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Nimbaians resolved on ArcelorMittal

By Thomas Domah, Nimba County

Following a one-day conference held in Sanniquellie, Nimba County on the Mineral Development Agreement from ArcelorMittal, the people of Nimba are calling on the government not to give additional years to the company due to lack of development in its operational areas.

A local group, Nimba Kwado, has been mounting pressure on lawmakers and the Government of Liberia not to grant nine additional years being requested by the mining company.

Dubbed One Nimba conference, the gathering brought together Nimbaians, including District#3 Representative Joseph Nyan Somwarbi, who was seen backing the company, Representative Prince O.S.Tokpah, who later left the meeting, women and youth groups from nine administrative districts of the county, among others.

Nimba Kwado President Isaac Dahn

Speaking to reporters over the weekend during the conference in Sanniquellie, they said the additional nine years being requested should not be granted until ArcelorMittal provides job opportunities for Nimbaians, including housing and improved health facilities, schools, roads and better living conditions in affected communities.

ArcelorMittal Liberia, a subsidiary of the world’s steel giant Mittal Steel, already has a 25-year agreement with the Government of Liberia, which took effect in 2006. But the company has signed an US$800 million Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia, pending ratification by the 54th Legislature.

The president of Nimba Kwado, Mr.Isaac Dahn, insists that until management can fulfill its promises in Yekepa and other parts of Nimba, the government should not grant it additional years.

Mr. Dahn names some of the activities in the agreement that the company has not been able to implement such as the re-location of G.W. Harley Hospital, the oldest government hospital in Sanniquellie, and renovation of Zolowee Public School, among others.

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During the conference, former Senator Saye Taylor Dolo, who first expressed disappointment and frustration in ArcelorMittal’s operations in Nimba, later called on his kinsmen to have a round table with the company to move ahead but urged them to remain peaceful.

Mr. Dolo’s statement followed closed doors meeting with disenchanted citizens during the conference.

Resolution from the One Nimba Conference is expected to be presented to President George Manneh Weah.

Meanwhile, chiefs and elders of Nimba are calling on President Weah to visit the county in order to have a closed-door meeting with them to address their concerns about the current Mineral Development Agreement with ArcelorMittal. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/rep-domah-against-arcelormittal-deal/Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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