The newly-confirmed Superintendent of Nimba County, Fong Zuagele, is calling on citizens residing in the concession area of mining giant ArcelorMittal to peacefully co-exist with the company.
Superintendent Zuagele made the call in Yekepa Saturday when Nimba Citizens under the banner, ‘Concerned Nimbaians’ held negotiations with ArcelorMittal for major social corporate projects and the company’s work plan for the county.
He said it was important that citizens of Nimba County get their fair share of the operations of ArcelorMittal in their county, but cautioned that negotiations must be in accordance with the provisions of the Mineral Development Agreement and the Constitution of Liberia.
He committed himself to mediating in the ongoing dialogue between the company and the citizens of Nimba.
He urged both parties to accept their social and economic responsibilities to the State, while respecting the Mineral Development Agreement.
In response, the ‘Concerned Nimbaians’ resolved to accept what is feasible for the growth of the county.
The citizens are demanding employment opportunities for qualified Nimbaians, relocation of the G.W. Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie, AML financial and technical assistance to Nimba County Community College, and the complete renovation of Yekepa, among others.
In remarks, the Governmental Affairs Superintendent of ArcelorMittal, Ambrose Gbormie, expressed appreciation to local authorities for their intervention in the community engagement process.
Since January of 2013 this pressure group has been demanding the National Legislature to renegotiate the Mineral Development Agreement between ArcelorMittal and the Liberian Government.
The group wants exploration processes in Liberia to consider the opinions and participation of affected communities with economic opportunities for the development of the locals.