Monrovia — Mr. Nathaniel McGill, Liberia's Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has denied claims made by Mr. Nathaniel Blama that he was abreast with the contract signed with CO2Bitcoin on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Executive Mansion in a release that announced the dismissal of Mr. Blama barely four days after his return from an indefinite suspension stated that he had unilaterally signed a contract worth US$20 million without the involvement of the Justice and Finance Ministers.
This breach of standard procedure, according to the Executive Mansion amounts to fraud.
Blama admits signing the contract but claims he did no wrong. He stated that he followed precedent when it comes to signing environmental platforms.
More ever, he claimed that prior to consummating the agreement with the company, he held discussions with the Ministers of State and Finance concerning the nature of the agreement which they thought was a good initiative for the country.
In an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica, Mr. McGill said he has no reason to deny knowing about the contract, especially when it was intended to bring legitimate money to support government's program.
"The fact is I had no knowledge, neither did the Ministers of Finance and Justice. This document came into the Executive Mansion through a foreign source. I spoke to the Ministers of Finance and Justice and they claimed to have no knowledge," Minister McGill said.
However, Minister McGill confirmed that conversation have been ongoing in the sector to see the possibility of selling hydrocarbon but argued that the sector involved the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and if Mr. Blama believed that the initiative was something the government needed to know about, he should have involved the FDA.
"We never had any conversation in that direction. He's been briefing me on a lot of issues. There is one thing to brief the Minister of State and there is another thing to act legally in the frame work. By briefing me does not justify doing the wrong thing," McGill said.
McGill further told FrontPageAfrica the Executive Mansion got to know about the agreement when the organization that signed the agreement had some money to pay into government's account. "Even the idea of saying money coming to the country and you want to open a separate account is the prerogative of the Minister of Finance," he said.
McGill: "It is unfortunate that he found himself in that situation and the President is firm against these kinds of acts because he will not tolerate it from any official of government. The Minister of Justice's legal opinion informed that Blama did not follow the procedure that is laid down so the President acted to curtail these kinds of documentations."
The Minister of State said that Mr. Blama should own up to his error by taking full responsibility for his error. "Even if your intention was good own up to it. If the Mansion had received this information before his reinstatement, the President would not have reinstated him," McGill said.