Margibi County District Two Representative Ivar K. Jones claims government is robbing the county by collecting taxes from there, but remitting nothing for development.He argues that considering huge revenue being generated from Margibi and brought to central government, the county deserves attention in terms of development.
Speaking recently in an interview with reporters in Cotton Tree, Lower Margibi County, Representative Jones notes there are several sources of funding from the county, including Roberts International Airport and Firestone Rubber Plantation Company, among others, recalling that it is because of the presence of Firestone in Margibi the Freeport of Monrovia was built.
He further claims in 2018 the Freeport along generated around three to five million US Dollars. Not naming China Union and Salala Rubber Corporation, two other concessions in the county, the Representative Jones continues that as part of Margibi’s contribution in 1926 when the Head of Firestone, the late Harvey S. Firestone lent US$5 million to the government.
He explains that as the second largest employer in Liberia, the company has about 7,000 workers and monthly withholdings far beyond US$70,000. The Margibi Lawmaker further alleges the county was robbed of land rental, totaling over US$200,000, arguing that Margibi County should have received more than US$160,000 of said amount, but only got US$25,000 from government, which he describes as unfair.
“We were robbed of our money, the land rental fee. If you go to the agreement of Firestone, it tells you that we were supposed to receive two hundred and sixty some more thousand dollars; I am saying we were robbed because if Margibi, of the two hundred and some more thousand dollars should have received one and sixty three or one hundred and sixty five thousand dollars for social development and in this gone budget, we only had twenty five thousands, we believe that was unfair on the part of the government to the Margibians.”
He says by law, these funds should come to the county, but government is robbing Margibi by not providing its deserved benefits.Meanwhile, Representative Jones promises to take the issue up at the National Legislature to make his colleagues understand that Firestone is contributing huge amount to the national budget from Margibi County, but remittance to the county is small, which is unfair.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi–Editing by Jonathan Browne