MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Liberian Senate has endorsed the report of its Specialized Committee set up to assess ArcelorMittal operational areas.
According to the report, ArcelorMittal has not adequately lived up to its commitment, as stipulated in the Mineral Development Agreement.
The Committee recommends that a tripartite consultation be held involving the Liberian Government, Company, and residents of affected communities, with thirty-percent of the Social Development Funds be directed to those communities.
According to the report, ArcelorMittal should institute an effective communication mechanism to bridge the information gap, and also ensure that qualified Liberians occupy senior level positions at the Company.
The Committee wants the recommendation implemented before the passage of the third amendment of the Mineral Development Agreement.
Meanwhile, Plenary has forwarded the Committee’s report to its Joint Committee on Concession, Investment and Judiciary for further action.
At the same time, the Chairman of the Specialized Committee, Senator Saah Joseph, says:” I will not vote for the passage of the Agreement, if the necessary recommendations are not addressed.”
The Montserrado County Senator said his stance comes in the wake of the appalling conditions of residents of the affected communities in the Company’s operational areas.
Senator Joseph added that he will not vote for any agreement that is not in the interest of the people. He noted that during their engagements in Grand Bassa and Nimba Counties, The people called for more commitment from ArcelorMittal to its corporate social responsibilities to affected communities.
He added that the Company has begun the implementation of the MDA, but wants it to be done fully to improve the livelihood of the people.
By: Sampson David