Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia Sign Bilateral Cooperation Agreement

MONROVIA-In an effort to mitigate the shortage of petroleum products on the Liberian markets, the Government of Liberia through the Liberian Foreign Minister Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and Mr. Thomas Camara, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Republic of Cote D’Ivoire on Monday, September 20, 2021 signed a three-year Bilateral Cooperation Agreement for the supply of petroleum products from the Government of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire to the Government of the Republic of Liberia.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Abidjan at the offices of the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Minister Kemayah said the reason for the visit is to negotiate with their Ivoirian neighbor for them to supply the Liberian markets with petroleum products, particularly gasoline, diesel and bitumen, which will be affordable, accessible and available at all times throughout the Republic of Liberia without shortage.

The Liberian Chief Diplomat used the occasion to pay tribute to the importers of petroleum products in Liberia, noting that the Bilateral Cooperation agreement signed between the Government of Liberia and the Government of Cote D’Ivoire will in no way put the importers out of business.

Minister Kemayah explained that this bilateral cooperation agreement is a breakthrough for the government of Liberia to meet the bread and butter issue in the country, stating that a constant supply of petroleum products at an affordable price will further mitigate the prices of other commodities on the Liberian markets.

Minister Kemayah said this Bilateral Cooperation agreement is pursuant to overarching desire and vision of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah President of the Republic of Liberia to transform the lives of the Liberian people in line with the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Ambassador Kemayah said he initiated discussions in April of this year, with the Foreign Minister of Cote D’Ivoire, Madam kandia K. Camara for this agreement which is a non-upfront-cash bilateral cooperation agreement between the governments of Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire, that is, the Ivoirian company representing the government of Cote D’Ivoire, will supply the petroleum products to the government of Liberia through the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), sales will be made and thereafter payments done to the government of Cote D’Ivoire through the designated operator of the Ivorian  government. He commended Madam Camara for her role played so far in the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement.

Minister Kemayah was quick to point out to the gathering that the agreement met the full blessings of both Presidents of the Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire, and the Prime Minister of Cote D’Ivoire, Mr. Patrick Achi.

For his part, Minister Camara used the occasion to introduce the major players on the Ivoirian side, who will directly interact with their Liberian counterparts in implementing this Bilateral Cooperation Agreement.

Minister Camara said the bilateral cooperation agreement, which is signed for three years is renewable at the end of its expiration date, noting that Cote D’Ivoire is well prepare to honor their part of the agreement to supply petroleum products to Liberia.

Minister Camara commended the Liberia Foreign Minister Ambassador Kemayah for initiating this brilliant ideas for the two sisterly country to cooperate in this great venture that will mutually benefit the two peoples, noting that this will further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries in the sub-region.

According to Ambassador Kemayah and Minister Camara, they were able to link the two companies to discuss modalities on how to kick start the full implementation of the bilateral cooperation agreement in the soonest of time.

According to the agreement, the supply of petroleum products to Liberia from Côte d’Ivoire, a joint committee will be set up to study the modalities of carrying out this operation.

“The joint committee thus constituted will be responsible for dealing with the following points relating to the project for the supply of petroleum products to Liberia from                Côte d’Ivoire:

The demand for petroleum products from Liberia; the transport, reception and storage infrastructures; the legal and contractual framework; the financing mechanisms; and, the project implementation schedule.

“Within the joint committee, the following structures are designated as focal points to represent the parties:  the Ivorian Refining Company (La SIR) and the Multinational Bitumen Company (la SMB) for Côte d’Ivoire; and Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) for Liberia.

“This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of signing by the Parties for a period of three (3) consecutive years with the option to renew after expiration. This Agreement may be amended on the written proposal of either Party and by mutual agreement.

“This Agreement is drawn up in two (02) identical original copies, in French    and English, each of the Parties acknowledging having received a copy”, the bilateral cooperation agreement concluded.

The agreement which is written in both English and French was signed by H.E. Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs Republic of Liberia and Mr. Thomas Camara, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Republic of Cote D’Ivoire and witnessed by the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), Madam Marie Urey-Coleman; Adrian Mario Hoff, Deputy Managing Director for Operations; Madam Naomi Gray, Assistant Minister for Afro-Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Sherdrick Jackson, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Liberia’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Mrs. Willye-Mai Tolbert King; Yayah Sanoe, Chief of Staff, Office of Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), and their Ivorian counterpart, among others.    

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