Members of the 53rd National Legislature are expected to visit rural communities to begin consultations with locals on wide range of issues as it relates to reforming Liberia's oil and gas sector.
The consultation will begin in Gbarnga City, Bong County and will extend to the north, central, western and eastern regions of the country, House Speaker Alex Tyler said yesterday at the regular weekly briefing of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism.
Taking the consultation to the rural area is a commitment made by the National legislative to bring reform to the oil and gas sector to ensure that Liberia and all Liberians duly benefit from the potential hydrocarbon deposits, the speaker said, and "This exercise is expected to conclude in Montserrado County, at a national conference tentatively scheduled for January 2014."
Acting upon a report from a joint committee comprising of Ways, Means, Lands Mines and Natural Resource among others, the body in April of 2012, decided to take the lead in reforming the hydro-carbon sector for which the House named a 22-man specialized committee with a special mandate to carry out.
Speaker Tyler said specific reference to the committee report considers the revision of the Act creating the National Oil Company of Liberia in 2000, and advised Plenary on the enactment of a comprehensive national content law to address the issue of Liberians' participation in forth coming successive concessions, grant and privileges from the Liberian Government among others.
The report also called for the thorough review of the Petroleum Law of Liberia, taking into consideration international best practices.
According to Speaker Tyler, in order to accomplish the hefty task, members of the committee along with a number of Senators departed for a study tour to Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, Cote d'Ivoire and Brazil in December 2012 to learn about the various methodologies used by these countries to manage their oil wealth so as to develop a framework to inform the reform process in the county.
"While on the tour, we will use the local media and intellectual fora to best educate our people on other legislations passed as well as those currently being deliberated in Committee Rooms," Speaker Tyler said.