Liberia: Nimbians Still Reject Arcelor Mittal Agreement

Several Nimbaians have called on the legislature to nullify the current mineral development between the Liberian government and Arcelor Mittal because it is not in the interest of the county and the country.

At a mass meeting held in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, over the weekend, on the status of the Mineral Development Agreement put before the National Legislature, from ArcelorMittal, participants at the conference have called on the government to ignore any additional years to Arcelor Mittal until its current nine years agreement expires. Those at the conference believe that the steel giant has been unable to abide by the first agreement signed in 2005.

The conference was organized by Nimba Kwado(meaning one Nimba in the local dialect) has been discussing a number of issues in the county ranging from developments, to the welfare of its people. This was not the first time for such conference to be held. It can be recalled that last year similar meeting was held in which thousands of citizens from different parts of the world attended. Some lawmakers were present at the meeting.

At the end of the conference the president of the group, Mr. Isaac Dahn told reporters that the company was not in the county to help rather, to exploit and at such, the current MDA should not be ratified.

According to him, AML has not been able to live up to the agreement. For instance, the lack of housing, good health care, job opportunity and above all, control over the rail and port of Buchanan.

He said, all parties should have access to both the rail and the port as it was the property of the country and not AML.

At the conference a former senator of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, Saye Taylor Dolo, called on delegates to seek audience with the company to look at some of the issues raised in the agreement.

He has earlier expressed his dissatisfaction over the agreement, but said, it was also important to meet the company's representatives for a dialogue.

According to the delegates, a resolution from the conference is expected to be sumitted to President George Weah soon. At the same time, the elders and chiefs are calling for the president to pay a visit to the county to see at first hand the current situation.

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