-To Nimba, Bong & G/Bassa Counties
The Government of Liberia says it has disbursed the amount of US$3.1million as part of Social Development Fund’s contribution to three counties.
The amount, given by Arcelor Mittal, represents 80% of the company’s required allocation to counties where it operates. The counties to benefit are Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong.
According to GoL’s release, the contribution is in fulfillment of an agreement reached a few weeks ago between the government of Liberia and Arcelor Mittal, which obligates the company to remit 80 percent of SDF funds to the government and use the balance 20 percent to fund development projects in its concession areas.
Of the allocated amount, Nimba County will receive US$1.55million, Grand Bassa US$1.02 million, while Bong receives US$527,000, representing their respective SDF shares of 50 percent, 33.3 percent and 16.7 percent respectively.
The payment to the counties is a break from the past, and is also the first time in several years that the government makes full disbursement of the SDF paid by Arcelor Mittal to the three counties. Upon taking office, President George M. Weah mandated that the funds be paid promptly in order to be used by the affected communities.
Last year, the Government also disbursed SDF money paid by China Union to Bong, Montserrado and Margibi counties, and will pay the balance of the amount during the FY 2021.
The SDF money is critical to development in the three counties. Nimba County is expected to use the funds to repair its yellow machines for massive road works, while Grand Bassa and Bong will invest in a wide variety of important projects.
Recently, President Weah visited a bridge under construction in the Smell No Taste area in Margibi County, which is being funded by the SDF given to Margibi County during the last budget year. The project is being led by Margibi District three Representative Ivar Jones, in fulfillment of the Weah-led government’s commitment to use SDF money as a lynchpin for district and community development.
Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr presented the checks to the Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong legislative caucuses Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Capitol Building.