House Speaker Alex Tyler says there will be a review process of concessions agreements wrongly negotiated by the Liberian government after five years as per the agreement.
Tyler said, under his gavel, concession agreements were ratified with a five-year review clause which gives government the opportunity to review the agreement if the need arises.
The speaker referenced the mental steel concession agreement as one of agreement that is among several others that will be review after five years.
Recently, the watchdog group, Transparency International alleged that out of the 68 concession agreements signed by the Liberian government only two met international best practices while 66 were against international best practice.
Speaking Thursday at the Ministry of Information weekly news conference, Speaker Tyler revealed plans by the House of Representatives to undertake a nationwide tour with the draft National Oil Law to solicit citizens input before concurring with the Senate for passage.
The Speaker said the tour will enable Members of the lower house and Liberians to have a critical look at the law and make inputs before it passage.
Tyler said the decision of the House comes in the wake of a report from the house joint committee which recommended to plenary that the bill be critically reviewed and gauge citizens' participation in the reform process of the hydrocarbon sector. The committee include; Ways Means and Finance, Lands Mines and Energy, State Enterprise, Public Accounts and Expenditure and Judiciary.
Speaker Tyler also told reporters that prior to the committee's recommendation, a 22-member committee was immediately setup to thoroughly review the draft taking into consideration the following: International Best Practices, Local Contents and the Management of Resources accumulated from the sectors amongst others.
The special committee will begin the nation-wide tour on the 4th of November with the process officially launched in Gbarnga Bong County and said; the tour will include a team of expert from the National Oil Company of Liberia.
Asked how much money is being budgeted for the process Tyler said, up to present there has not been a fixed budget approved by the government of Liberia but information gathered is the over there hundred thousand United Sates dollars has been budgeted for the entire process.
The process according to Tyler will conclude with a National Conference in Monrovia, Montserrado County in January 2014. Speaker Tyler promised to use the local media and Civil Society Organizations to best educate the Liberian people about other achievements of the House of Representatives during its second seating.
The Draft National Oil Law was approved by the Liberian Senate in September of 2013 and sent to the lower House for concurrence. The lower House while wrapping up its activities and bracing for agriculture break failed to concur with the Senate because according to them, time was limited.
The lower house said, at the time that they needed more time to review the draft and make the necessary inputs that will benefit all Liberians.
The Senate committee headed by Senator Cletus Wortorson (UP-Grand Kru County) passed the bill after conducting public hearings. A Ghanaian oil expert was brought on to weigh in and he advised and recommended to the committee to change and amend certain portions of the bill especially the aspect that has to do with local content.