By: Moses M. Tokpah

Monrovia-March-1-TNR:The Representative of Electoral District #7, Bong County, Foday E. Fahnbulleh has vowed to drag China Union Investment (Liberia) Bong Mines Company Ltd. to the Supreme Court if the 55thLegislature does business as usual.

Rep. Fahnbulleh was responding to question posted to him by the media following an onsite visit by the House’s joint committee. It remains to be seen whether he is prepared to sustain his advocacy until China Union lives up to the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), should there be any attempt by the Legislature to sweep the issues under the carpet.

The lawmaker noted that the first good thing he wanted from China Union was for the company to formally write admitting that it has failed to live up to the MDA, something he termed as very important and can be taken to any court.

“My brother, the first thing I wanted from China Union was for China Union as a company to formally write and say we have failed in living up to our social responsibility; and that instrument is very important, you can go to any court to enforce that instrument that’s just the biggest evidence I wanted,” he narrated.

He said there are lots of options available to him, and he feels that it is just to tell his colleagues to be able to keep the fire burning which means to keep the advocacy and get engage with corporations.

He added that it makes lot of sense for lawmakers to come together to be able to investigate major concession companies to identify the problems and know where we’re heading as a country.

The Bong County District #7 lawmaker said if he cannot achieve his goal at the level of Plenary of the House of Representatives, he can achieve it at the level of the Supreme Court.

He said the community in which the company is operating is where he lives and there is no possibility to see the Bong Mines Hospital the way it is in the next few years.

The Representative however, added that he believes the House of Representatives will live up to the standard and will ensure that China Union lives up to its social corporate responsibilities. He said the essence for which he is getting involveinto the process is to bring corporate entity to book and ensure that they can be more accountability to the Liberian people.

Rep. Fahnbulleh maintained that he is not jittered and he is not worried and he thinks their interest is to foster and move progressive advocacy for the Liberian people.

Meanwhile, the Representative has said the onsite visit by the House’s joint committee was prompted by a communication he wrote to Plenary of the House of Representatives to seek redress on issue that has existed for years which is the Mineral Development Agreement that was signed between the Government of Liberia and China Union.

According to him, in the MDA, China Union has specific function it should have lived up to and ensure that the lives ordinary Liberians that live in that part of the country are improved.

He stated that over the years he has observed with dismay that China Union has grossly violated the MDA by not living up to the social responsibilities that it should be living up to and as such, he wrote a formal communication to Plenary to bring the company to book asking the management why it has violated those phrases that are within the MDA.

The Lawmaker indicated that the communication was read on the floor and a joint committee was setup asserting that it has had two public hearings followed by the recent onsite visit to have access to the concession site.

He mentioned that there was no variant between the communication he wrote to Plenary and what the committee observed during the visit at the concession site of China Union.

Rep. Fahnbulleh stated that it was observed by all members of the committee that China Union has logistical materials on the ground but has refused to live up to the MDA in terms of paving the Bong Mines to Handi road, improving the condition of the Bong Mines Hospital while there is not a single school being operated by the company, the issue of contracting Chinese Firm, the issue of pollution, and the issue of Liberians not being employed in the senior management team of China Union as well as the issue of not giving Liberians the basic logistical support while serving as employees or contractors.

The Lawmaker said the company has asked for ninety days to be able to live up to some of the non-compliance issues thereby assuring the public that in the course of the ninety days they will go back to monitor.

Foday E. Fahnbulleh also said he is going to do everything to ensure that China Union lives up to the social contract that it signed onto. He averred that the company has not paid the US$250,000 land rental fees for the first five years, there is no record of the company paying one million United States dollars for the past ten years, no record of the US200,000 scholarship fund payment.

Additionally, he said there is no record for the completion of the Bong Mines to Handi road, no record of full payment of the three million five hundred thousand that should have been paid to Bong, Montserrado and Margibi Counties respectively.

On that note, Rep. Fahnbulleh revealed that they are going to ask China Union to in the immediate term take over the Bong Mines Hospital expressing that they want to see immediate change in the hospital, the educational sector, see scholarship rolling up, and to see the company move into building the community road.

The Lawmaker then said he believes that they are going to put in place measures and time and take it back to the floor that they can have a review of the concession agreement and attach time to everything because as it stands China Union does not have more than ten years as a concession.

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