29 July 2014

Liberia: Urey Against Sale of Remaining Oil Blocks

Presidential hopeful Mr. Benoni Urey has warned against the sale of remaining oil blocks by the Government of Liberia (GoL). Oil blocks that have not been awarded include: blocks 4, 6, 16, and 17, respectively.

It can be recalled that recently, hundreds of Liberians, mostly youths, led by fearless talk show host, Henry Costa stormed the grounds of the Capitol Building to petition their lawmakers not to give out the remaining oil blocks.

The Capitol Building, which is located on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, is the official seat of the Liberian Legislature.

According to Mr. Urey, the sale of reserved oil blocks would ignite confusion in Liberia.

He was speaking over the weekend to reporters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

He said the remaining oil blocks must be preserved so that proceeds generated from the oil sector can be used for the benefit of the citizens.

He stated that the value of oil would be of great value when it is discovered in commercial quantity, and therefore, the resource must be safeguarded.

The presidential hopeful emphasized that adequate reforms must be finalized and preservation measures put in place to guarantee the benefits and interest the sector would have on the unborn generation.

He said Liberia would "benefit nothing" substantial if the remaining blocks are sold.

He said Liberia would benefit more if oil is discovered in commercial quantity.

"Please leave these four (4) remaining oil blocks because when oil is finally discovered at a commercial value; the value of either of these remaining blocks would quadruple.

We are appealing to the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and the legislators to please leave it. It will cause problems in our country. Leave it; and let's wait until we pass all the laws that will protect Liberians' interest.

Let's leave it until we know for sure that there is commercially value oil on the shores of Liberia. The sales of these oil blocks will bring billions to Liberia; if we sell it now, we will get nothing," he maintained.

The presidential aspirant mentioned that although the current regime needs money to carry on development, previous governments also needed money, but they (previous governments) did not sell oil blocks.

"We do understand that the government needs money, butthe previous governments also needed money and they did not sell oil blocks. And so, we are not going to war with anybody. We are appealing to all of them to leave this one. Leave it so that our children and their children's children can have something to live on," he noted.

In a related development, Mr. Urey has denied media reports attributed to Senate Pro-Tempore Gbezongar Findley that he (Urey) masterminded the protest against the sale of the remaining oil blocks at the Capitol Building.

He said the Grand Bassa County lawmaker was "misinformed" and therefore, he overly reacted.

"I think Sen. Findley was misinformed and he over reacted especially for him who is in the senatorial race in Bassa. I think that he's under a lot of pressure to ensure that he wins. It is impossible for me to give any money to anyone to protest," he averred.


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