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Alphonso Toweh NRWelcome to plain Talk. It hurts to see a lucrative and enterprising entity to go bankrupt ahead of the discovery of oil. What? Is it curse or what? There are too many answers than to this. It is not time to go into it all now.

I give you this quote from Karl Lraus: “Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual; the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.” Karl Kraus

Was it corruption that led to this financial crisis at NOCAL? Many said yes, but few said no. Whatever the case, is, NOCAL bankruptcy has come and gone. Now a new team is in place and in search of money.

The plain Talk for me is, I am back this week with the second part. We need to look at this carefully. Several wells have been dug by well-respected international oil firms; nothing of commercial value has been seen thus far, according to NOCAL.

But the fall of NOCAL has been blamed widely on the previous management to effectively carry out the work. Some have put the blame on corruption. I think sincerely that the CEO was not too farsighted in his dealing. Very often, he rushed to the Executives or the legislature for discussions. Yes, it is good to have discussions on the way forward, but it must be done with some level of caution and professionalism, with the interest of the country at heart.

I think that Robert Sirleaf, son of president Sirleaf had great deal of influence there. He, at one point tendered his resignation. His mother appreciated his efforts saying that he had gone there to do a piece of job and that job was now complete; so it was time for him to leave.

During the senatorial election for Montserrado County, there were unconfirmed reports that Rob got lot of financing from NOCAL.

The fact here is there was no strong financial discipline there under the administration. The board which should have helped to put some stringent measures into place, members were rather seeking their personal interest. Take for example, they increased their sitting fees at one point and decided to take salaries in advance for several months.

But president Sirleaf was smart enough to put a halt to the huge benefits.

Who knows, maybe other special arrangements have been taken place in the past which did not come to light. This one, I say, it went wrong and there was no way to hide it. Like the saying goes in Liberia, 99 days for rouge, one day for the master. So, it was with NOCAL board members who wanted to ‘swim’ in other tax payers money.

Employees at NOCAL need to take the blame too. A number of employees who were at NOCAL paid allegiance to certain officials who either recommended them for employment or close relatives or close social relatives.

As a result of that, huge sum of money was paid to most employees who did not deserve that. This, coupled with other things, they had to leave.

The plain Talk is, whatever the case is, too many people need to take the blame for NOCAL. Now as a new interim team has been put into place, it is the expectation of many Liberians that this entity will regain its name and strength. Oil has not been seen yet, there is a high possibility that oil of commercial quantity will be discovered.

The plain Talk is, we need NOCAL to survive and survive for the betterment of Liberia.

I leave you with tis quote: “Unfortunately, corruption is widespread in government agencies and public enterprises. Our political system promotes nepotism and wasting money. This has undermined our legal system and confidence in the functioning of the state. One of the consequences is that many citizens don't pay their taxes.” George Papandreou

Until then, I see you next week 

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