“We took Over Wrongfully,” Says LEITI Boss Gabriel Nyenka; Cites Risk of Expulsion

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Monrovia, Liberia- Gabriel Nyenka, the Executive Director of the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency International (LEITI), has admitted to wrongfully taking over the reigns of leadership at the entity.

Speaking on the OK FM Morning Rush on Tuesday, Mr. Nyenka said, the manner in which he took over at the entity has caused the entity some donor lags, which has risked the entity of being expelled from the board of the international Extractive Industry Transparency International (EITI).

Mr. Nyenkan said, despite the suspension of Liberia by EITI, he was recently invited to a the board meeting of the organization in Dakar, which signifies that Liberia is once again being recognized by the international body of EITI, as well as him being recognized as head of the LEITI.

“We are on the verge of lifting the suspension. Our only minor hitch and bump along the road is the financial commitment,” Mr. Nyenkan said.

The LEITI boss said, he inquired from EITI about the lack of support to his administration, but admitted that the holding back of funding by donors can be attributed to the manner of his take-over when asked by journalists.

“We are trying to restore confidence. I said to them, we have nothing to hide. We are asking you to conduct an audit of this place in the last two budget years, to see what has happened, because my thing is, all the money you put in, had it been used for the intended purpose, we shouldn’t be begging for money now to pay our International Administrator; there is an independent administrator who published the report for Liberia.

“The money to pay the IA comes from donors, but since the rigmarole that attended my appointment, the donors have become acid, and folded their hands and become frigid. As a result, there’s no money forthcoming,” Hon. Nyenka added.

The former District 11 lawmaker said, to get donors confidence back, he has invited them to conduct an audit of the entity, as the LEITI is being financially stagnated. He said, he has written and held meetings with the Ministers of State and Finance for the government to finance a report covering the period of 2015-2017 which should have been published by the past administration.

Mr. Nyenkan further stated that the report costs US$97,000 to publish, but has since negotiated with the Independent Administrator who is tasked with preparing the report, and has made commitments with the entity to give the right to publish the 10th report of the entity for the purpose of deferred payment. He said, the entity needs US$16,000 before December 31, 2018, to have the report published, and used the medium to publicly appeal to Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to fund the publishing of the report.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nyenkan told journalists that the suspension of Liberia by EITI did not affect Liberia in a significant way, rather, it was a wake-up call for the entity to publish its report. He said, it is the duty of the LEITI to build her image with its international partners, and he has held monthly meetings with international partners present in the country for that purpose.