Immediate Reform Needed If Liberians Are To Profit From Potential Oil Finds, Report Shows
September 26th, 2011
September 26th, 2011
LONDON/MONROVIA – Far-reaching reforms of Liberia’s oil sector are urgently needed if its population is to benefit from future oil discoveries, says a report released today by Global Witness (1) and the Liberian Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI) (2). As the country heads to the polls in October, and with major oil companies such as US giant Chevron trying to find oil in Liberia, these reforms must be a priority for any new government.
Curse or Cure? How oil can boost or break Liberia’s post-war recovery provides an analysis of Liberia’s current oil sector. It finds that government officials and at least one company have paid bribes to ensure contracts were ratified in breach of Liberian laws, while companies with little experience in the oil sector have also received concessions. The report sets out what needs to be done to reform the sector, so that it can be used to generate funds for much-needed development.
“The decisions taken by the new government and international donors in the coming months could define our future: they must reform the sector now or risk continuing the corruption and instability of Liberia’s past,” said Jonathan Yiah of Sustainable Development Institute, a member of LOGI. “The warning signs are stark – this report shows at least one company, and even government officials, bribing Liberian legislators. This must change or we will again waste our resources and lose one of the best chances we have to build a sustainable economy.”
The report raises a number of specific concerns over the governance of Liberia’s oil sector:
“The Liberian Government has made some promising improvements in the resource sector, promoting transparency through the Liberian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and developing a National Energy Policy that outlines oil industry reforms,” said Global Witness campaigner Natalie Ashworth. “However, this reformist spirit has been undermined by poor implementation and a tendency of government officials to break their own laws in the pursuit of apparent quick wins.Curse or Cure shows how much more the Liberian Government and partners like the US and Norwegian governments have to do to clean up the country’s resource trade.”
Today’s report outlines a series of reforms that must be adopted to achieve this goal:
Most importantly, the Liberian Government and international donors should undertake these reforms through a transparent and inclusive process, involving all relevant government agencies and representatives of Liberian civil society.
Liberia: Natalie Ashworth, +231 (0)77 353 104, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jonathan Gant +231 (0)77 080 651, email@example.com;
UK: Oliver Courtney, +44 (0)7739 324962, firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL):
Thomas Doe Nah: +231 (0) 651 1142, email@example.com
Liberia Democratic Institute (LDI):
Dan T Saryee, Sr: +231 (0)651 4348, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Liberia Initiative for Peace, Democracy and Development (LMI):
John O Kollie: +231 (0)651 3080, Liberia.mediainiative@gmail.
Sustainable Development Institute (SDI):
Jonathan W Yiah: +231 (0)6641 355, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com,
RT @Magda_Sepul: @icrict members, we sent this letter to @antonioguterres regarding #TaxJustice 👇🏼
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