BONG-President George Manneh Weah says foreign companies doing business in the country must refrain from threatening citizens and government over matters that can be handled amicably.
The Chief Executive avers that Government will not tolerate concessionaires that engage into bullying tactics as a way of subduing Liberians into submission to achieve their selfish commercial interest at the expense of the people who are land owners.
Responding to concerns of Bong County citizens during a town hall meeting in David Dean Town, Kokoya Statutory District as part of his nationwide tour, President Weah said: “Companies that want to halt operations in Liberia should do so willingly and peacefully.”
The President’s response came when the locals complained a foreign company operating in their district. They told the President that a logging company had threatened to leave the district if a damaged bridge in the area was not rehabilitated
“Government cannot and will not compromise the interest of its citizens,” he warned, adding, “This is a sovereign nation and this is a government. We will not compromise the interest of the country for anything. If a company involved into logging wants to leave because of a damaged bridge, let them do so.”
The President said while his government encourages foreign direct investment, he is under obligation protect the interest of the people. He however said if it means Government should fix the bridge in question in the interest of the citizens, it will be done.
“But Government will not be intimidated,” he emphasized.
Dr. Weah assured foreign investors that “we are willing to work and cooperate with any development partners, but we’ll not be bullied into submission.”
President Weah vowed that Government would review the Concession Agreement that authorizes the company to operate in Liberia and that the right decisions will be made in keeping with current realities and in the interest of the citizens, government and the company.
“We will review the Concession Agreement. We will discuss it and make the right decisions,” the President noted.
Support to Market Women
During the Kokoya town meeting, President Weah also announced financial support for women of the district who would take agriculture and other potentially productive business ventures serious.
He said Government would build their capacity to become productive and contributive to the country’s economy.
“I will now ask the Minister of Commerce to begin the second phase of disbursement of the two million dollar microloan to women in Bong, Nimba and other counties,” the President declared.
Youths must obey the law
The Liberian leader also interacted with the young people of David Dean Town who asked him to order the release of their colleagues who are placed behind bars for vandalism.
He flatly rejected the youth’s appeal and lectured them on the importance of the rule of law and the need for citizens, particularly youth, to eschew violence.
“It is not a good thing for a government to compromise the law,” the President told to the youth. “It was wrong for citizens, mainly young people who are the future leaders, to engage in violent acts, attacking law enforcing officers and destroying public properties. Those who break the law must be punished; they should not be pampered. As we all say, this is a country of law.”
President Weah further told the David Dean Town youth that those proven guilty of intolerable acts will bear the weight of the law
The President however frowned on the consistent destruction of state and private properties particularly by young citizens under the guise revenging for colleagues involved in traffic accidents.
He called on parents to advise their children to desist from acts that contravene the law.