Liberia: Nocal-backed community projects collapse

21 October 2015,  Monrovia — The financial crisis at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has left the future of many projects funded by the company in doubt. As part of an ongoing investigation into the projects funded by NOCAL’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, FrontPageAfrica has found many projects were already in trouble before the financial turmoil. Projects across the country will be featured in coming reports.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia.

One such project was a new youth center at Logan Town near the port on Bushrod Island in Monrovia. According to report on NOCAL’s website, the project was funded after the young people of Logan Town community “dreamt of developing a small multipurpose Youth Resource Center.”

In collaboration with the young people NOCAL’s site claims it “provided a town hall, a well-equipped cyber café with computers and a cable TV network facility.” The building was dedicated in July 2012 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Crucially, claims the website, “this project is self-sustainable.”

Three years later FrontPageAfrica found a very different picture.All that’s left at the rundown Youth Center is a few plastic chairs scattered around. Tiles on the floor are dirty and cracked. A cable wire hangs through the ceiling. Two office desks sit on the podium while a speaker, water cooler and an air conditioner are piled in a small room. There are no computers, no internet and no people. Despite the claim on NOCAL’s website, there’s also no town hall.

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