Kokoyah, Bong County – The management of MNG Gold has affirmed its commitment to contributing to the development drive of Liberia, promising to continue working with local communities affected by its mining operations in Kokoyah, Bong County.
The company, in a press statement released on Friday, February 19, refuted “unfounded assertions” made by some residents of the district during President George Weah’s recent tour of the county.
The company describes that assertion as “untrue”, adding that it continues to play its role in the district as a development partner by performing its corporate social responsibilities provided by the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).
“Threatening attitude, allegations against our company, which attaches great importance to corporate citizenship, are unacceptable,” the statement, signed by Mr. Cem Koray Yagci — the company’s General Manager, stated.
“Even such a claim that a company threatens to abandon all its investments and leave the country just to avoid building a mere bridge, is absurd but purposeful.”
The response from the company comes following reports that it is considering leaving the country because of unreasonable demands by some politicians and some locals.
Meanwhile, the company has outlined several of its social corporate responsibilities that have been implemented or are nearing completion in projected affected communities.
“Over the past five years we have constructed and rehabilitated over US$1.3 million worth of roads in Kokoyah and Kpaii Districts in Bong County and there are ongoing plans to construct and rehabilitate the 48 km road in Boinsen Administrative District this year,” the release stated.
Among several other contributions, MNG Gold Liberia attaches great importance to education and makes large investments to the surrounding communities. The company is building a US$1.2 million worth of a modern senior high school in Dean’s Town and has renovated two major public schools in Sayewheh and David Deans Towns.
With its focus on supporting education, MNG Gold has also provided US$60,000 as scholarship funds for Kokoyah students; a total of US$124,100 has been paid to voluntary teachers working at public schools in Kokoyah District since 2005/2006 academic year while US$36,000 has been paid as direct development assistance to the district.
The company continues to support public school teachers to ensure they mold the minds of the future generation of the county, Mr. Yagci said.
“The company has also paid the US$1.4 million as land rental fees to the Government and had provided materials and service assistance to Kokoyah District and Bong County at large which is worth millions of dollars,” he said, adding that the company also continues to pay its taxes and is committed to supporting the Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda Prosperity and Development by supporting local communities.
“Since 2016 to 2020, MNG has constructed 27 new hand pumps and rehabilitated a total of 100 damaged handpumps in Kokoyah and plans are underway to rehabilitate 50 damaged handpumps that have already been identifies and to construct new ones this year.”
The company has also paid a total of US$142,000 to four communities of Kokoya District under the “CEO Direct Monthly Support for Development” through their chief and elders”. This is also part of the management’s efforts to impact the lives of people in the communities.
Additionally, the Company paid US$618,000 compensation to owners of houses that were allegedly cracked due to mining operations and a total of US$350,000 as compensation to farmers whose crops were damaged.
The company has also constructed and fully furnished 18-room modern police station in David Deans Town worth US$600,000; and has paid US$72,000 as social Development Funds to Bong County.
Meanwhile, when President Weah visited to the district recently, residents presented him a petition, outlining several projects they urged the company to implement for them.
The petitioners, however, acknowledged that the management of MNG Gold is constructing a 36-bed modern clinic in David Dean Town, Kokoya District.
The clinic, which is expected to be completed by April, will serve over 20 communities. Twelve of these communities are towns and villages in Bong County while the other nine are towns and villages in Grand Bassa County.
As part of plan to sustain the clinic, MNG Gold will fully fund the health facility for one whole year, which will run by the Ministry of Health.