24/Feb/2017 // 1063 Viewers
By Necus M. Andrews
In response to the Wednesday, February 22, 2017 edition of this paper in which it was reported that 'Bankrupt' NOCAL Gets US$1 M for Salary', the interim Management team of NOCAL says the company did not go bankrupt.
The paper also reported that the US$1 million allotted was for 155 employees, but the company rejected and said presently it has 37 employees instead.
"The Company did not go bankrupt because bankruptcy refers to a status of a legal person or organization who cannot pay its debts to its creditors and files a petition for legal protection against such creditors," Cllr. Althea E. Sherman, the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NOCAL said.
In a letter to the Management of the NEWS Newspaper, Cllr. Sherman however said the company has experienced significant challenges due to the decline in global oil prices which affected its revenue generating capacities.
On the issue of NOCAL receiving US$4,585,000 as subsidy, Cllr. Sherman said NOACL without any government assistance or subsidy, it has been able to meet it obligations as they become due.
According to her, the Government of Liberia did not approve appropriations for NOCAL in the 2016/17 national budget, so the company does not expect to receive funding or subsidy.
Cllr. Sherman: "Consistent with past practice, the operations of NOCAL are being funded by revenue generated from NOCAL."
In the letter Cllr. Sherman said: "Your statement regarding 155 employees present at NOCAL is highly inaccurate. One of the mandates of the Sustainable Action Plan (SAP) approved by the President in 2015 was to reduce company workforce and overall personnel cost. In keeping with this mandate, the IMT reduced NOCAL's staff level from 155 to in 2015 to 37 persons by March 2016 and has since maintained the same level of small, robust and efficient workforce."
Our source found out that NOCAL is placed under State Owned Enterprises, Cllr. Sherman said the forecast made by the state owned enterprises reporting unit as an annexure to the National budget for FY2016/2017 does not in any way provide NOCAL the right or obligate the government of Liberia to fund its operations.
NOCAL was established in 2000 for the purpose of holding all of the rights, titles and interests of the Republic of Liberia in the deposits and reserves of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons within the territorial limits of the Republic of Liberia, whether potential, proven, or actual, with the aim of facilitating the development of the oil and gas industry in Liberia.