Nimba Lawmakers Visit ArcelorMittal Liberia
Yekepa – Five Nimba County legislators on last Saturday visited the ArcelorMittal Liberia Yekepa concession on a citizens engagement tour, announced by Senator Jeremiah Koung to obtain information about AML’s operations, and to interact with staff of the company.
Representatives Roger Domah, D. Twain Gleekia, Gonpue L. Kargon, Prince S. Tokpah, and Senator Jeremiah Koung, visited the Tokadeh Mines and the residential area and AML Hospital in Yekepa, and also visited some non-operational locations around Area F.
Senator Jeremiah Koung who headed the team said it was part of their responsibilities as lawmakers to engage with ArcelorMittal on the concerns of the citizens, stating that they are all working for the development of Liberia as the common agenda. He concluded with “the citizens have the right to petition their representatives. When they do, we have to come and listen to them and see for ourselves”.
During a debriefing session held at the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy, AML’s Head of Government and Community Relations Marcus Wleh said AML welcomes the visit of the Nimba lawmakers and stressed that as a leader in Liberia’s private sector, the company operates in an open, transparent, and accountable manner. Wleh said, “ArcelorMittal Liberia is honored to be contributing immensely to Liberia’s economy and explained that with the progress being made on the company’s expansion project, there will be more opportunities in the areas of jobs, education, training and development, and revenue generation for the Government”.
Two weeks ago, the Government of Liberia and ArcelorMittal signed a landmark amendment to the company’s Mineral Development Agreement (‘MDA’) which paves the way to triple its mining and logistics operations in Liberia to export 15 million tons of concentrate annually. The additional capital required to complete the project is expected to be approximately $ 800 million.
ArcelorMittal Liberia is concerned about the worrying precedent being set by some of the lawmakers during their visit. By making statements that appear to support acts of impropriety against the company; failing to fact-check derogatory remarks against the company and personnel, and refusing to follow safety and security protocols; only reinforce a state of impunity that was voiced.