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GeneralLiberia news

We will not complain

-new Mines Minister vows to act

Liberia’s new Minister of Mines and Energy sounds like a caveat to illegal miners here, saying that he has not come to the office to complain but to act vigorously against illicit activities.

Minister Wilmot Paye took office recently following his nomination by President Boakai and subsequent confirmation by the Liberian Senate. 

By Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

Monrovia, Liberia, March 6, 2024 – Newly appointed Minister of Mines and Energy Wilmot Paye has sent a caveat to illegal miners that he comes to the position not making excuses but acting accordingly to protect the sector.

Speaking after he officially took office as Minister, Paye, a stalwart of the governing Unity Party, said his coming to the ministry wasn’t a mistake but a right choice in adhering to promises contained in President Boakai’s ARREST Agenda aimed at taking critical steps in improving the country’s mining sector.

“The President has not sent me here to complain or make excuses but to take critical steps that will enhance the smooth running of this sector. So as Minister of Mines and Energy, we will not complain but be required to act”, he underscored.

He said it is about time the Ministry of Mines and Energy became more proactive and operated efficiently to gain the trust of foreign investors and the communities that are direct hosts of concessionaires and are most affected.

“While would-be investors come here to obtain Mineral Development Agreements, do nothing to start operation, and sit on the rights granted under those MDAs, while we do nothing, especially amid the foreseeable future that work is likely to begin, we will not complain, but be required to act in keeping with our MDA that protects our people.” 

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He said he would be robust, indicating that it is unfair for him to sit as Minister while Liberia’s minerals and natural resources are being depleted for  3% to 5% royalties.

Paye noted that Liberia strives to survive while it sits atop vast natural resource potential, adding that we will not allow illegal investors to occupy and undermine the sector.

He promised to proactively engage and review concession agreements nationwide, a key policy priority of President Boakai’s ARREST Agenda.

“Our objective is to review all concession agreements, establishing whether or not the terms specified in these Mineral Development Agreements (MDAs) are being respected, and identifying gaps for consideration in subsequent amendments.”

According to him, the mineral and energy sectors have reached a crisis point, risking national economic and security emergencies, so there will be robust efforts to review licenses and restore dignity of the mining sector.

Earlier, former Minister Gesler E. Murray said part of his task in the manifesto of the PRO—POOR Agenda of former President George Manneh Weah was to transform the mining sector by making it more vibrant, as it is one of the key contributors to the country’s economic growth and development.

Mr. Murray noted that throughout his effective management of oversight of the Ministry amid numerous challenges, the sector has greatly improved.

He reminded Minister Paye of the task ahead while urging him to be more vigorous. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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