-Places Halt On Sale Of Scrap Metals In The County
The new Superintendent of Nimba County has with immediate effect halted scrap metal operations in the county with steel company Sethi Brothers in the wake of a fresh controversy that rocks the industry that helps put money into Saniquellie’s coffers for development.
According to the Liberia News Agency, the “temporary” suspension of the business was announced by Superintendent Nelson Korquoi who said this will stay in place until a “proper verification” of the deal can be done.
All this comes in the wake of an ‘alarm’ raised by the local pressure group, Concerned Nimbaians, alleging that Sethi Brothers was operating outside an agreement it entered into with the County “by extracting rail tracks instead of the regular leftover metals.
This was deviation from the agreement, and steel from the rail track, the group maintains, are used by the local government to recondition bridges.
Having inaugurated its huge factory in Gardersville, outside Monrovia, the Indian firm Sethi Ferro Fabrik, Inc. (owner of Sethi Brothers) began manufacturing steel rods from light and heavy scrap metals it buys – at least legitimately – from wherever it can finds them in the country.
The firm has yet to comment on the announcement by Superintendent Korquoi.
Meanwhile, the Superintendent has called for calm as tension seemingly brewed over the subject between the Concerned Nimbaians and the county’s lawmakers.
Nimba authorities and the Management of Sethi Brothers had reached a deal in 2017 for the company to take over scrap metals left behind in Yekepa by steel firm LAMCO.
“I have called on Sethi Brothers to temporarily suspend all its operations until I can see the agreement it entered into with the county,” said Korquoi, adding: “I will receive a turnover notes which will put me in a better position to understand what exactly are the terms and conditions of the agreement.”
Nimba, mainly in its Yekepa area, is said to have huge deposit of leftover irons during decades-long iron ore mining operations it has hosted.
In 2011, central government instructed that Nimba sell the scrap metals and put the proceeds into an escrow account to be used for the development of the county, especially to improve the education sector.
Since then there has been a series of conflicts from within the county, ranging from the awarding of contracts for the mining and sale of the scrap metals to the use of the money from it. TNR