The state, through the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASCORP) used US$1.4million to reorganize a collapsed company with link to the presidential candidate and vice running mate of the opposition Liberty Party, the corporation officials have disclosed.
Mr. Harrison Karnwea and Cllr. Charles Brumskine are owners of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated; the firm established four months after the March, 2016 labor unrest at the Cocopa Rubber Plantation Company.
A July 2016 concession agreement with the National Investment Commission surrendered the virtually dead Cocopa Company to the politicians for 30 years. The terms and conditions of the deals are still secret. NASCORP has declared silence on several press inquiries including, why the corporation did not push for state takeover of the collapsed Cocopa Plantation but accepted to invest for private individuals whom by its accounts of the transaction lack the financial potency.
NSACORP’S Managing Director Dewitt Vonballmoos told a news conference Monday in Monrovia that the entity’s Board of Directors approved the payment in August, 2016. In November of the same year the US$1.4million was disbursed. The state owned enterprise had earlier rejected the company’s loan request, according to its Managing Director on grounds that it lacks “comprehensive” plan for revitalization amidst the availability of Central Bank stimulus package for the rubber sector.
He explained the firm requested the money to: settle wage arrears, procure new modern processing plant, rehabilitate the plant infrastructure and establish a rubber wood processing facility.
Seven months after the payment was made, Mr. Vonballmoos hinted the company has not purchased the “rubber processing plant”
“The investment made by NASCORP was primarily used and targeted at the settlement of wage arrears owed to workers of the corporation,” Vonballmoos said.
“As a result of NASCORP’s investment which successfully abated labor unrest and brought calm to the area, NRI has now been able to successfully arrange the acquisition of a rubber processing plant.”
The National Social Security and Welfare Corporation’s (NASCORP) US$1.4 million Cocopa Rubber Plantation payment has become a questionable transaction, shading light into how state resources are being disbursed for the benefit of favored regime figures.
Insider trading smells on the transactions, which has prompted Senate inquiry. According to the Economics Times, insider trading is a malpractice wherein trade of companies securities is undertaken by people who by virtue of the work have access to the otherwise non public information, which can be crucial for making investment decisions.
Karnwea was managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority when the transaction occurred. In April 2016, a foreign government lobbyist described Brumskine as “close to the Johnson Sirleaf administration, in a leaked recording. Writes Festus Poquie