18 March 2014

Liberians Want Death Penalty

A document released from the outcome of the recent national consultation on the review of the new draft Petroleum Law has revealed that Liberians have recommended death penalty or life imprisonment for individuals found guilty of diverting oil revenues to their personal use.

Liberians also recommended that huge compensation be allotted or made available to victims of environmental degradation. They raised serious concern over safety issues, specifically regarding health and environment in case of pollution.

They proposed that portion of the oil revenue be set aside for affected communities in case of ecological disaster.

According to the document seen by the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Liberian citizens want the moratorium placed on the remaining oil blocks to remain enforced until critical issues surrounding the sector are resolved satisfactorily.

The document, which reflected the views of citizens from the 15 political sub-divisions of the country, accentuated the need to maintain the current moratorium placed by the government on certain oil blocks, including oil blocks LB1-5.

Liberians also want the Unity Party led government to suspend all negotiations on the oil blocks LB-6 and LB-7 with the Chinese company Tong Tai to ensure that proper negotiations and measures are finalized before awarding the blocks.

The Liberia News Agency (LINA) says the citizens' comments were contained in the final report of the National Legislature on the recent nationwide public engagements on the Draft Law Petroleum Exploration and Production Act 2013.

Liberians believe that negotiations that are underway between the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and foreign companies must be halted with immediate effect.

On the issue of Institutional Arrangement in the Draft Act, the citizens suggested the reduction of the number of regulator and policy-making agencies, arguing that the creation of additional regulator or agencies such as the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Directorate would mean creating more institutions, which they believe would add more burden on the state.

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