2 Senators Opt For More Social Benefits For Affected Communities, As Two Companies Order To Start Mining In Gbarpolu
By Randall George | GNN Liberia Legislative Reporter |
Two Senators at the Liberian Senate, Numene Bartekwa of Grand Kru County and Simeon Taylor of Grand Cape Mount County, both Chairpersons of the Senate Joint Committees on Concession & Investment and Mines and Energy are calling on the Executive Branch of Government to ensure that concession agreement that will appear before the Legislature must contain sufficient social benefits to the people of the affected counties.
The two Committee Chairpersons said it was important that affected communities across Liberia have something to show when companies are operating in their respective Counties.
The Senators made the call over the weekend at a hearing of the Senate Joint Committee on Concessions & Investment and Mines & Energy relative to the BAO CHICO Resources Liberia Ltd. Concession for the extraction of iron ore in Gbarpolu County.
The company is expected to operate under a Class A mining license for an initial term of twenty-five (25) years from the effective date.
Addressing officials of the Executive, which included the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, the Deputy Minister of Mines & Energy, Mr. Emmanuel O. Sherman, and the Assistant Commissioner of National the Investment Commission (NIC), the two Senators called on the Executive who they referred to as technicians to ensure that the issue of infrastructure and housing of employees must be taken into serious consideration when negotiating concessions.
They said inadequate housing facilities have been provided by several concessionaires in the past, something the two committee chairpersons indicated, does not represent the dignity of employees.
Senators Bartekwa and Taylor also called on technicians in the executive to increase the scholarship fund in the BAO CHICO agreement to ensure that many persons in the county acquire the requisite knowledge to take over some managerial roles in the future.
The two Senate Committee Chairpersons, Friday following the hearing called for an increment in the Social contribution of US$300,000.00 to US$850,000.00.