Three officials from a local group in Bong County called Advocacy for Kokoyah Resource are calling for the re-visitation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into in 2015 by citizens of Kokoyah District and the Management of mining company MNG-Gold Liberia. MNG Gold is a multi-million Turkish mining company operating in Kokoyah District, Bong County.
Some residents of Kokoyah Statutory District on 6 February 2015 entered into an agreement with the company in Monrovia to rebuild and strengthen the relationship between the company and inhabitants of the district. Through the agreement, the company promised to provide free primary and secondary education for the children of MNG Gold’s employees in conformity with provisions of the Education Laws of Liberia.
It also promised to establish and operate vocational training centers within or near the production area, and assist with the rehabilitation of the roads and bridges within or that otherwise connect its operational areas, in accordance with the standards of the Ministry of Public Works.
Further, MNG Gold-Liberia promised to establish an annual scholarship fund to the tune of US$ 10,000, for deserving students from Kokoyah District to attend any university in Liberia, college or technical schools.
Appearing on a local radio station, (Radio Gbarnga, FM 96.5Mhz) in Gbarnga recently, Roosevelt Urey Kerkulah, Shadrach Saturday Kollie, and Isaac Tom Payedoe accused the company of failing to make good on some of those commitments.
Contrary to the mineral development agreement signed between MNG Gold and the government of Liberia, the trio alleged that the company is currently involved with underground mining; a claim the company has denied. They want the document to be revisited with some amendments that will put the company’s feet to the fire and ensure that the citizens get their just benefits.
“You cannot have company that is getting more from our district and can’t contribute [anything], so we want that agreement to be revisited because what is in it is very small,” Isaac concludes.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley