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Kenya: Parliament to investigate procurement of luxury jet by Deputy President William Ruto


Standard Digital

By Geoffrey Mosoku

Parliament has summoned top Government officials over the controversy surrounding the procurement of a luxury jet used by Deputy President William Ruto in May on an Africa tour.

Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, Registrar of companies and Secretary of Administration in Ruto’s office Abdul Mwaserrah are to appear before MPs on Tuesday. The three are to shed light on the procurement of the jet and circumstances under which the documents on the hiring of the jet disappeared.

The registrar in particular will help the Ababu Namwamba-led PAC to unearth the directors of a local company that was involved in the procurement.

Ruto and his delegation flew in the jet to West Africa and Central Africa countries of Nigeria, Congo, Gabon and Ghana in May this year with claims that the trip cost the taxpayers Sh100 million. However, the Office of Deputy President later provided documents to prove that they paid about Sh18.5 million to the jet company.

Dennis Kariuki, a director at Auditor General’s office wrote to Parliament saying it was not possible to ascertain the cost of hiring the jet after leaves from a chequebook used went missing. Also missing are two local service orders used to hire the aircraft from Vistajet Company.

Tuesday, the PAC was told President Uhuru invoked the Executive Order in hiring of the plane that took Ruto and his team on the tour. The committee is investigating circumstances under which the plane was hired, and how much was paid by the Government.

Liberia’s Johnson-Sirleaf sacks AG


News24

DakarPresident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dismissed Liberia‘s auditor-general and the head of the public procurement agency (GSA) on Monday in a crackdown on public sector corruption.

Johnson-Sirleaf, a Nobel peace laureate, has pledged to fight graft as the West African country strives to recover from a sporadic 14-year civil conflict that ended in 2003 and left its once-prosperous economy in tatters.

A presidency statement said Auditor-General Robert Kilby, who took office last year, was being dismissed for a clear conflict of interest due to his private business dealings.

Pearine Davis-Parkinson, director-general of the General Services Agency (GSA), was dismissed for approving contracts involving Kilby in violation of Liberian law.

Davis-Parkinson told a parliamentary committee last week the GSA had employed an accounting firm owned by Kilby to set up an asset tracking system for the government.

“Join me in our continued fight against corruption,” Johnson-Sirleaf said in a statement announcing the dismissals.

Johnson-Sirleaf, who took office as Africa‘s first elected female head of state in 2006, has come under pressure for failing to root out corruption.

A recent audit of resource contracts by the accounting firm Moore Stephens showed that almost all the $8bn worth of resource contracts signed since 2009 violated Liberia’s laws and showed irregularities.

Johnson-Sirleaf told Reuters that the audit had been designed to highlight problems so that they could be addressed, and her government was taking action to do so.

She has forecast that economic growth, which has averaged 6.5% over the past four years, will hit double digits within two years as foreign investment starts to have an impact.

Monitoring Findings of the Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector


Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

August21, 2012

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONALSierra Leone

20, Dundas Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa P.O Box 1312

Press Release

Monitoring Findings of the Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector

“The Sierra Leone Coalition for Budget and Procurement Transparency in the Education Sector” supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) through its monitoring exercises had so far made the following findings.

1. There are established procurement committees with the required membership in all the entities monitored

2. Most of the procurement units monitored were able to produce documentary evidence of procurement committee meetings, bid documents, etc.

3. All the bid openings were done in public

4. Most of the procurement committees work independently without administrative or  political influence

5. Lack of adequate equipment like computers, printers in all the Procurement Units monitored. This will affect there efficiency of the unit and proper storage of records

6. In some entities, there is semblance of administrative/ political interference in public procurement processes. This will undermine the independence of the Unit

7. In all the entities monitored, there is inadequate number of procurement professionals to effectively handle procurement processes especially in big councils like the Freetown City Council. This is one of the factors responsible for flouting procurement regulations.

8. There is in most cases the absence of technical experts in the preparation of bids and the award of contracts. This can lead to the quotation of wrong specifications of goods, works and services required.

