Solway in Cash Crisis?

MONROVIA-Solway investment  Liberia that has a concession in Nimba officials are becoming unhappy with reports that it is facing some financial crisis resulting in not paying its employees for some months.

Over the past years, it has been rosy,  with payments being on time but in recent times its financial pipeline has become tight with not much being done at its project sites and other areas; thus raising concern at its headquarters in Switzerland.

Already, there are reports from some employees that it has spent over US11M in three years but the impart not much to justify the amount. Moreover, work on its MDA has not been effected to reach the legislature.

“At present, the lawyers are working on their MDA,” an employee who declined to be named said.

Some employees who spoke to this paper early this week said the company was indebted to them for several months but management was doing nothing to pay them.

“What they are rather doing is to give money to some lawmakers and influencer people from the county,”  one employee said.

This along with other factors have prompted the headquarters to dispatch its Chief Financial officer, one Emerald Pavel in  Switzerland to arrive in Liberia to know what are the issues of concern like.

“Right now, there is a problem in the concession area.  Many of us are not happy. The way the operation is going is not good. Operations started on good footing but now, we do not understand what is going on. Our boss man is out of Liberia almost every month,” another employee who begged not to be named said.

This could not be confirmed by the Solway team in Liberia. A Series of text messages were sent for comments but there was no response as a senior manager referred this paper to one journalist who serves as a consultant for them.

“I will get back to you. They have been in meeting most of the day. As soon as  I get word from them, I will give you an answer.”   But early Thursday, a Solway management representative who also declined to be named said;  “all that the employees are saying are untrue.”

Solway  Liberia is a part of  Solway investment Group, GMbH.  It is a private international mining and metals group located in Switzerland.  The company operates mines and smelting plants in Guatemala, Ukraine, Russia, Indonesia, and Macedonia with a focus on nickel production.

Solway international is said to be owned by  Aleksandr Bronstein, the Estonian millionaire. Some time ago, A Russian publication Kommersant reported that the Chairman has strong ties with  the inner circle of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, including Alexey Mordashov, a one-time owner of the failed Putu Mining company in Liberia. The current value of the Group’s assets is USD 1,184 billion.

But its Liberia project, according to sources have not been transparent in their spending; “some of the spending they will put on records as special operations, protocols, etc,” one employee said.

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