31 October 2013, Monrovia – There are reports that the announced Kuwaiti Oil Deal could end up like the controversial Nigerian and Japanese Oil Agreements which were characterized by lack of proper accountability and transparency.
According to the reports obtained from officialdom, since the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) announced the Kuwaiti oil deal almost a year ago, the Liberian people have not been updated about the status of this agreement, thus raising eyebrows over the deal.
The reports divulged that the management of the LPRC is under moral and social obligation to inform the Liberian people regularly on the status of the agreement because the company is there to serve the public. And more so, to ensure transparency and accountability.
It could be recalled that on December 8, 2012, the management of the LPRC announced that it had entered into discussions with the Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC) for the supply of petroleum products at concessionary price. The management of LPRC, in a press release issued in Monrovia at the time, disclosed that these discussions were the result of a request made by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during her last visit to Kuwait.
The management of LPRC asserted that the request was for a special commercial arrangement between LPRC and KPC for the supply of petroleum products at discount price to enable LPRC bring relief in the form of fuel subsidy to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), National Transit Authority (NTA) and the John F. Kennedy Hospital (JFK), among others.
“The intention is to help these institutions reduce the high cost of fuel and pass on the savings by expanding services to larger segments of the population, including vulnerable sectors. For example, it will assist LEC in expanding power access to low income families. The NTA will pass on its savings by reduced fares to certain categories of customers including students, security personnel in uniform and the elderly,” the LPRC management disclosed in the press release.
“As this is a special bilateral commercial arrangement, only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Liberian Ambassador in Kuwait are assisting the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) in monitoring the progress of these discussions at this time. On the Kuwaiti side, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs is similarly assisting the Kuwait Petroleum Company, KPC,” the management of LPRC further disclosed in the press release.