The NEWS (Monrovia)

1 February 2013

Liberia: Discipline, Not Greediness

The former President of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has warned against greediness in the management of resources from Liberia's oil sector.

Mr. Christopher Neyor said it is important to ensure transparency and discipline in the management of the Liberian oil.

He warned that if the oil sector is not properly managed, it could lead to serious problems capable of affecting the country.

The former NOCAL boss said when the resources are managed properly, the country could realize billions of United States dollars.

"If the 840 million barrels estimated by Africa Petroleum in one of its well are proven to be true, Liberia would get US$84 billion or US$85 billion in revenue just from that one well," Neyor noted.

Mr. Neyor spoke Thursday when he appeared on the Truth Break Fast Show, on Truth FM Radio in Monrovia.

He said Liberia should not make the mistake of managing its oil sector like those of Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, but rather Norway which has good structures and systems from which the people benefit from their resources.

Mr. Neyor said considering the huge resources and temptations in the oil sector, it is paramount to have Liberians with integrity to manage the sector.

Mr. Neyor: "they must be paid well to avoid temptations because there's huge money going around; I know it because I've been there."

The Liberian Energy Expert said the oil resources must not be used like those of iron ore and other mineral resources which did not benefit the people but made them even poorer.

He recommended the establishment of a commission which must include representatives from each of the 15 counties to manage resources from the oil sector.

The former NOCAL boss warned against allowing the Ministry of Finance to manage revenues from the oil sector, emphasizing that it would be a "prescription for disaster, because without a proper structure on what to do with the revenues, and you just say the Ministry of Finance should hold it, I think they will but that's why we must have a commission that will manage it."

Meanwhile, Neyor frowned on any re-negotiation of oil agreement in the sector. He believes that doing so will drive away investors.

He said Liberia must respect the sanity of contracts, adding "we have signed the agreements and they have become law; the Legislature ratified them, so to change it now will send the wrong signal to the industry especially at the time when we need investors in the oil sector."

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