Oil company responds to malpratice allegations

Mambu James Kpargoi, NOCAL's assistant public engagement manager

Mambu James Kpargoi, NOCAL’s assistant public engagement manager

The attention of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has been drawn to misleading allegations made by Global Witness and carried by FrontPage Africa newspaper  aimed at discrediting the bid round conducted by the Government of Liberia (GoL) and NOCAL, and misrepresenting the otherwise diligent process undertaken by NOCAL and the GoL to put the oil sector on an even keel.

In this regard, NOCAL wishes to note that the bid round was designed to facilitate rapid investment into Liberia’s oil sector, and provide much needed resources to the country at a time when the country’s economy was being affected adversely by various factors including significant drops in prices of our key exports – rubber and iron ore.

Additionally, the bid round sought to encourage the participation of Liberian businesses in the oil sector, promote local businesses, create jobs and skills, and develop Liberian companies that can participate in the upstream hydrocarbon sector.

Contrary to Global Witness and the FrontPage Africa newspaper analyses and insinuations, the entire bid round process was conducted in a competitive and transparent manner and consistent with international best practices–with the international auditing and consulting firm, Ernst & Young (EY), providing independent oversight and ensuring that the process conformed to international industry standards.

NOCAL is proud that in a deliberate effort to encourage Liberians to meaningfully participate in the oil business, the bid round exercise offered an unprecedented incentive to bidders to include Liberian-citizen and ECOWAS-owned companies in their bidding.

Regarding doubts being raised about some of the successful oil companies selected, including Liberty Petroleum, the pre-qualification exercise undertaken by EY was geared toward ensuring that bidders have the technical and financial capabilities in deep water exploration.
For example, during the pre-qualification procedure Liberty was determined to have the requisite financial and technical capacities in drilling globally, and the track record of commercial discovery which Liberia certainly needs now.

Meanwhile, NOCAL wishes to reiterate its commitment at all times to accountability and transparency in all its activities and in carrying out its fiduciary responsibility of superintending the oil sector. NOCAL also wishes to make it clear that it welcomes constructive partnerships with all stakeholders, including Global Witness and FrontPage Africa newspaper, in the ongoing efforts to streamline our oil sector. 

However, NOCAL deems it unfortunate when groups embark on ill motivated and factually incorrect analyses meant to distort the true picture of developments in the country.  

 

Mambu James Kpargoi
Assistant Public Engagement Manager,  Division of Public Affairs
NOCAL  

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