Liberia-Niron Rail and Port Use MoU May Be Stalled due to Litigation
MONROVIA – Guinea has recovered its two blocks of Simandou from the hand of Beny Steinmetz (BSGR) and in return has rewarded him the Zogota mines also situated near Liberia.
However, according to several newspapers from Guinea and the Financial Times, Benny has now been sent to Liberia with the lobbying assistance and complicity of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It was Sarkozy who brokered the deal between, professor Alpha Conde and Stymentz; ending a seven-year feud between the two.
In the past, Beny had used Vale, a Brazilian Mining Company and one of the largest in the world to operate the now famous Zogota. Vale had paid an enormous sum of money to BSRG for Zogota before Guinea had sued Stymentz for obtaining the license fraudulently; an accusation Stymentz has denied.
Now, immediately after the brokered peace, BSRG has turned the mines over to Sir. Mick Davis for the same Zogota. The problem here is that Niron has signed an MOU with the Liberian government without first resolving all litigation levied against them.
A source familiar with the deal warned, “The Liberian government must pay keen attention to a person who already has outstanding issues with the FBI, the British and Swiss governments, among others. How can we accept this kind of man in our country even if it is recommended by Sarkozy.”
Vale just won a lawsuit against BSGR for 1.300 billion united States dollars.
According to Guinea newspapers, Vale will go after Zogota as part payment of monies owed them. This issue will be resolved in international courts causing a slowdown in the development of the Zogota project.
The source: “The question is what is Zogota’s future? Will Arcelor Mittal agree to collaborate with BSGR or Niron given these dark and dubious circumstances? How can the Liberian government accept someone that Guinea wants to get rid of? Given Liberia urgent need for economic development; to create jobs for its young population; we cannot afford to really make any mistakes. As much as we need development, we cannot allow anyone to take advantage of our fragile situation. We are not here to judge anyone, because unlike French laws, a man us innocent until proven guilty.”
The source who begged for anonymity warned that, “we must thoroughly understand the true intentions of any businessman or investor coming to Liberia or Guinea, one of our most valued neighbors”.
French newspapers recently published articles that former President Nickolas Sarkozy being accused by France of criminal activities against his own people, hindering his chances of winning another term.