9. In most of the councils monitored, there is no documentary evidence of the 5% retention fee for every contract awarded especially works. This makes it  difficult to track contractors who abandon their contracts before completion

10. There is insufficient teaching and learning materials like text books in most of the schools monitored

11. There is delay, and sometimes non-payment of the 5% retention fees

12. In most of the entities monitored contract details including BOQs are not publicly displayed. This makes monitoring of contract performance very difficult

For more information or clarification please contact Transparency International Secretariat 20 Dundas Street Freetown or call Mr. Edward B. Koroma (Project Coordinator) on the following mobile telephone numbers 076-407979/033-445884/077-173936.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Senegal cancels fishing authorizations


AllAfrica.com

May 3rd, 2012

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

Dakar, Senegal — Greenpeace welcomes the decision of the Senegalese government to cancel licenses of pelagic fishing vessels issued to 29 foreign trawlers from Russia, Comoros, Lithuania, Saint Vincent Grenadine and Belize.

“These kinds of licenses are a direct threat to employment and food security for millions of Senegalese who have been dependent on fishing for centuries,” says Raoul Monsembula, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace.

West Africa‘s fish stocks are severely pressured by over-exploitation, mainly by destructive high-tech Russian, Asian and European vessels that can in a single day capture, process, and freeze 200-250 tons of fish.

“This corresponds to the fish consumption by at least 9,000 Senegalese during afull year” (1) FAO 2007.

Greenpeace has, for the last 18 months, called for the cancellation of the licenses and less than a month ago, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was patrolling the waters of Senegal and Mauritania to put the spotlight on the systematic plunder of West African waters by foreign vessels. “Most of the trawlers encountered by the Arctic Sunrise were European vessels or in some way linked to Europe, including Russia(2).

On 27 April, EU Fisheries ministers got together in Luxemburg to discuss the reform of EU fishing rules, known as the common fisheries policy (CFP), but failed to take necessary steps to tackle the excessive fleet capacity of the European fishing fleet. “The same week as the fisheries ministers failed to make progress on fisheries reform, the EU had to cancel the permits for its vessels in Mauritanian waters months before time simply because these giants had used up their quota in no time, says Pavel Klinckhamers, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace. “If European ministers really want to tackle the issue of a bloated fleet, they have to act now and choose sustainable, low impact fisheries,” he argues.

Greenpeace urges the government of Senegal to declare an emergency moratorium on the allocation of fishing licenses, as a sustainable policy has not yet been defined. Greenpeace also calls on European governments and fisheries ministers to support a new Common Fisheries Policy that tackles Europe’s bloated fleet by scrapping the most destructive and oversized vessels, including factory trawlers operating in the waters of developing countries (3).

1. Source FAO, 2007.

2. From15 February to 15 April 2012 Greenpeace completed an expedition in Senegal and Mauritania to highlight overfishing. A total of 71 vessels were observed and three out of four were found to have parent companies in either EU or other non-EU European countries. More than a third bore the flag of an EU country and another third were sailing under flags of convenience. In Senegal, as much as 90% of the vessels were in some way linked to Europe, mostly Eastern Europe, (including Russia) and in Mauritania, this was the case for 80%.

3. The European Common Fisheries Policy, CFP, is supposed to ensure sound and sustainable fisheries. The reality is that it has failed. The same extensive and destructive fishing fleet which has pushed Europe’s fish stocks to the brink now allows European fleets to hoover up fish form seas outside of Europe, including in West Africa. A full review of the CFP, which takes place every ten years, is currently under way and provides a unique chance to end overfishing by EU vessels, in and outside of Europe, and begin the transition to sustainable low-impact practices.

DryShips drilling unit signs offshore Africa contract


March 22, 2012

(Reuters) – Ocean Rig UDW Inc, the drilling unit of DryShips Inc, said it signed a new contract for a rig to drill in offshore West Africa.

Ocean Rig UDW, in which DryShips owns a 73.9 percent stake, said the contract is for 84 days and has an estimated backlog of $67.5 million.

The customer has the option to extend the contract for one additional well for an estimated duration of about 40 days, Nicosia, Cyprus-based Ocean Rig said in a statement.

