By: Mellish Gbor/Nimba D-9 TV Upper Nimba
YEKEPA-Nimba County Inspector B. Mac Gblinwon has praised ArcelorMittal’s work and urged stakeholders to make a decision on the 3rd mineral development agreement.
Gblinwon highlighted some foremost development initiatives by the steel company in Nimba County which according to him stands out to benefit citizens.
He named the pavement of the Ganta to Sehyi-kimpa road, put at the cost of USD$40 million, the renovation of J.W. Hilary Hospital and Zolowee school, ongoing construction of the Gbaapa Clinic and AML’s recent sponsorship of the Nimba Inter Electoral District League, Support to Nimba County teams, Scholarships etc.
“Based on ArcelorMittal’s development priorities in Nimba”, the county inspector thinks that the government must revisit AML’s 3rd MDA in the interest of the citizens.
County inspector Gblinwon said he is of the conviction that when passed the MAD will provide more opportunities for the county and the country.
His comments were captured from a statement made at a recent Women Empowerment Forum Liberia-WEFL community engagement forum on ArcelorMittal’s phase two expansion project in Sanniquellie City.
The Nimba county inspector’s thoughts fall in place with Monday night’s reaffirmation of the importance of its 3RD Mineral Development Agreement when– AML was herself unveiled as “headline sponsor” for the national county sports meet.
As the company announced it was donating a whopping $275k as gold sponsor, its CEO Jozephus Coenen saidArcelorMittal Liberia is honored by its partnership with the Government and people of Liberia and is proud of the contributions we have made and its positive impact on Liberia’s economic development.
Coenen: “As you all may be aware, last year, ArcelorMittal and the Government signed a landmark amendment to the company’s Mineral Development Agreement which paved the way for the ongoing expansion of our mining and logistics operations in Liberia”.
“With the MDA amendment coming into effect, ArcelorMittal Liberia will significantly ramp up the production of premium iron ore, generating significant new jobs and wider economic benefits for Liberia. This is really exciting news, not just for our workforce, but for all Liberians and the country”.
AML’s Expansion project encompasses processing, rail, and port facilities and is one of the largest mining projects in West Africa with a capital investment of over a billion United States Dollars.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nimba County University Student Association Mamee Gongbah has praised AML’s “new community engagement strategy” in the form of hall meetings to provide information to locals.
Mamee Gongbah told the community outreach in Saniquellie that “during the past years, students including citizens in the affected communities and the country at large carried out misinformation about the company to suggest it was not making any impact in the lives of the citizens and communities’’.
“Why is it that with all the newspapers publications, drama about AML Development on radios play in Mano, Gio and I know in other tribes in the County, citizens keep complaining about AML not doing anything’’?
He said there is a need for people to come together to identify ways to address the wave of misinformation in the county and across the county concerning concession companies.
‘’AML is a good company but many of the local authorities are the ones suffering the common people as many of the opportunities from AML are thought to be only benefited by higher policy makers’ children.
“They are always focus on their children forgetting about the common people children” he added.
The Nimba University students President has also recommended that AML put in place a new mechanism to monitor its community-based projects in Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong Counties respectively”.