International Justice Group

Mr. President:

Liberia’s Oil Sector Avoiding the Resource Curse

We are concerned that your governance of the Liberian State leaves a desire for closer scrutiny of your democratic credentials and disposition to strengthening Liberia’s democratic aspirations, fighting corruption, protecting and advancing human rights protection and adhering to good governance principles.

But in here, I will restrict my subject to the Oil Sector:

  1. 1. I will urge you to discontinue, suspend and freeze your burning desire to move on with the planned prospective bidding for the sale of oil blocks in the harper basin;
  2. 2. In the same vein we are urging the International Community and potential investors to disengage from participation into this sector under the current operational, legal and regulatory regime under your government for doing otherwise, will be doing so at their own risk for future governments will not be so obliged;
  3. 3. The OIL SECTOR is a valuable national resource which if not properly and sustainably managed, could very well become another curse, the worst there could be, like the Iron Ore, gold, diamond, timber, rubber, water, fisheries and other sectors that may lead to a disruption of our democratic onward march, progress and violent conflicts;
  4. 4. The OIL SECTOR will be prepared and ready for commercialization that will benefit the Liberian people if the following happens as necessary PRECONDITIONS. We are also very much aware that you are running the third term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and just as it was under her corrupt regime; Liberia is wholesomely under sale and being mortgaged under your failed leadership and equally corrupt regime. on sale under your failed leadership.
  5. 5. Necessary PRECONDITIONS:
    1. a. The modified, amended statute or the Petroleum Reformed Law is a new law to govern a national public resource or asset and as far as public interest is concerned, its was done in outmost secrecy and without an iota of transparency;
    2. b. The aforesaid new law was not subject to peer review, scrutiny or public participation which are good governance principles that must characterize all manners of public interest and resource governance;
    3. c. All these characteristic present challenges to the OIL SECTOR which must be rectified,or corrected to ensure that the SECTOR is properly governed;
  • 6. RECOMMENDATIONS
    1. 1. THAT the Government of Liberia, through you, Mr. President suspend your plans to reactivate the OIL SECTOR by conducting another round of bidding for oil blocks in the Harper Basin until the foregoing shortcomings are redressed or alleviated;
    2. 2. THAT The International community,business, economic and commercial partners in the oil sector boycott, ignore and disregard calls of the Government of Liberia(GOL)to reactivate the OIL SECTORby bidding for offshore oil blocks untilinternational best practices, standards are incorporated into the oil programto insulate it from corruption and other bad governance practices, so prevalent in the Weah Government to prevent curses that may lead to unintended consequences resulting from corruption, mismanagement, bad governance and impunity that this regime has wholeheartedly embraced;
    3. 3. THAT until there is a comprehensive PUBLIC audit of the NOCAL,the reactivation of the OIL SECTORand the contemplatedpublic bidding for oil blocks in the Harper Basin be suspended indefinitely until public accountability and effective and sustainable management processes, standards and procedures are put in place to avoid abuse, corruption and inherent inequitabledisposal of oil and natural resource wealth for human development purposes in Liberia;
  • 7.
    1. a) Institution of a proper national resource governance regimeincluding a sound environmental governance regime under proportional equity principles that guarantees the sustainability of the sector to the benefits of posterity instead of killing it;
    2. b) Massive public corruption and theftcharacterized the oil sector under NATIONAL OIL COMPANY (NOCAL) for which your benefactor and partner in crime,your predecessor, President Sirleaf publiclyassumed responsibility for its financial malaise and eventual collapse. It will therefore be imperative and necessary, a must that a COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT of NOCAL is concluded as a sine qua nonto the commencement of revitalizing, resourcing and commercialization ofthe sector;

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