Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Liberia: House says Oil Deals Lack Transparency - Lawmakers Tell Government to Cease Negotiations Over Oil Blocks

Written by Tom B Nyenur

Source: FrontPage Africa                                                                                                            

Alex Tyler
The Legislature has accused the executive of not being transparent about its deals with multinational oil companies over its oil blocks, foreshadowing a potential battle between the two branches of government.

The legislators on Tuesday released findings of an investigation they said showed the presidency was failing to adhere to accountability and transparency procedures in negotiating deals for Liberia’s offshore oil blocks.


The report by the House of Representatives showed that the National Oil Company of Liberia, NOCAL, did not allow Liberian society groups to participate in the process, when it was negotiating deals for oil blocks on behalf of the presidency.

The investigation was launched about two months ago after Margibi County Representative Emmanuel Nuquay raised concerns about the lack stakeholder consultation in the negotiations.

According to document in the possession of FrontPage Africa, the Legislature claims government risks losing US$27 million because of NOCAL’s failure to complete the negotiation of oil Block 13, thus creating budgetary deficit in breach of the national budget law.

The document also argues the budget is being undermined by the deposit of revenue generated from the sale of the Japanese food aid and petroleum products.

In line with the Liberian government’s appropriation and disbursement procedures, money generated from the sale of commodities should have been deposited into the government’s consolidated account and not into escrow account.

Meanwhile, the House has endorsed a number of corrective recommendations originating from its joint committees on Ways Means, Lands, Mines and Natural Resources, State Enterprises, Public Accounts and Judiciary.

Among the endorsed recommendations, the House wants all existing production sharing contracts and other addendums be reviewed for compliance with all provisions of the new petroleum law of Liberia.

The joint committees also recommended that negotiations on all offshore blocks, including numbers 1-7, be suspended until the conditions are met including the review of the Act that created NOCAL in 2007.

It remains to be seen whether the Executive Branch will consent to the House’s demands or lead to another battle between the two branches of government.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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