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House ratifies Liberia, Nimba Rubber Concession agreement

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The Plenary of the House of Representatives has voted unanimously to concur with the Liberian Senate on the passage of the concession agreement between Liberia and Nimba Rubber Incorporated.

Recently, President George Manneh Weah resubmitted to the Legislature for ratification, the concession agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI).

The agreement was received and forwarded to the Senate’s committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to report to the body.

In the report to the plenary on Thursday, the committee informed the body that it had affirmed confidence in the investor’s representation and projected development schemes submitted to national government considering agriculture as the largest sector in the economy.

The agreement seeks to invest US$9.8 million in the first 15 years to fund the cost of reconditioning of camp houses for personnel staff, purchase of equipment to recondition eighty miles of internal plantation roads as well as security, education, health services and procurement of farm implements under the term and condition of the agreement for 20 years.

The committee’s report cited that the agreement will contribute 35 percent of the gross domestic product of the monetary sector of the country’s economy.

The committees said the benefits to the Liberian population, particularly the affected community (Saclepea Mah and Sanniquellie Mah District) in Nimba County tend to gain from the concessionrehabilitation agreement is far more redeeming in terms of creating a stable macroeconomic environment that will enable private sector-led economic growth.

The committees added that the agreement also provides greater competitiveness to impact the surrounding communities through social development activities, saying it is going to diversify the economy under pillar two of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

The rehabilitation process, according to the report, will stabilize the plantation by employing workers to undertake legitimate work on the plantation, especially integrating Liberia’s youthful population into gainful employment at the expense of curtailing lawlessness and criminality.

The report highlights plans to rehabilitate the roads, enhance accessibility within the plantation to facilitate improvement in productivity, replant a portion of the plantation, owing to the fact that the trees have outlived their material substance and renovate staff housing units and construct modern housing, medical and educational facilities for workers.

Among other things, it states that the investor shall be liable to make other payments to the government to include turnover, import duty (on fuel), ECOWAS trade levy, customs user fee, tax on interest as well as real property tax in keeping with the financing law of Liberia.By Bridgett Milton—Edited by Winston W. Parley

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