharaoh's palace, play by his rule. This time that is the rule of the game when the time comes then you set up and distinguish yourself and say this is the path that I am going. When Paul in Hebrew 11 decided to talk about all the great men of the old testament and all the faith, how they were great in faith when he came to Moses and say when Moses came of age, some translations say Moses came of age some say when the fullest of time had come, Moses elected, choose to be with the people of God, his people than to enjoy the pleasure of sin. "

"For the season because all of these things, corruption that we all go through every time is for a season and Moses said that was not the path he wanted to take, he, rather go with his people and suffer but in the long term everyone of them will prevail. That is what happens in the present life that at some point in time you have to make a decision, which way to go. Joshua said "chose you this day, whom you will serve" and for me I say I will go the path of my people, if I wanted to have lots of money, to be wealthy to be part of the whole corruption scheme, I would have stayed there at NOCAL but I chose not to because this country has suffered so long and we need some changes, we need some sincerity and commitment on the part of those who govern."

Pressed why he left the oil company, Neyor "I think I left because the president wanted her son to be in charge. She has the appointing power in our constitution and she puts whoever she wants to put there, but she bears the consequences of whoever she puts there." The former oil company executive boasts that during his tenure no oil block was put on sale in an apparent jab at recent attempts to offload blocks 6,7,16 and 17.

"No one was contracted out during my tenure. What I decided to do when I got there and reviewed all of the concessions was to put in place a reform, reform in the sense that I wanted for Liberians to participate in what I call the last extractive frontier. Because when you look at the history of the extractive industry, gold, diamond, the iron ore, logs, they have enriched other people except Liberians and those few Liberians that got rich out of it basically the same small group of corrupt government officials who sell their birthright with little amount of money in order make other people rich. So I said in this oil industry, we got to change this around because our constitution says the natural resources including the oil which we are exploring for belongs to all and in the exploitation of the resources, the government must ensure the participation of the people."

"This is what I tried to put in place, what we call local content, that is the percentage of citizens that will participate in wealth creation within this industry. That was my emphasis that is what we were working towards and I believe that the president decided to put her son in charge and the whole program that we started with the Norwegians and the Americans as partners as advisors, got eroded. So what they came up with later, as you can see, as I said they will bear the consequences. But the reason I left NOCAL was that the President wanted to put her son in charge.

In recent time it is said that there are discussions between the Legislature and officials of NOCAL for the sale of the four oil blocks and on last week, the lawmakers were locked up in closed door discussions with NOCAL officials.

NOCAL Conceals Millions

An audit by the General Auditing Commission of Liberia on NOCAL for the Financial Years 2008/9, 2009/10 & 2010/11 has noted that the Oil Company and TGS could not provide documentations for millions of dollar transactions between the two.

Auditors noted that analysis of the three-year revenue summary submitted by TGS containing invoices sent to oil companies from the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011, disclosed that TGS invoiced and collected US$135,462,124.62, of which NOCAL received US$25,385,499.79 or 19%, while TGS received US$110,076,624.83 or 81%.

The audit also noted that for the three financial years under audit, the revenue summary reported US$7,467,555.89 more than was reported in the financial statements of NOCAL and for the same period, a material variance of US$7,425,098.87 between bank inflows from TGS and remittance per the revenue summary was also observed, indicating that more revenue was invoiced and remitted by TGS to NOCAL than was captured in the bank accounts provided to the auditors.

On the agreement between NOCAL and TGS, the audit noted that for the periods under an audit license revenue from oil companies was generated under the August 4, 2009 agreement signed between NOCAL and TGS. The current agreement applies to and governs new and old data.

Article 1 of the agreement defines Old Data as any NOCAL's geophysical data from source acquired, produced, or obtained prior to the Effective Date of the 2009 agreement. New Data is defined as any new data acquired by TGS as the result of the 2009 agreement. All Old Data Licensing Fees and Viewing Fees shall be shared by the parties in the ratio: NOCAL 65% and TGS 35%.

The audit noted that the agreement requires TGS to provide NOCAL an inventory of all old data products. All New Data Licensing Fees and Viewing Fees shall be shared as 90% TGS, 10% NOCAL, until such time as TGS shall have been paid New Data License Net Revenues Receipts in the aggregate amount of US$17,255,000.00; subsequent license revenues would be shared: 40% TGS, and 60% NOCAL until the expiration or termination the 2009 agreement.

"Neither NOCAL nor TGS could provide documentation indicating which of the license invoices provided for audit were related to old or new data. TGS applied old data revenue sharing percentages to thirty (30) invoices amounting to US$18,655,794.10, of which NOCAL received US$12,126,266.17, while TGS received US$6,529,527.94. All of these invoices were sent out after the effective date of the 2009 agreement. We could not establish the considerations underpinning the revenue sharing percentages applied by TGS to data considered new data" stated the audit.

As of the date of the audit report, the audit noted that neither TGS nor NOCAL provided evidence to indicate the date on which TGS recovered the US$17,255,000.00 investment, which would serve as a basis for applying subsequent agreed revenue sharing percentages; neither TGS nor NOCAL provided sufficient, appropriate evidence to substantiate data acquired prior to the effective date of the 2009 agreement, and data acquired as a result of the 2009 agreement.

Stated the audit findings "NOCAL and TGS' failure to adequately and transparently document and disclose revenue sharing transactions in detail, could materially impact revenue inflows to NOCAL".

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