MONROVIA-The Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinion-CEIO has described attempts to favor any company over ArcelorMittal Liberia as a desperate effort with bad consequences.
CEIO chairman Adolphus Weah speaking at a forum in Doe Community late Friday warned Liberians to be careful with the Russian funded company Solway and its collaborator, HPX.
Solway, he said funded by Russians who are at variance with big Western countries while HPX is a non-Liberian concession resident in Guinea but fiercely fighting for control of Liberia rail and port assets.
Chairman Weah explained that favoring a company like Solway could potentially anger Liberia’s historic foreign partners who have close ties to ArcelorMittal.
He disclosed that while Solway promises 500 jobs and HPX commits to paying just 10 million to Liberia per annual, while the new ALM agreement offers more than US$75 million annually with about three thousand good jobs at its height.
There is simply no contradiction here. “It is ridiculous”; he noted for lawmakers to submit themselves to the wishes of HPX’s and Solway’s rail claims; two companies he said that have no history of contributing to Liberia’s development.
“These two companies have just made mere promises to the Liberian people and we see some falling for them already”, he explained stating further that “it is sad to make attempts that are clearly aimed at driving away a major investment for two companies that have no delivery record in Liberia”.
Weah disclosed that CEIO will soon begin the process of naming and shaming those involved with efforts directed at stalling the amended ArcelorMittal MDA, because according to him the group has a civic duty “to raise society’s consciousness in all respect”
“We will name and shame you, I promise you this because your effort to destroy jobs is at the expense of the Liberian people and you want to throw more people back into poverty and line your pockets” – said chairman Weah
CEIO, Liberia’s foremost intellectual group has been holding a series of public engagements to solicit the opinion of Liberians on the AML $800 million MDA before the Legislature.
CEIO said it has done sufficient research which informs its conclusion that the deal is in the best interest of Liberians and must be passed with uurgency. They noted the community related concerns by the affected counties, and call on the Government of of Liberia, Arcelormittal and the community leaders to constructively engage to find acceptable solution; however, rejecting the MDA is cannot be an option.
In a related development, ArcelorMittal Liberia says it has flown out of Liberia, four employees who were recently injured in a tragic train accident.
The company arranged a special chartered flight to transport to Dakar, Senegal four injured staff for advanced medical care.
This follows processing of their travel documents and COVID-19 certificates after a fatal rail accident on11th January 2021 which left two employees dead
ALM said it continues to support the bereaved families and staff recovering from serious injuries and noted it was a truly difficult times for the families and the company.
On Friday, ArcelorMittal’s Executive Vice President and CEO for Global Mining Stefan Buys, on a three day visit in Liberia, led senior executives of the Company and visited the homes of the bereaved families in Yekepa and Camp Four and assured them of company’s fullest support, beyond its legal obligations to care for the wellbeing of the families.