By Alloycious David
The former Manager for African Development Aid Libyan African Portfolio (ADA/LAP), Elvis G. Morris has refuted claims that it dashed out US$30,000 to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai to facilitate his trip to the company’s project site in Foya, Lofa County.
ADA/LAP is an agricultural company that has a concession with the Liberian Government to cultivate and produce rice in Liberia.
The project is a joint venture of ADA, an NGO established by Wendell McIntosh and the Libyan Government. The project failed, but it has been attributed to the uprising in Libya which led to the death of President Muammar Gaddafi.
Recently, the head of ADA, Wendell McIntosh accused Vice President Boakai of extorting US$30,000 from ADA/LAP.
The money, he alleged, was demanded by VP Boakai to enable him visit the organization’s rice project in his home town of Foya.
But the man who managed the organization’s activities Alvis Morris told a news conference Thursday that at no time did the ADA/LAP Swiss give Ambassador Boakai any money as alleged by his former Boss McIntosh.
Morris said he was aware of what ADA spent and noted “in my time, I didn’t know about US$30,000 given to Mr. Boakai.”
He recalled that it was Mr. Boakai who spent his own money when trouble started in Libya to ensure that rice cultivated on 1,200 hectares in Foya didn’t spoil.
Morris said Vice President Boakai personally bought fuel for the organization’s equipment that were parked at its offices in Congo Town.
He said McIntosh is on record for praising Boakai for his contributions to the project and indicated that his extortion claim is a complete contradiction.
Morris blamed McIntosh for the failure of the project, disclosing that most of the equipment bought by the organization were useless and a waste of resources.
He disclosed that when he was called in to manage the organization, he did an evaluation of the rice project to ascertain what went wrong with the project.
According to him, it was established that there was a shortage of US$18 million, and the project financier, Libya, pumped US$ 30 Million in the project.
Morris further stated that following the evaluation, Libyan Government agreed to recommit the US$18 million that was ‘mismanaged,’ but said it was not made available due to crisis in the North African country.