Alleged Rampant Corruption At LPRC Unearthed


By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 14, 2005


Former Liberian Finance Minister, Dr. Byron Tarr, backed by the Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE) says he has uncovered what he described as consistent financial theft at a state corporation, the Liberian Refinery Company (LPRC) with government funds being use for political campaign purposes by the entity senior managers.

Displaying a LRPC’s projected income statement that compares 2004 and 2005, Dr. Tarr revealed that the LPRC ordinary expenditures in 2004 were $5,204,032. That amount, he observed were US$ 1,866,344 or 55.92% more than the US$ 3,337,688 the board approved.

He further exposed that during the said period (2004), the company reported a loss of $ 500,338 on a gross income of $8,297,140.

The organized theft as described by Dr. Tarr was brought to limelight in a column run by Dr. Tarr in the New Democratic Newspaper.

In the Column recent publications titled “The Price of Gasoline: How It benefits LPRC Executive And the NTGL”, Dr. Tarr explained that every time the price of a gallon of gasoline or fuel oil goes up, senior NTGL officials, directors and management of the LPRC personally benefit.

He noted that the increases are not explained so much by the dramatic increases in the price of crude oil as by the millions of dollars paid to the LPRC senior managers.

Dr. Tarr in a news conference with CEDE’s Executive Director on Monday in Monrovia; said in 2004 the enterprise paid its senior management US$ 837,281 over and above their handsome salaries. The amount was to cover increases in the cost of living due to inflations- cost of living adjustment.
“The company also in the same year spent US$ 220,000 in board fees on its six directors at the period in which the board had not made any provision for fees at the beginning of the year” he pointed out.

The one time Liberian Finance minister continue by saying that the LPRC board approved US$ 10,000 for end of the year party for 2005 but the management spent US$200,000.

He said the company’s income will rise to US$9,600,000 this year but haven significantly increase it costs in this year the net result is projected to be a profit of $ US$201,89.

Seniors managers at the LPRC already in the race for October 11, include its Managing Director dwin Snowe, Aspirant for a Montserrado House Seat; Richard Divine, Deputy Managing Director/Fiscal, a Senatorial Hopeful for Bomi County; Zoe Pennoh, Deputy Managing Director for Administration, a Contender for Grand Gedeh

House Seat; and the Board Chaired of LPRC, Cllr. Fredrick Cherue a Senatorial Candidates for River Gee. All of the aspirants except Mr. Snowe are member of the

Liberia Action Party, the Tarr’s document exposed. Quoting what he referred to as undocumented reports, Dr. Tarr stressed that in 2005 the LPRC plans to raise the payment for legal services it procures from its retained counsel from US$ 16,963 in 2004 to US$ 155,938. Similarly in the same year he outlined, the budget for Deputy Managing Director Richard Divine was raised from US$20,380 to US$ 424,501.

Mr. Tarr backed by Ezekiel Pajibo insisted that the increases in the various budgets at the LPRC and the increases in the price of crude oil and gasoline during this election season is only intended to profit these managers political campaigns.

When asked if they are prepared to take the LPRC managers to court, the two men said the court system is rotten therefore they are going to engaged the electorates in the various districts in which these men are contesting.

When contacted via mobile phone, Mr. Snowe said the two men, Tarr and Pajibo are campaigning for the Unity party and that if they have anything against the LPRC Management they should take advantage of the legal system.

The Management promised to hold a major news conference at time to officially response to the accusations.