5 November 2013

Liberia: LPRC Management Owes Liberian People Explanation On the Status of Kuwaiti Oil Deal


Since the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) announced the Kuwaiti Oil Agreement almost a year ago, it has not provided further information to the public regarding this new oil agreement.

The management of LPRC has so far remained tightlipped over the current status of the announced Kuwaiti Oil Agreement, despite calls from the public for the management of the company to speak out.It could be recalled that on December 8, 2012, the management of the LPRC announced that it had entered into discussions with the Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC) for the supply of petroleum products at concessionary price.

The management of LPRC, in a press release issued in Monrovia at the time, disclosed that these discussions were the result of a request made by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during her last visit to Kuwait.

The management of LPRC asserted that the request was for a special commercial arrangement between LPRC and KPC for the supply of petroleum products at discount price to enable LPRC bring relief in the form of fuel subsidy to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), National Transit Authority (NTA) and the John F. Kennedy Hospital (JFK), among others.

The intention, the press release among other things added, was to help these institutions reduce the high cost of fuel and pass on the savings by expanding services to larger segments of the population, including vulnerable sectors.

The conspicuous silent of the LPRC management on the current status of the Kuwaiti Oil Agreement is creating suspicion that the new oil deal could end up like the controversial Nigerian and Japanese Oil Agreements which were characterized by lack of proper accountability and transparency.

There had been persistent public outcry concerning tangible benefits from the controversial Nigerian and Japanese oil agreements.

Up to date, the actual account of the much publicized Nigerian and Japanese oil agreements remains a misery. Findings of the Government owned General Auditing Commission (GAC) commissioned audits of the two oil agreements speak of volumes regarding the lack of proper transparency and accountability.Bluntly, the management of the LPRC owes the Liberian people explanation about the present status of the agreement. We believe the management of the company is under moral and social obligation to inform the Liberian people regularly on the status of the agreement because the company is there to serve the public. And more so, to ensure transparency and accountability.

We think the LPRC management is doing a disservice to the Liberian people by not providing them update about this agreement it boasted was in their interest.

Nevertheless, we hope that the management of LPRC will heed the calls of the people by providing update on this crucial agreement in the soonest.

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