The Superintendent of Grand Bassa County has announced this year’s payment of County Social Development Funds by ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML).
Janjay Baikpeh, the Superintendent of the county made the disclosure on Monday in an interview with state radio ELBC in Monrovia.
Said Baikpeh: “ArcelorMittal has informed us as a county that they have paid our social development Fund”.
“We have informed the Ministry of Finance that these are our spending budget and this is what we have allocated based on what is in the budget for us…” the Bassa Superintendent noted.
He also disclosed that the Chairman of the Grand Bassa County Legislative Caucus is expected to negotiate discussions with the Ministry of Finance for the transfer of funds to the county.
“We need to get the people money to complete these projects” he said
“This money contributed by Mittal will help us to carry out the various projects across the districts to bring relief to our people”, he added.
ArcelorMittal Liberia pays more than US$2 million in social development funding to the three counties affected by its Liberia mining operation- Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Bong County US$500,000.
When asked about the total amount of money already paid to the Ministry of Finance for Grand Bassa County the superintendent replied “we have 1.5 million coming from ArcelorMittal and 200 thousand from county development funds”
The money is then remitted to various accounts of the concerned counties for expenditure.
The superintendent urged the Ministry of Finance to be swift in forwarding the money to the county as according to him “our people are in dying need of basic social services like clinics”.
He said: “for example the county has embarked on the relocation of the new government Hospital and we cannot do that without social development funds”
He told ELBC’s Super Morning Host Sorbor George that the government has been in discussion with ArceloMittal so that the company can contribute US$1million to the relocation of the Grand Bassa Hospital
When concluded, the new facility he said will host one hundred fifty bed rooms and provided modern equipment and seasoned staff to help save lives.
There has been repeated fire outbreaks the Buchanan Government Hospital regarded as the largest public health facility in county, significantly reducing its already limited capacity to handle patients.
Meanwhile Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh praised ArcelorMittal’s recent partnership with the Port of Buchanan to ensure lighting.
The intervention by ArcelorMittal Liberia helped improve the light and security conditions at the government-operated Buchanan Port with the donation of a consignment of 33 high-performance and environmentally friendly solar streetlights.
Scores of people and institutions including public, private, and community-based continue to benefit increased support from ArcelorMittal Liberia as part of the concession’s corporate social responsibility which promotes shared values and dividends of its operations stakeholders and local communities.
At the request of county authorities, ArcelorMittal in January this year invested more US$260,000 to rehabilitate feeder roads in Buchanan City
The roads included the 2.5 km stretch from Tubman Street Junction to the Loop, the Government Hospital-Kilby Street Road, and the Pipeline to Grand Bassa University College Road, the Circuit Court-Upper Buchanan Road, the Barconie Road, and the ‘Own Your Own’ Road leading to Monrovia Junction.
As AML expands, money communities stand to benefit from enhanced community development initiatives.