Senate Holds Hearing On BEA Mountain Amended MDA, As Company Poised To Invest $500M
The Liberian Senate Committee on Concession and Investment held a public hearing on Monday to discuss the proposed amendment of the Bea Mountain concession. The concession is set to expire in three years, and the company is seeking an extension of its operations in Liberia.
Under the new agreement, the company intends to make an additional investment of five hundred twenty million United States dollars. However, to proceed with this investment, they require an amended contract due to the three years remaining on the existing Mineral Development Agreement.
Furthermore, the new agreement outlines the employment of an additional four thousand Liberians and an increase in the number of Liberians in senior managerial positions. In the current amendment, the company has proposed additional areas for exploration.
The committee invited key figures, including Minister of Justice Frank Musa-Dan, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, Labour Minister Charles Gibson, Mines and Energy Minister Gersler Murray, and the Chairman of the National Investment Commission, Molewuleh Gray, to provide reasons why the Senate should either approve or amend the concession agreement.
Minister Murray highlighted that the company has been operating in the country since 2013, with a current production area spanning 537 square kilometers. He argued that given the expected job creation and financial benefits, there is a strong economic justification for amending this agreement.
Senate Returns for Special Session
The Liberian Senate recently commenced a two-week special session to deliberate on matters of national concern. This special session is in accordance with Article 32(b) of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, which empowers the President to extend a regular session or call a special session to address matters of national emergency and concern.
During the special session, President Pro-Tempore Albert T. Chie outlined several unresolved issues that will be addressed. These include the continuation of the debate on the amended Public Health Law, election-related matters, attracting public sector investment, and the confirmation process for nominated Commissioners of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, among others.
Pro-tempore Chie emphasized that the debate on the amended Public Health Law covers a range of contemporary health care issues in Liberian society. These include lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as bio-security, bio-safety, occupational health, provisions for infants and young children, traditional alternative medicines, emergency treatment, and more.
Additionally, Pro-Temp Chie expressed concerns about interference in the legislative process and urged a transparent and informed discussion on the proposed new Public Health Law.
The National Elections Commission will also be called upon to provide information about its readiness for the Legislative and Presidential Elections scheduled for October 10, 2023, with a focus on election security.
Other items on the agenda include the ratification of an amended Mineral Development Agreement, the continuation of the confirmation process for nominated Commissioners of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, and a briefing from the Ministry of Public Works regarding the mandate to improve the two primary south-eastern road corridors within 30 days, as well as the passage of the free tuition Act, among other issues