Chambers Digs Up ‘Dirt’ on Oil Law

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The 2014 Oil and Gas Law, which was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate on December 18, 2014 to accurately govern Liberia’s emerging oil and gas sector, has been “altered” by the Executive, Maryland County District # 1 Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers has alarmed.

Dr. Chambers said four sections of the law as endorsed by the Legislature, was “changed” by the Executive, without notification to the lawmaking body. He said some of the changes affected Sections 27, 36 and 43.

The Maryland lawmaker spoke to journalists yesterday in the House’s first floor conference room on the issue.

Copies of the Oil Law made available to journalists by Rep. Chambers pointed to what he described as “alteration” including Section 36 of Part VIII of the Oil Law, with the title, “Citizen Participation,” and subtitled, “Citizen Participation in revenues from petroleum agreements.”

An “original” copy of the Oil Law states: “The Republic shall have the option to acquire a five percent participation in the rights and interests in a petroleum agreement for the benefit of a citizen fund which shall be established and managed in accordance with this Act.”

And the “altered” copy states: “In addition to the State’s participation provided in Section 35 of this Act, the State shall have the rights and interests of a contractor under a petroleum agreement for the benefit of a citizen fund which shall be established and managed in accordance with the following provision of this Section 36.”

Dr. Chambers said the alteration of the law also affects the management of the Citizen Participation Fund.

According to him, the Oil Law was passed unlawfully by both Houses on the same day, and in violation of the rules, regulation and procedures of the Legislature.

On a rather separate note, Rep. Chambers said the Special Presidential Task Force led by Cllr. Fonati Koffa should be dismissed if there is no task to be done on the Sable Mining Case.

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