By Bridgett Milton
The House of Representatives has instructed its committee on Judiciary, Ways, Means and Finance, and National Security to investigate the Management of Western Cluster Liberia Limited, on its operations in the country.
Plenary’s decision followed a communication from Nimba County District #5 Representative, Samuel G. Kogar, seeking the indulgence of his colleagues to halt the company’s operations with immediate effect in order to launch an investigation against mounting public outcry as well as to ask Plenary to invite the Management of Western Cluster.
Representative Kogar stressed that a critical review of the Mineral Development Agreement and MOU should have been done by the Legislature but this was never the case so, citizens are concerned.
He said Western Cluster Liberia signed an MOU with the Government of Liberia on April 12, 2022, as a means of realizing its 25 years MDA, which gives the company exclusive rights to mine 30 million tons of iron ore annually, comprising quartz, hematite, magnetite and other minerals in Western Liberia, and was given Class “A” license to begin mining.
“However, Hon. Speaker and Fellow Colleagues, as some of you might be aware of the recent waves of dissatisfaction among citizens in Bomi, Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu counties and the public frustrations on the renegotiation of the Western
Cluster Liberia and the GOL’s MOU, in which the citizens expressed some major concerns including the company’s failure to implement the MDA it signed in 2011, unilateral decision to renegotiate the new MOU deal without the citizen’s input, employment, health, and education concerns along with infrastructural concern, I found it prudent that there should be an immediate halt to the company’s operations for a speedy investigation in this matter of national concern”, Rep. Kogar suggested.
For their part, members of the House of Representatives thanked Rep. Kogar for bringing such communication to the body, adding that it will be good that the Management goes and explain to them in order to find a way forward. Editing by Jonathan Browne