Today I accepted the resignation of Robert Sirleaf as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), as well as Senior Advisor to the President.
Mr. Sirleaf’s assignment was very clear; it was to ensure that we had full reform of the oil sector. It has taken a while to do the consultations, to get the technical assistance, to work with the different oil companies to do this reform. The reform was concluded in the presentation by the Legislature to their body: an Act to restructure NOCAL, as well as a new Petroleum Law. The objectives of those two instruments were:
1. To ensure a path of accountability and transparency in the oil sector;
2. To make sure that there was a competitive process in the bidding for oil resources; to separate the commercial and the regulatory functions of the oil sector; and to make sure the benefits of the oil sector are passed on to all Liberians, as well as to future generations.
Those documents are now before the Legislature: the Senate has acted on it; the House of Representatives will act upon it when they return in January. We have thus concluded that with these reforms now in place, or about to be in place, once the Legislative process is over, that his assignment has ended.
As I said, we made a promise that he was there for something specific and when that assignment was done, he would leave. It’s a promise we made; people perhaps did not believe us and criticized, but we have kept that promise.
His work is over. He can now move on and become a private citizen.