Source: FrontPage Africa
– FPA EDITORIAL
DEMANDING ANSWERS: IF TOLBERT’S explanation that he was in Russia attending an investment forum and Speaker Tyler was coincidentally attending a parliamentarian forum, then the people of Liberia must be told the name of the forum and the duration of how long it lasted, what was discussed? Was it beneficial to Liberia? What are some of the benefits and why are they needed at this time?
THE HEAD of the National Investment Commission, Richard Tolbert and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Alex Tyler, both recently paid a mysterious visit to Russia but the purpose of the visit to this day remains unknown.
THE VISIT COMES amid concerns that Tolbert, has been using his position as head of the NIC to influence a number of concession agreements. Tolbert, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry recently acknowledged that he has ties to Putu but explained that he had recused himself from all dealings regarding the Mano deal in Liberia. “I should as a Liberian have a share but I do not have any now but I still maintain relations with the company. Tolbert said in keeping with the charter of the NIC he disclosed his ties to Mano before he took on the post. “I have recused myself from the proceedings. Advisor to the company, I had options.” Tolbert said he was very proud that to be associated with Mano and Putu and was instrumental in keeping them in Liberia even after war and destruction.
SAID TOLBERT: “They’re not only involved in minerals but also gold and I feel very proud to have a multi-million dollar company doing business in Grand Gedeh which will help to bring jobs and other benefits to Liberia.” Tolbert added that he will work to make sure that Liberia reaps all of the financial benefits deserves from the Mano-Putu operations.”
AS GOVERNMETN OFFICIALS paid by taxpayers, it is incumbent upon Mr. Tolbert and Speaker Tyler to notify or at least inform the Liberian people about their visit to Russia.
IF TOLBERT’S explanation that he was in Russia attending an investment forum and Speaker Tyler was coincidentally attending a parliamentarian forum, then the people of Liberia must be told the name of the forum and the duration of how long it lasted, what was discussed? Was it beneficial to Liberia? What are some of the benefits and why are they needed at this time?
THESE QUESTIONS ARE crucial amid reports that both Speaker Alex Tyler and Tolbert have been heavily involved in pushing the interests and ratification of the Putu mining deal.
THE COINCIDENTAL TRIP to Russia has also drawn interests from senior administration officials, particularly concerned about the coincidence of the trip, coming at the same time Speaker Tyler was there. Interestingly, Tolbert did not state the name of the parliamentarian or investment conference he and Tyler attended when FPA sought inquiries recently.
FRONTPAGEAFRICA HAS learned that Speaker Tyler and the Bomi Caucus have ties to Elenilto Minerals and Mining Corporation, a company recently granted the Western Cluster Iron Ore Deposits. It was while both Tyler and Tolbert were in Russia, when the company sought to present a Russian bank guarantee as a security for the 25 million dollar signature bonus which was roundly rejected by international lawyers advising the President.
ACCORDING TO government sources, the Russian bank guarantee did not have a prime money center bank as a backer. Elenilto, incidentally has been requested by Government of Liberia negotiators to provide a financial and technical guarantee on its ability to make the 2.5 billion dollars investment in the Western Cluster. Experts say a two year old company with no assets, no financial statement and certainly no experience in the iron ore industry must be required to prove that it can bring a major partner to the table. But sources told FrontPageAfrica that the industry is abuzz with questions on how a company such as Elenilto, with no record of success anywhere on the globe could capture the coveted Western Cluster Iron ore deposits in a process overseen by Mr. Richard Tolbert, as head of the Inter Ministerial Concession Committee (IMCC).
RICHARD TOLBERT and Speaker Tyler’s next task is simple: Offer a clear and precise explanation to the people of Liberia regarding your recent trip to Russia. For the sake of transparency, accountability and the rule of law, Liberians demand that Mr. Tolbert and the honorable speaker set the record straight about their Russian connection.
WHILE WE AWAIT the explanations of Mr. Tolbert and Speaker Tyler, it will be helpful if they explain to Liberia and the people of Liberia whether their trip was financed by taxpayers’ dollars or their alleged business and investment interests in Russia.
FOR THE SAKE of transparency and accountability, we await an explanation.