SDPL Reassures Liberians – Vows To Continue Its Contributions

By Reuben Sei Waylaun

In an effort to ensure that its commitments remain in tight as a trustworthy oil giant company, the management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) has reassured Liberians and the government that it remains a staunch partner to the country and its people to ensure economic stability and job creation.

Sime Darby as it is called signed a 63-year concession agreement with the Liberian Government in 2009, which gives the Company 220,000 hectares of land to be developed into oil palm and rubber plantations in three of Liberia’s counties; namely, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu.

Since then, the Malaysian oil giant company has been enduring the storm, uprightly standing tall against all forms of obstacles aim at ensuring that its dreams and aspirations are achieved.

In the midst of all these difficulties, Sime Darby has become one of the best and reliable partners to the Liberian Government extending its generosity to host communities and undertaking projects that are bringing smiles and concrete relationship between the company and the citizens of project affected communities (PAC) and beyond.

Meanwhile, the company has further reassured the citizens of the PAC, the government and Liberians in general that more underway aim at bringing smiles to all Liberians which according to the company will meaningfully contribute to the economy of the state.

Unlike other companies across the country, Sime Darby has been able to ensure job opportunities, education, adequate healthcare, social corporate responsibilities sailing well, security, among others for citizens of the host counties, and communities.

Despite all of what the company has done, it says it is still willing to do more for the Liberian people because it has come to stay and operate as partner to the state and its people.

As part of this assurance, Sime Darby has since embarked on the construction of a US$18 million Mill which will be ready for production which is expected soon.

The construction is the first on West African Soil, which experts say it is a major revolution for the Malaysian Company in its overseas investment. The mill will process some 60 tons of Fresh Fruit Brunches (FFB) of oil palm per hour- one of the largest in the country.

Because of the smooth relationships Sime Darby has secured, several communities in its operational areas and beyond have been calling on the company to move in their communities which will make have access to some of the many humanitarian contributions from the Malaysian oil giant company.

Citizens from Gohn-Zodua, Bacca, Failie among others have since been knocking the doors of Sime Darby in order to open way for the company to begin works in their communities as well.

It can be recalled Zodua’s citizens unanimously authorized the company to enter the clan in order to continue enjoying the cordial relationship. As part of their mission to seeing the fulfilment of their appeal, the citizens made available 5,000 hectares of fertile land to the company.

In a joint resolution, the citizens said they have unanimously agreed to inform the management of Sime Darby that the clan is free from misunderstanding and united in good faith to welcome the management back to the clan for full operations.

The Zodua’s citizens in their resolution acknowledged the adherence of the company to their inheritance’s rights and other customary importance in their clan which they said is in line with international best practice.

“We the people of Zodua Clan including elders, traditional leaders, women group, youth and the Zodua land committee (ZLC) do hereby unanimously resolved to reject collaborating with any legal organization on this and all future work in our clan in the spirit of keeping our clan united and peaceful. However, it is important to note that Zodua Clan will welcome a genuine partner to carry on any transparent work in its clan that will not divide the people within the clan,” they noted.

Unlike in the past, things are relatively much better with the company and the citizens of host communities. This is in adherence to the terms of the Concession Agreement, CA, signed with the government.

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About Cholo Brooks 4084 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL), including several other international organizations of journalists.