FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

Liberia: Equipment Not U.S.$1 Million to JFK- Jindal Steel Clarifies

Monrovia — Indian Steel Giant Jindal Steel has clarified that it has not yet given US$1M cash to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center as reported by FrontPageAfrica last week.

What Happen to Jindal Funds? Secrecy Mars US$1M to JFK

The company instead says that it has offered to assist with the setting up of an O.P. Jindal Imaging Diagnostic Centre at the JFK Memorial Hospital. The Diagnostic Centre is to have a MRI machine apart from other medical equipment's, at the total cost of over US$1 million.

In the aftermath of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's visit to India last year, several local newspapers reported a pledged donation of US$1 million to JFK but not much has been heard of the donation or whether or not it had been made. JFK officials responded to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry last week by saying it had not received any money from Jindal.

In a statement to FrontPageAfrica, the company dismissed suggestions that it made a US$1 million donation to the JFK Medical Centre through the "President's sister, Jenny Bernard" to help renovate and provide some medications to the hospital, but that the whereabouts of the donation from the Indian Steel and Power giant remain unknown. "Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has categorically stated the allegation, that it did not give US$1M cash to the JFK hospital, let alone through anybody or intermediary. In fact, there was no cash given to any Government Official as stated in the report."

Jindal's statement did not state whether it had already fulfill its obligation to JFK, but hospital officials say, they have not yet received cash or the promised medical equipment.

FrontPageAfrica has now been informed that the hold up of the more than one million medical supplies is due to the failure of the Liberian government to construct a center to facilitate the MRI imaging machine. "Up to now, over four companies have submitted bid for the construction of the center, but nothing has materialized," a source said Sunday.

Liberia currently does not have an MRI or imaging center forcing many to travel to neighboring Ghana or the US for imaging tests.

MRI scans use a combination of a powerful magnet, radio waves and a computer in order to produce detailed images of both bony structures and soft tissue in the body such as the brain, head, joints, spine, abdomen, blood vessels (angiography), breasts and reproductive organs. MRI scans do not use any radiation during the diagnostic imaging process.

Computed Tomography (CT )-- sometimes called a CT scan or CAT scan -- uses specialized X-ray equipment to produce cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. A computer joins these together. CT scans are used for many different types of screening: to detect coronary artery disease, lung cancer, colon cancer (virtual colonoscopy) and gall and kidney stones.. A CT scan can also detect certain bone problems such as osteoarthritis and fractures, tumors and organ problems, while providing much greater clarity than conventional X-ray examinations.

The new facility will also give the JFK a means of conducting Ultrasound imaging, a diagnostic procedure that produces pictures of the inside of a patient's body using high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound images are always captured in real-time and show the structure and movement of the internal organs, and blood flowing through blood vessels.

It is unclear whether Jindal's delay is tied to the delay in its discussions with the Liberian government. The company, in a statement to FPA said, it says it is still awaiting conclusive discussions on the setting up of a power plant or any other suitable opportunity in the iron ore mining sector for expanding its limited presence in the country and Participate in the Economic Transformation of Liberia. The company has been here for about 24 months, but the government is yet to conclude the deal on the power project, although it has already concluded power plant deals in Senegal, Mauritania and other nearby countries.

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSP) is India's second-biggest steelmaker by value and has in recent months, explored interests in the iron ore mine acquisition in West Africa for at least $2 billion as it seeks raw material to feed its factories at home and in Oman.

Full Text of Jindal's Statement:

The Jindal Steel and Power Limited, an Indian based Company having interest in investing in Liberia's energy and mining sectors, has clarified to a news story published in the Wednesday, February 19th edition of the FrontPageAfrica newspaper under the caption: What Happen to Jindal Funds? Secrecy Mars US$1M to JFK.

In the story, the paper alleged that JINDAL donated US$1 million to the JFK Medical Centre through the "President's sister, Jenny Bernard" to help renovate and provide some medications to the hospital, but that the whereabouts of the donation from the Indian Steel and Power giant remain unknown.

In its reaction to the story, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has categorically stated the allegation, that it did not give US$1M cash to the JFK hospital, let alone through anybody or intermediary. In fact, there was no cash given to any Government Official as stated in the report.

Rather, the Company has clarified that upon the specific request of H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Mr. Naveen Jindal, during the latter's visit to Liberia last year, the Company Chairman offered to assist with the setting up of an O.P. Jindal Imaging Diagnostic Centre at the JFK Memorial Hospital. The Diagnostic Centre is to have a MRI machine apart from other medical equipment's, at the total cost of over US$1 million.

Meanwhile, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd says it is awaiting conclusive discussions on the setting up of a power plant or any other suitable opportunity in the iron ore mining sector for expanding its limited presence in the country and Participate in the Economic Transformation of Liberia.

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