Liberia: Eminent citizens excluded from oil policy consultation

johnson sirleaf

Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

08 December 2013, Monrovia – A group under the banner of National Association of River Cess County Professionals (NARP), has alarmed that several eminent citizens of River Cess County were excluded from the oil consultation recently held in the county.

The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) in collaboration with the Legislature is conducting a nationwide consultation on the proposed oil policy.

Budget for the nationwide consultation for the proposed oil policy is put at US$900,000.

Mr. M. Blonkanjay Jackson, Chairman of the group told a news conference held in Monrovia Thursday, December 5, 2013 that even though they (eminent citizens) from River Cess County are residing in Monrovia, there was still a need to solicit their views.

According to him, while residing in Monrovia, they, too, are equally contributing to the operations of the Government of Liberia (GoL), and as such, their views were important.

“While we laud the attempt, we have concerns over the exclusion of River Cess citizens who have the skills to decipher the messages that were relayed to our people.”

Mr. Jackson, who is also an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Education, called on the lawmakers to convene a meeting with them (eminent citizens) of River Cess.

He named the eminent citizens of River Cess County as former Foreign Minister, and now Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Togar Gayewea McCintosh; the former President of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Dr. Christopher Neyor; former Education Minister, Dr. Othello Gongar and former Information Minister, Rev. Emmanuel Bowier.

Others include: Professor Thomas Duoe, Mr. Theophilus Joseph, Attorney Onesimus Banwan and Mr. Paul Jarvan among others.

“We believe that a meeting with these sons of River Cess County will authenticate the objective of the consultation.”

But when contacted to speak to these concerns raised by the “eminent” River Cess County’s citizens, the Director of Press at the House of Representatives, Mr. Isaac Wreh, said the issue of who is an eminent citizen is unclear, stating that everybody is eminent.

He noted that it was impossible to invite everybody to the consultation.

“We could not invite the entire county for the consultation. What we did was, since River Cess County has two electoral districts, we decided to invite 20 persons from each district for the consultation. In short, 40 persons from the two districts of county participated in the consultation.”

– Heritage

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