Senate Committee to recommend reinstatement of ALL old Provisions of Liberia’s Oil Law -To Protect Liberians 5% Equity Rights in Petroleum Agreements

The Judiciary Committee of the Liberian Senate is said to have resolved to recommend to the plenary of the senate the reinstatement of all the provisions(36.1 – 36.7) of Liberia’s original oil law that list and protect a 5% equity participation right for all Liberians in petroleum agreements according to the Coalition for the Restoration for Liberians 5% Equity Rights(CORLE).

The disclosure was made yesterday, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 by CORLE, through a press release signed by Ambulah Abutumaga Mamey, Organizing Committee Chairman which stated that the decision was taken by the Judiciary Committee following a public hearing on Citizens’ 5% equity participation in agreement. The release said Corle welcomes the decision and looks forward to the actions the Senate and Ministry of Justice may take to codify the law to reflect the said reinstatement.

“Reinstating the original provisions is a major progress, but their prompt enforcement remains the ultimate desire of all Liberians. Therefore, CORLE’s next focus- after 36.1- 36.7 are reinstated- will be to ensure the government enacts the Citizens Fund Law in accordance with 36.7 and takes concrete steps to selecting a Trust Company for the management of the fund in accordance with 36.5. The actions the government will take to enact the Citizens Fund law and select the Trust Company will demonstrate its commitment or lack thereof to protecting the 5% right of all Liberians’ , the release said.

The group said that to ensure the Citizens Fund Law is enacted and the Trust Company selected, it will continue working with Senator Darius Dillon of Montserrado County and other like minded Senators who are demonstrating genuine commitment to protecting the 5% equity rights for Liberians.

“We want to reemphasize that the most secured source of protection for Liberians’ 5% equity participation is the petroleum Law, not the draft Production Sharing Contract (PSC) the government says has 5% equity for Liberians. We state further that PSCs are not laws; they are proposals submitted to oil companies for consideration when governments decide to award oil concession. Any provisions in a PSC that is not in the petroleum law of a country is not binding and are likely to be negotiated downwards or completely removed from the PSC. On the other hand, any provision in the PSC that is also in the law is binding and not negotiable downwards. We want the 5% for Citizens’ Fund to be written in the law and the PSC so it can be binding and non-negotiable the same way the 5% for businesses and 10% for the government are in the law and PSC and are binding and non-negotiable”, CORLE concludes its statement.

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