12 March 2014, Monrovia – Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has hailed the Legislature for its role in producing a draft oil and gas law and hopes that the collaboration will reach a successful conclusion, resulting in a petroleum law that will benefit all Liberians.
The Liberian leader stressed that the nationwide consultations by the Legislature further increased citizens’ participation in assuming ownership of their country’s oil future which she said serves as an eye opener in demonstrating transparency.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking at the opening of the Monrovia Roundtable on the Draft Oil Law at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, Monday, March 10.
Delivering the Keynote Address, the Liberian President said she was particularly pleased that the citizens are part of the oil law formulation and believes that these broad-based inputs are about to produce one of the best oil laws in Africa. “Usually, oil laws are made after a commercial discovery, not before; but my administration wanted to be ready before that time in preparing for the future generation of Liberians thereby creating the right framework, building the right institutions, and strengthening our capacity before oil is found in order to give our country a strong start,” she said.
She gave three reasons why there is a compelling need to have a robust oil and gas law, ranging from attracting world-class oil companies to having a transparent and accountable sector. “First, we wanted Liberia to be positioned to attract world-class oil companies that would bring the highest degree of accountability and transparency, technical excellence, the highest standards for health, safety and the environment, employment for Liberians.
“Second, we wanted Liberia to have a petroleum governance framework that strikes the right balance between providing revenues and other benefits to the State.
“Thirdly, we wanted Liberia to have a progressive petroleum law that would be a model for accountability, transparency and inclusion,” President Sirleaf emphasized.
The Liberian leader pointed out that this has not been a small achievement for a country emerging from a brutal civil war, fuelled in part by the misuse of natural resources. She expressed much optimism that the bottom line of the exercise would be in the interest of the people.
– Liberia Govt Release