Monrovia-March-27-TNR:ArcelorMittal Liberia’s head of Suitability and External Relations, Marcus Wleh, has offered valuable insights into the company’s contributions to the Government of Liberia and the communities it impacts, sparking considerable interest among local journalists.

Wleh shared these insights during a recent presentation at a one-day regional media symposium on the extractive industry.

The symposium was organized by the Africa Development Management Associates (ADMA) in collaboration with the Reporters Association of Liberia (RPAL), held in Ganta City, Nimba County.

During his presentation, Wleh emphasized that despite some negative public perceptions, ArcelorMittal Liberia stands out as the sole company in the extractive industry known for promoting good governance and transparency in its operations.

He highlighted the company’s unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of its staff, emphasizing its conscientious efforts to ensure employees return home safely to their families, free from harm or adverse health conditions.

Wleh underscored that ArcelorMittal Liberia fulfils its financial obligations to the government, having consistently paid all taxes, fees, and royalties, including those to host communities, over the years.

As part of its legal commitments, the company has provided over 2,100 direct jobs and 5,300 indirect jobs for Liberians. Since its establishment in Liberia, ArcelorMittal has contributed US$414.6 million to the government in taxes, royalties, and social development funds.

Additionally, Wleh informed the journalists that ArcelorMittal Liberia has disbursed US$19.6 million for resettlement compensations to local farmers and allocated US$2.5 million for international scholarships for deserving Liberians.

Regarding the County Social Development Fund, Wlehexplained that the company, in collaboration with county leadership, ensures that funds directly benefit affected communities through transparent and meticulous expenditure processes.

This has led to various community projects in Bong, Grand Bassa, and Nimba Counties.

He emphasized that ArcelorMittal Liberia’s infrastructural development aims to benefit all, not just a select few.

For instance, the company invested in paving the Ganta-Yekepa Road, viewing it as a project beneficial to the entire community.

Wleh reiterated the company’s steadfast commitment to long-term development in Liberia, exemplified by its ambitious Phase 2 expansion project and the 3rd Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).

Backing Wleh’s presentation, the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) affirmed ArcelorMittal Liberia as the largest taxpayer in the extractive sector, as per their recent Multi-stakeholders Steering Group report.

LEITI highlighted the company’s significant contributions, with ArcelorMittal Liberia alone contributing $78 million from July 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022.

The report also acknowledged notable contributions from other companies such as Bea Mountain Mining Company and Firestone Liberia Incorporated, which contributed USD 37 million and USD 17 million, respectively.

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