The people of Sinoe County, southeast Liberia are expected to benefit from a US$120 million mining investment by Hamburg International, a foreign company.
Briefing reporters Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill, the Executive Director of the National Investment Commission or NIC, George Wisner, said plans are being finalized for the singing of the investment contract between the Government of Liberia and Hamburg International.
Mr. Wisner said the mine that is expected to open in Sinoe will be the largest gold mine in Liberia, stressing that government is under obligation to create jobs and empower her citizens at every level, not only in Montserrado but all 15 counties.
The NIC Executive Director noted that Hamburg International will not focus on profit, but they will also construct a 75-mile road in the county, and build health facilities for residents and would-be employees of the company, including housing facilities and primary schools.
He told reporters that the company will also empower citizens, including youth of Sinoe as well as construct its headquarters in the county to respond to issues that would lives of citizens and employees.
He said government has made it a policy for concession companies coming to Liberia open head offices directly in the county they want to operate rather than in Monrovia.
Meanwhile, the NIC has frowned at the recent violence against the oil palm company, Golden Veroleum Liberia by youths of Butaw district in Sinoe County, resulting to vandalization of company’s property and injuries.
Mr. Wisner said the agreement between the Government of Liberia and Hamburg International was on the verge of completion when the riot occurred in Sinoe, something, which he noted, brought fear to the company and other foreign investors, who may want to come to Liberia and invest.
He said such action by youth sends a very bad signal about the country, saying, “It means that we are not ready for more investments to come in this country; every day we cry out to government, we make negative criticism about the government failing to provide jobs to its people, after we have overcome the deadly Ebola outbreak in this country, then you have youth vandalizing company property. It appears that Liberians are not ready to receive the development they have been crying for”.
He added that if citizens are disenchanted with foreign investment companies within their respective counties or districts, the best thing to do is to seek audience with their respective Representatives at the Legislature, not to destroy property.
“We at the NIC, one of our mandates is to protect foreign investments. When the government enters into agreement with foreign investment company, that company is only answerable to the government and not the citizens”, Mr. Wisner stressed. By Lewis S. Teh