MONROVIA-A group known as “Coalition for the Restoration of Liberians 5% Equity (CORLE) has written communications to the leadership of the Liberian legislature advocating for what they called the restoration of the Liberians 5% equity.
In two separate communications addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Pro-Tempore of the Liberian senate, that the October 2019 amendment of the Petroleum Reform Law of 2014; section 36 which replaced the provisions of this section 36 under the 2014 Petroleum Law and grants the 5% Equity in petroleum contracts some Liberian businesses is a violation of Article 7 of the Constitution of Liberia.
Quoting Article 7 of the Constitution, the group said, “The Republic shall, consistent with the principles of individual freedom and social justice enshrined in this Constitution, manage the national economy and the natural resources of Liberia in such manner as shall ensure the maximum feasible participation of Liberian citizens under conditions of equality as to advance the general welfare of the Liberian people and the economic development of Liberia.”
At a press conference addressed at the legislature few minutes after their presentation of communications, Ambulah Abutumaga Mamey of Liberia Youth Initiative for Peace & Sustainable Development said, “the 2019 amendment, if implemented, will deny Liberians direct access to their petroleum wealth, now and in the future, subject them to a harsher form of poverty, concentrate wealth in the hands of a few Liberians who are well connected to Government officials and by that, widen the existing inequality gap between rich and poor Liberians.”
He added that by such action, the Government of Liberia, under the leadership of the two heads of the legislature will be creating more poverty and inequality as opposed to helping the country alleviate poverty, the professed cornerstone of the Weah Administration’s Pro-poor Agenda.
He Ambulah Mamey went on to state that,” In view of the foregoing, we petition your Honorable Offices to repeal the said Amendment and restore to all Liberians, our 5% equity right as envisaged under the 2014 Law.”
“In effect, we require our lawmakers to reinstate all the provisions of the said section 36 (PART VIII) of the 2014 Petroleum Reform Law as approved on October 5, 2016 and printed into handbills on October 10, 2016”he stressed.
According to the group, the original version of the law is what should be for the benefit of Liberians.
When asked what is the Coalition For The Restoration of Liberians 5% Equity (CORLE) was, he said it is a non-political coalition of grassroots organizations from across Liberia with a growing membership currently comprising students, youth, teachers, marketers and professionals from the Student Unification Party of the University of Liberia, Liberia Youth Initiative for Peace and Sustainable Development; South-Eastern Region Youth and Student Organization, Western Region Students Associations and Concerned Teachers for the Equitable Use of Liberia’s Natural Resources.
We urge you to take immediate action on our petition or we will seek every available remedy under law to restore ALL Liberians’ right to Liberia’s potential petroleum wealth and by that avert the selfish ploy that is poised to concentrate wealth in the hands of few politically privileged Liberians” He continued.