Sime Darby, PAC Conflict Nears End-Committee Submit Report
Monrovia – Sources have hinted FrontPageAfrica that the long standing conflict between the people of the Projected Affected Communities (PAC) and Malaysian Oil Palm Company Sime Darby is about to be finally resolved as a report recommending an end to the conflict has reportedly been completed.
Credible sources have hinted that the report from the Internal Investigation Committee (ICC) relating to complaints from residents of the Project Affected Communities was made to the Sustainable Oil Palm Initiative (SPI) on Thursday at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Monrovia.
Accordingly, all parties said that they welcome the final report submitted by the ICC as they believe it will put to an end all conflicts between the people and the company.
The ICC after months of investigation Friday submitted its final report to the Sustainable Oil Palm Initiative (SPI), a multi-stakeholder group at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Monrovia.
As stated in the report from credible source, the ICC found that there was negligible underpayment of a little over US$45,000 to crops owners while the Sime Darby Liberia also overpaid some farmers in the amount of US$17,000.
The figures were derived from a thorough scrutiny of payment receipts and other documents as the committee which comprised representatives from civil society, PAC, Government of Liberia and SDPL took more than a year analyzing the documents.
According to the sources, in the report, the ICC is recommending that for the sake of peaceful co-existence, Sime Darby Liberia should consider paying a token to the farmers even though the actual discrepancies discovered are so minimum that community residents could virtually take home nothing if the company were to decide to only pay the discrepancies uncovered.
This paper has gathered that SDPL will seek clarification from their Headquarters on the way forward about the proposed token.
The SPI advice that the residents of the PAC should remain patient as the Government of Liberia will now take up the matter for further action.
Between 18 February 2010 and 5 July 2011, Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc. made crop compensation payments amounting to US$1.36 million to 2,328 recipients after a rigorous process of crop checking based on the price list provided to the company by the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia.
About five years later, in 2015, PAC demanded an additional payment of USD 2 million, claiming that they had been underpaid in 2010/2011 and in the interest of finding amicable solution to the problem SDPL provided fullest support for the establishment of the Crop Compensation Investigation Committee, including its proceedings and processes.
Members of the PAC and other stakeholders that attended the submission of the report Friday praised the report and said they are hopeful that it will bring to an end all claims by farmers once for all.