The President of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Dr. Randolph McClain, Justice Minister Christina Tah and other officials of government as well as private consultants have provided reasons why the Liberian Senate should consider ratifying the renegotiated Oil Block-13 (LB-13) deal.
It can be recalled that recently, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed the renegotiated agreement on Oil Block LB-13.
The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement on the signing of the renegotiated agreement, President Johnson-Sirleaf instructed that the agreement be forwarded to the Legislature for possible ratification.
Responding to questions from the Senate Committee on Lands, Mines and Environment on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at the Chambers of the Liberian Senate, Dr. McClain said the renegotiated Oil Block-13 deal has addressed many of the keys issues raised by the Liberian Legislature, ordinary citizens and NOCAL as it relates to oil production sharing, citizens participation and guarantees of the state share in the deal.
Buttressing Dr. McClain, Justice Minister Christina Tah said the issues of the violation of the country petroleum laws and regulations have been straightened up.
According to her, the right of citizens to participate in the process is now included. "When this agreement was earlier passed, everything was at zero participation because we did not take into account keys issues like the 10% and 5% shares for the country and Liberians but now this issues have been addressed and the government has made sure that all of the law and regulations are comply with," she said.
Meanwhile, in a brief chat with Legislative Reporters following the meeting at the Capitol Building, the head of the Senate Committee on Lands, Mines Energy and Environment, Senator Cletus Wotorson, said the Senate has not taken any position yet as to whether or not it will consider the proposal to ratify the renegotiated Oil Block-13 deal.
"There is lot of ignorance about this oil issue in this country. This is because we are new to it. So the first thing we wanted is to hear from the sector, civil society organizations, student and youth groups and the disabled people what they think about sector and from there we will decide the next step" he said.
Senator Wotorson added that the body will meet to further consult and come up with one position on whether or not they will go ahead with the ratification of Oil Block-13.