By Charles B. Yates
The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) said it is obliged to clarify recent misleading report in the 4th Annual Report of the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (LEITI), which was also reported in May 23, 2013 edition of the Daily Observer newspaper entitled “US$330K ‘Unaccounted for’ in oil sector…LEITI report revealed”.
According to NOCAL, the account was for the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, which stated, “Analyzing total payment and differences per sector, LEITI found that within the oil sector, the company paid US$ 49,911,073.86 but only US$ 49,681, 073.86 was paid in the government’s coffers. “A difference of US$ 230,000 remains unaccounted for in the oil sector, reported by companies as paid to the government but the government agencies did not report receiving.” With the total amounts taken into account, there can be no other difference therefore, only US$ 230,000 is in question, not US$320K” as reported misleadingly,” NOCAL stated.
NOCAL said internal working papers were all reconciled and for detail the public can please see table 14 of the LEITI report for total summary (page 34); Appendix III, in reference to social welfare contribution reconciliation (page 199); Appendix III in reference to UL contribution (page 207).
The oil company’s Vice President for Public Affairs, Isreal Akinsanya said details of the report revealed that the variance is due to a previous recording error. “The reason for the difference of US 230k is that the University of Liberia received US $850K from NOCAL for the period being reported, but mistakenly reported that it received US$620K which it had received for the previous reporting period (2009/2010) therefore, the US230K is fully accounted for,” NOCAL’s communication chief clarified.
Meanwhile, NOCAL said alarming the public unnecessarily is not healthy for the country. “The oil sector has become a sensitive object and it is therefore pleading with all media houses to avoid making statements that tend to cause discord in our society.