Pastor Begins Hunger Strike
An Abundant Life Chapel International Pastor has begun an indefinite hunger strike until the renegotiation of the 10 Liberian Oil contracts. Wilmot Ben Yalartai, 50, vowed not to eat any solid food, and would live on water and juices until his demand on behalf of ordinary Liberians were met.
“In pursuit of this purpose, I therefore declare a hunger strike. I will live only on liquid until the government takes immediate steps to ratify and renegotiate the concessions that have been awarded,” Yalartai said. He told the media Monday in Monrovia that his action was intended to send a strong message to the government.
“During this peaceful action, my safety is with the Government of Liberia. And any evil that will befall me during this peaceful action will be the responsibility of the government,” Ben decaled.
Yalartai, among many things on behalf of ordinary Liberians, called for the renegotiation of all 10 oil contracts awarded by National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) on behalf of the Government of Liberia (GOL) to various contractors in violation of the existing New Petroleum Law of Liberia.
“The New Petroleum Law of Liberia was not repealed, but ignored and violated. Therefore, all renegotiations must be based on the laws,” Yalartai noted.
He described the signing contracts with foreign corporations in the name of encouraging investors to explore and develop Liberia’s oil industry in total disregard to the laws as reckless. Yalartai expressed the belief that the negotiations must include all provisions under the existing Petroleum Laws of Liberia.
“Chevron’s obligations as stated in the addendum item 1 & 2 for Oil block 11, 12, & 14 PSC must be remitted for the citizens’ as benefit without delay,” the Pastor noted.
Ben said the 2002 New Petroleum Law of Liberia without any amendment or repeal was circumvented by the Executive Branch of Government to production in the Addendum Sharing Contract between Republics (Liberia), National Oil Company of Liberia, Oranto Petroleum Limited and Chevron Liberia Limited for LB 11, 12 & 14.
On payment of royalty, Yalartai said royalty like tax, was the prerogative of the sovereign government, and was therefore its right.
“All corporations, including NOCAL which shall engaged in the exploration or extraction of the hydrocarbon deposits or Liberia shall be subject to the payment of royalty on gross production, before deduction or any other cost, and shall pay taxes in keeping with the law of general applications,” he pointed out.
About equity and participation of the government, the Liberian Prelate noted that NOCAL in addition to other rights, interest and benefits, was entitled to receive. Under any and all Production-Sharing Agreements, it shall also receive, free of charge, equity interest in all production operations and exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits in Liberia.
“The value of such equity interest shall be twenty-percent (20%) of the authorized, issued and outstanding capital shares existing any time without dilution,” Yalartai lamented.
Commenting on stock purchase by Liberians, Wilmot said NOCAL shall notify and make available to the national Investment Commission (NIC) the shares for purchase by the interested citizens.
“The offer shall be made not later than one hundred and eighty (180) days after the exploration license or nay extension thereof. The price charge to be paid for said stock shall be at fair market value on reasonable terms and conditions, and the offer shall remain opened for one hundred and twenty (120) days,” Yalartai noted. Writes TKS.