Liberia: House Forum will prevent oil curse

Brent crude oil13 February 2014, News Wires – Late last year, the House of Representatives subjected the Draft Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Act and the Draft NOCAL Act of 2013 to a nationwide House-citizen engagement. But, when noting else happened by the end of February 2014, many had thought that there was introduced a glitch in the oil sector reform process that would spell its doom.

Even the launch of the current roundtable consultations by the House did very little to change this view. But the man at the helm of NOCAL, President/CEO Dr. Randolph AKW McClain, says the forum presents not an obstacle, but an opportunity to prevent the oil curse that has ravaged many African oil-producing nations. The Analyst looks briefly at his remarks at the consultations.

“We consider today’s forum as yet another important step in our collective efforts to avoid the curse that has afflicted the management of the natural resources of many Africa countries. It clearly demonstrates that we here in Liberia are learning from the tragic lessons of what happened when a country’s natural resources and wealth are not efficiently managed.

“Indeed, the history of the extractive sector of Africa is replete with accounts of how societies have receded into conflicts because of mismanagement of natural resources. We know now that for any society to succeed in its natural resources management it will require the ability and capacity to enact and enforce policies and laws that will advance good governance for the purpose of enhancing sustainable economic growth and stability.”

These were the words of NOCAL, President/CEO Dr. Randolph AKW McClain, yesterday, when he addressed the opening session of the Roundtable Consultations currently convening at the SKD Complex in Paynesville on the Draft Petroleum (Exploration & Production) Act and the Draft NOCAL Act of 2013. The consultations are convening under the auspices of the House of Representatives of the 53rd National Legislature.

“Debates surrounding the efficient, transparent, and accountable management of the sector have come to absorb an increasing share of the attention of the public in recent years and the government has affirmatively responded with the appropriate reform mechanism,” CEO McCain observed.

Emphasizing that the new Petroleum Act of 2013 seeks primarily to separate the commercial, policy, and regulatory functions of the National Oil Company of Liberia, he said it would “be a strong instrument in harnessing government’s efforts aimed at ensuring that Liberians benefit optimally from their potential oil and gas resource”.


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