LIBERIA: Building a Brighter Future Together ─ Lugbeyee Community Warmly Welcomes AML’s CEO

The people of Lugbeyee in Nimba County Welcome AML chief executive

The town of Lugbeyee, in Nimba County, was gripped with festivities last Thursday, when nearly one thousand cheerful residents of the area, dressed in beautiful traditional festive costumes, with customary horns and samba drums belting out melodious tunes, welcomed Jozephus Coenen, Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Liberia to the town.

The visit to the town was on the latest leg of the AML CEO community engagement tour.

For nearly an hour, Mr. Coenen along with Representative Joseph Somwarbi, toured the entire Lugbeyee Town, visiting the public clinic and other ongoing projects.

Thursday’s colorful ceremonies in Lugbeyee also included the gowning of the AML boss as a gesture from the citizens declaring their openness to work alongside the management of ArcelorMittal Liberia to foster stronger relations and partnership for increased economic and development benefits for the community and others.

Bestowing the honor, Elder Laywehyee Nenwah, Head of the Traditional Council of Yarmein District, Nimba County, expressed gratitude to the AML CEO for the visit, noting that it opens a new page that will create a mutual relationship between the company and the people who he said are “the main stakeholders in the mining business.” They presented traditional kola nuts to the CEO and entourage, which the residents described as a sign of ‘pureness of heart towards the ArcelorMittal family.

The Clan Chief of Sehyee Clan, Annie Wehyee, commended CEO Coenen and his ArcelorMittal Liberia team for valuing the traditional leaders to reach out to them. Clan Chief Wehyee, appealed for increased support from AML and a regular exchange of information.

Paramount Chief Richard Gbateah, in a statement of acknowledgment, recalled the contributions of ArcelorMittal Liberia to the communities, naming the construction of schools and clinics, and fueling road-building equipment for rehabilitation as part of the contributions.

In remarks, CEO Coenen who was also given the traditional name Saye Gonkarnue, assured the people of Lugbeyee that a part of the work of AML is to strengthen communities as well.

“We need to work in a mutual relationship, and I can assure you that my engagement with you today will not be the last,” he emphasized.

In response to the request from the elders, Mr. Vaanii Kiazolu, Manager for Community Relations of AML, said the Community Relations Department will shortly return to sit with the leaders of Lugbeyee to discuss priority issues.

Mr. Kiazolu indicated that the pending construction and repair of hand pumps in the communities will commence shortly, and those that the communities will identify now as priorities will be addressed in line with a request under AML’s five-year plan.

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