Concession Agreements Must Be Revisited Nationwide

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The chief executive officer of the Liberia Law Society (LLS) has urged the Liberian Government and key stakeholders in the concession sector to revisit all concession agreements entered into by government.

He quickly pointed out that the national discontent regarding the natural resources relates to various concession agreements negotiated by the Liberian Government, which Liberians must revisit.

Addressing a well-attended press conference on Thursday in Monrovia, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods II, pointed out that legal review of those concession agreements could ensure peace, stability and harmony in the country.

“I’m asking for the revisit of the concession agreements owing to the extensive public outcries in the areas where those concessions are  operating in the country,” LLS boss contended.

Atty. Woods also explained that the classic situation that recently occurred in northeastern Liberia’s Nimba County that led the destruction of Acelor-Mittal’s concession properties is a solid indicator.

He further maintained that the ugly heads of nepotism, patronage, corruption and bad economic policies continue to haunt Liberians in their own country.

Atty. Woods also called on the Liberian Government and Liberians at home and abroad to consider celebrating this year’s Independence Day as an occasion for fast and prayer for the nation and its people.  

He underscored the need for a consultative conference to discuss the pertinent prevailing socio-economic, political and governance conditions in the country.

Mr. Woods further stressed the need for such a critical gathering to be headed by the religious community and well-meaning Liberians that would practically address the growing hardship been endured by Liberians throughout country.

On the issue of substandard roads, the former Public Works Minister pointed out that sound minded Liberians and the general public are best testimonies of the kind of  works done on most of Liberia’s hard to reach areas. 

A classic example is the several decades old impenetrable Vahun road that disconnected the citizens and residents of that vital and potentially economic driven part of Liberia.

“A lot of vital road connections were done in the southeast of Liberia that in the past, on which it took some 18 hours to reach the counties of Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland,” Atty. Woods asserted.

Shedding light on audits at the Public Works Ministry, Atty. Woods intimated that, that agency of government underwent several audits by the General Auditing Commission under the stewardship of former Auditor General John S. Morlu.

 “I’m prepared always to submit to any form of investigation or audit process in order to ensure that transparency and accountability take pre-eminent over our tenure service in the public domain,” Mr. Woods assured Liberians.

Commenting on the 150 deliverable initiated by the government, Atty. Woods indicated that an independent body, the Liberia Media Center (LMC) rated the Public Works Ministry as the best performing agency in the Liberian Government.

Asked about the much debated issue of audit of Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Atty. Woods maintained that such initiative would address the growing agitation of staff and employees in terms of planning and transition.

He further claimed that every ounce of comment, proposal, criticism, recommendation and suggestion by Liberians in governance and economic processes has met with outburst, cynicisms, reaction and outright bitterness in the Liberian Government’s hierarchies.

On the issue of poverty, Atty. Woods said the excruciating economic conditions in the country, were exhibited by increasing poverty, high costs of living, increase in the foreign exchange rate affecting disposable income and saving and lack of clear economic of action as well as a deep sense of economic injustice.

The former Catholic Justice and Peace Commission’s (JPC) boss said ordinary Liberians are already bearing the brunt of economic mismanagement and financial managers are failing to offer solutions.  There is need for a plan to address this situation.  But he said he sensed that  government wants to embark a schee to hassle the Press and silence the media.

Mr. Woods said the Liberian Government wants to silence other voices of reason which are only serving as the messenger and not author of the multiple messages of poor planning, corruption, nepotism, cronyism and indifference to the plight of the people.

In closing, Atty. Woods said in compliance with both asset declaration and verification processes initiated by the Government of Liberia through the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the verdict declaration was verified and found to be materially and financially correct.

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