Liberia: ‘Citizens’ 5% Equity Rights in Petroleum Law Was Never Touched Despite Amendment’ – Senate Pro-Tempore Clarifies

MONROVIA – The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert T. Chie, has categorically debunked allegations that the five percent undiluted free-carried interest in the rights for communities in which concessions are located remains intact.

Senator Chie made specific reference to Article 36, Citizens Participation in Revenue from Petroleum Agreements which some Liberians in the Diaspora continue to argue that has been struck out in the amended Petroleum Law.

He explained the 5% for the citizens fund in the original petroleum law remained untouched during the amendment. However, additional 5% was introduced for Liberian citizens through their companies that have the financial ability to purchase this additional 5% from international oil companies. He stated that this second 5% is not free equity.

“Fellow citizens, let me make it clear that this Liberian Senate does not approve or concur with laws and amendments to laws which are not in the public interest, most especially when it comes to the protection and distribution of natural resources,” he said.

He added, “There is a misinformation scheme being perpetrated by some former employees and managers of NOCAL and are now living in the diaspora, sometimes using innocent and good-intentioned Liberians, that one of the five principal amendments to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Law (approved on October 9, 2019), that is, Article 36, Citizens Participation in Revenue from Petroleum Agreements, is in not in the public interest. From our records, all the five provisions in the amendment approved by the Liberian Senate are very progressive and the added provision in Article 36 gives additional benefits to Liberians.”

The Senate Pro-Tempore has, however, urged the Judiciary Committee which is reviewing the provisions in the amendment at the bequest of two of Senators to expeditiously come out with its report so the matter can be laid to rest permanently.

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