LIBERIA: ‘GVL Lost US$1.5m To Rioters’ – Management

GVL-Logo-2-1The Management of Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) says it is spending over US$1.5 million to rehabilitate its farms in southeastern Liberia due to riots in the concession area last year.

It also disclosed that over 4.5 million palm seedlings in nurseries have overgrown and are no longer useful to the company.

According to GVL Senior Vice President for Operations, Viganeswaran Ponnudurai, the loss is a result of the June 2, 2015 riot by some citizens of Sinoe County.

On the day of the riot, protesters wielding machetes broke into the company’s offices and looted equipment and other property, the Liberia National Police (LNP) recorded in its report on the incident.

According to the report, the rioters took hostage the company’s senior manager and wounded Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf on the day of the riot.

Ponnudurai told the Liberia News Agency in an interview in Sinoe County recently that the LNP prevented the management and workers of the company from entering the company’s premises for three months due to investigation it was conducting at the time.

“Palm seedling is most useful when it is 10 months but at 20 months the stage at which most of the seedling are, we cannot use them again because they will not give us the desired yield,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, Ponnudurai has disclosed that the company spends US$100,000 annually on scholarships for agriculture students at several universities.

He noted that the money is given annually to the Ministry of Agriculture which manages the fund.

The Ministry of Agriculture GVL Agric Scholarship program covers 1,600

students from Tubman University, United Methodist University, Cuttington University, University of Liberia and Booker Washington Institute.

At the same time, the GVL Vice President says the company is facing serious problem with land ownership as they are often deprived of land given to them under the concession agreement.

“Our policy is not to enter into disputed areas but to rather negotiate before venturing,” he pointed out.

The company currently covers Grand Kru and Sinoe Counties with millions of trees already planted and a mill ready for processing. GVL is a Singapore-based Golden Agric-Resources institution.

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About Cholo Brooks 17199 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) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.