Monrovia — A decision by the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), C. Mike Doryen, to skip a conference with donors in Cote d'Ivoire which would have enabled him to secure a funding of US$16.8 million through the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Park project has reportedly cost the Government of Liberia "a major loss", FrontPageAfrica has gathered.
A source familiar with the development told FrontPageAfrica that the ongoing conference which began on June 13 and runs to June 17, is intended to present FDA's plights and specific needs directly to donors, including European Union (EU), USAID, the Swedish government, among others.
The German Agency for International Cooperation and Development had said its Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Ecological Connectivity Project (TGS-FL) would intervene on behalf of the government through FDA and would bring donors face-to-face in Cote d'Ivoire to raise money for the Government of Liberia.
The TGS-FL provided technical and logistical support to the FDA for four of its staff to travel, including Doryen, Jallah Johnson, acting Deputy Managing Director for Operations; Evangeline Swope-Nyantee Protected Areas Manager, and D. Joseph Greene, Chief Park Warden for the Grebo-Krahn National Park.
In 2017, the KfW hired a German Company called AHT to do infrastructural development in the newly gazette Grebo-Krahn National Park that cuts across Grand Gedeh County and River Gee County.
"With the US$16.8 million, EU was offering US$4.5 million, while the Swedish Government was offering US$7.8 million," the company said in a release then.
Technicians from the FDA left Liberia on Sunday, June 12, 2022 for Cote d'Ivoire and it was expected that Doryen would have joined the conference on June 14, but he failed without any prior notice to the organizers, FrontPageAfrica gathered.
Had he attended, Doryen would have signed as appropriate authority for the Government of Liberia, to enable donors begin processing of funds for Liberia.
"Doryen, even though, was issued an air ticket with a 5-Star hotel booked for him, deliberately refused to attend the meeting, depriving Liberia of approximately US$16.8 million dollar, the source told FrontPageAfrica.
Doryen's absence, FrontPageAfrica gathered, prevented the three FDA staff from signing, our source added.
"On the day Doryen was expected to arrive in Cote D'Ivoire, the GIZ Country Director in Cote d'Ivoire; the Director General for the Ivorian Forest Service, the TGS-FL Coordinator of projects, all went to the airport to receive him, only to find out that he didn't come with the flight," said our source.
"Doryen's phone has been off since June 13, preventing all from getting in touch with him; he made no attempts to call anyone; and he refused to respond to email messages sent to him," a source from one of the donors told FrontPageAfrica.
FrontPageAfrica placed several phone calls to Doryen and was unsuccessful as his phone rang endlessly with no response. The reporter, however, forwarded a text to his phone to ask for his side, but he did not respond to the text message up to press time.