U.S.-listed shares of Ocean Rig, which went public in October last year, closed at $17.24 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Divya Lad in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Huge oil deposits discovered In Liberia


English.news.cn

February 22, 2012

MONROVIA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — The African Petroleum (AP), an oil and gas exploration and development company in West Africa, announced on Tuesday that a potentially large accumulation of oil deposits had been found off the coast of Liberia. The discovery was made at National Oil Company of Liberia (NACOL) Narina-1 exploratory well drilled in Block LB-09… According to McClain, the process necessitating the tests for the oil’s discovery would take a pretty extended time. He told reporters that the country’s oil evaluation would indicate as to whether the deposits are in sufficient quantity to be commercially viable for production. NACOL said a period of additional 5 to 7 years is expected for the project immediately after the appraisals.

The discovery by the AP is said to have taken place in Block LB- 09 off the coast of Liberia. This block is one of the blocks being operated by the company under a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA). The PSA was negotiated by the executive branch and then later ratified by the legislature in 2008. The exploratory well is among several that have been drilled during the periods 2011 and 2012Read more.

Liberia: LPRC Ready For Probe


AllAfrica.com

February 16, 2012

AllAfrica aggregates reports from Africa‘s news media. This is an article from the Liberian press. It is not a report by AllAfrica.

The resignation of Cllr. Negbalee Warner as chair of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) would have faded away as the private affair it is, except that it has degenerated into allegation trading. Mr. Warner says he resigned to protest impropriety within the LPRC; but the board thinks he is covering up his double-dealings. Besides, it is putting up a challenge for proof of impropriety, if any. The Analyst, reports.

The 9-man LPRC Board of Directors says while it does not dispute that the company faces challenges, business impropriety is not part of the challenges, and that it was ready to undergo any scrutiny, audit, or investigation to prove it.

If there is any impropriety, the board says, it is likely to be that perpetrated by former board chair, Cllr. Negbaleee Warner, whom it accused of engagement in conflict of interest, but who claimed his resignation relates to the management of the Japanese Oil Grant and the Motherwell Contract and financial management.

The board said while it respected Mr. Warner’s right to resign, it was necessary to establish the truth in order for the government, the Liberian people, and Liberia’s economic partners to know that the LPRC board and management comprised individuals of integrity and honesty who are guided by love of country.

It then expressed its willingness and preparedness to prove that all of its transactions were in accord with established guidelines for inter-agency collaboration, procurement guidelines and procedures, bilateral protocols, and government policies.

The board notes, thus, in the concluding statements of the press statement it issued yesterday under the signature of its Secretary General, Mr. T. Nelson Williams:

The Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) stands ready to undergo any scrutiny, audit, or investigation of its operations and especially the allegations of the former Chairman of the Board, Counselor Negbalee Warner.

We invite the General Auditing Commission, the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ministry of Justice, and any other Concerned Agency to probe the validity of Counselor Warner’s allegations…Read more.

Guinea’s next steps: mining review, army reform


Reuters Africa

December 21, 2011

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY (Reuters) – Guinea will review mining contracts and cut the size of the armed forces during 2012, President Alpha Conde said in a speech outlining his priorities for his second year in office.

The moves are aimed at boosting the West African state’s economy and cementing its fragile stability, but if done poorly could backfire by angering international investors as well as the country’s unruly soldiers.

Guinea is the world’s largest supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and has vast deposits of iron ore that have drawn billions of dollars in planned investment, but it is struggling to emerge from decades of political turmoil…Read more.

Sierra Leone: Timber!


Al Jazeera

A story of corruption that is stripping the west African country bare.
Illegal logging is laying waste to Sierra Leone’s endangered forests. Despite years of laws and bans, its precious timber is still being exported abroad and unless something is done the country’s woodlands will have been destroyed within a decade. So why can the authorities not do more to stop it?

In this edition of Africa Investigates, reporter Sorious Samura exposes the high level corruption that is stripping his homeland bare.
With an undercover team he discovers that an illegal multi-million dollar timber trade is flourishing under the nose of the government and that associates of one of the most powerful politicians in the country are involved.

In response, the government of Sierra Leone has issued a statement promising to investigate the matters raised in this programme. See the video here.

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