Liberia to Benefit U.S.$35 Million, But...

19 September 2019

National Investment Commission of Liberia chair Moullela Gray says Capital Link Corporation, a proposed cement plant for Buchanan, Grand Bassa County will benefit Liberia at large.Appearing before the Senate Committee on Concession and Investment Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in the chambers of the Liberian Senate, Mr. Gray disclosed that the country stands to benefit US$35 million during 15 years of operation here.

According to him, Capital Link presented to the NIC a proposal for the development of a cement plant, saying that they are currently in discussion with the Guinea to finalize an implementation agreement for the transshipment of Guinean iron ore through Liberia, and that the proposed plant for Buchanan would service the lower part of Guinea.

The NIC boss further explains the cement plant will create 120 jobs among them 112 for Liberians, as well as ensure procurement of goods and services in the economy, including locally produced materials.

He says the investment will provide US$10,000 to high schools in Grand Bassa County annually, and Liberians will occupy 20 percent of the most senior managerial posts not later than in its fifth anniversary, while Liberian goods and services will receive preferences.

Grand Kru County Senator Dr. Peter Coleman stresses that the investors should have a certain amount allocated in their plan for health as they are doing for the Educational system, noting that cement is a product that causes a lot of health problems or pollution for residents in the production area thru water and air contamination.

Senator Henrique Togba of Bong County notes that the concession agreement came from the Executive to the Liberian Senate in less than 10 days, while other companies' concession agreements have sat on the President's desk for many years.

"I got the feelings that someone has a serious interest into this and if that happens and there is any environmental problem, that case will be very difficult to address, while hundreds of people will die and that case will linger in the Justice system", Sen. Togba cautions.

But Senators Conmany B. Wesseh (River Gee County) and Alphonso Gaye (Grand Gedeh County) say the documents from the NIC should have been before the senate long ago so that they could read comprehensively and be prepared to ask questions.

Sen. Gaye also observes there is no indication in the document to state how the investors are going to contribute US$35 million to the Liberian economy, emphasizing that the investors should convince the senate how the economy would benefit such money.

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