Cummings Wants Weah Explain US$2.5 Billion Mineral Swap Deal with China

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Mr. Cummings wants the NEC conduct the by-elections in line with the law.

The political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings has challenged President George Weah to give a clear definition of the purported US$2.5 billion deal between Liberia and China in exchange for the country’s natural resources.

Cummings told a local radio talk show on Tuesday, September 18 in Monrovia that he did not know more details about the US$2.5 billion deal between the two countries

On the surface, the deal is very alarming and dangerous for a country like Liberia whose economy is suffering in the wake of economic challenges.

Cummings said there is a need for a speedy investigation to know the value of the country’s natural resources before making such a decision.

He said it is significant for the government to explain clearly what rewards the deal would bring for Liberia.

He said it is a shame on the part of Liberians to have foreigners to determine the worth of the country’s natural resources and decide how such resources will be used.

Cummings told listeners that it is very unfortunate that President Weah “does not understand the value of the country’s resources, which has brought shame to the country.”

He said though road construction is important to the country, it is not the only challenge the country faces, emphasizing that there is a need for the government to also highlight education, health, and agriculture.

Cummings said for all he had seen and heard about it, the deal is a slap in the face of Liberians who must stand up for the betterment of the country.

He said it is important for the government to get some Liberian experts to conduct research and analyze the value of the resources, before entering into a deal with other countries, to help the government to make a sound input in said agreement.

“We have not seen a lot of details; I want to be careful to make statements based on facts. But do we as Liberians understand the value of our own resources? Have we done the work to know that our resources are valued at only US$2.5 billion? How do we know that it is not US$5 billion or US$10 billion?” he questioned.

“Liberians deserve more than that. I am not against borrowing money for development; all I am saying is that we should get it at the right way and decide how we will use our resources and not for others to make decisions for us,” he said.

“I am not aware of a single situation where the outcome of these kinds of arrangements have been a success. We need to understand the details of what is being negotiated,” Cummings said.

He further expressed doubt over the possibility of the deal becoming a success in the absence of Liberians, like previous deals this administration has signed.

The ANC political leader stressed that in the absence of clearly understanding the rewards the deal would bring to Liberia, the government will be “killing the future of Liberians.”

Cummings said the the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court in the county is important that the president clearly states his position on the issue, “because it is a matter of urgency.”

He said if the culture of impunity must come to an end, the president must ensure that everyone seeks justice by allowing the establishment of the war crimes court.

Cummings said Weah was elected by Liberians, and as such, he must listen to their cry and implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

8 COMMENTS

  1. President Weah doesn’t owe Mr. Alexander Cummings or his alleged CIC at USAID any explanation, probably, that’s how Coca Cola Company works, but not an elected government. The pending loan wasn’t discussed at night with few Chinese businessmen in Weah’s bedroom, actually, more than thirty other African heads of states were present, including that of Ghana, who all arranged some sort of payments for physical infrastructural development funds. In due time, the Legislature will be presented with comprehensive cost-effective plans vis-a-vis pro-poor policy goals, their short and long terms benefits, etc., which the people’s Representatives will discuss and hammer out. Of course, at that point, policy wonk Mr. Alexander Cummings will have all the time in the world to examine the plans with a bird’s eye view.

    NB: Some in the grapevine observed that our 1980’s star broadcast journalist-turned US Counselor, Kwame Clement, is founder of ANC, an insignificant fact many of us have forgotten long time ago.

    • President Weah owe the Liberian people accountable and transparency as well as the true value of the natural resources of the country.

    • If Liberai a true democratic nation, then the onus is on President Weah to clarify the terms of this agreement to the Liberian people.
      It is also the responsibility of the both houses, (Senate and representatives) to debate and agreed the nitty gritty of this deal prior to Weah’s signatory.

  2. During his run for the presidency, Alexander Cummings made many proposals. One of the whacky proposals Cummings made was that if he became elected as president of the Republic, he’d immediately employ 100,000 Liberian job seekers. Cummings’ musings about hiring 100,000 Liberians within a year was a poppycock talk. Never did he explain how he would bring 100,000 men and women into the labor force without borrowing exorbitant sums of money. Nor did Cummings tell the Liberian people whether the newly hired Liberians would be trained, how they would be trained and by whom. Now that’s not something Coco-Cola Bottling Company taught him, neither would Coco-Cola in reality contemplate on doing such an unthinkable.

    All of a sudden, Cummings is demanding Weah to explain how the net worth of Liberia’s natural resources were estimated to the tone of US2.5 billion dollars. Also, Cummings blatantly insults Weah by saying that “Weah does not understand the value of Liberia’s natural resources”. What’s that all about? The truth of the matter is that Cummings’ musings are off the chart of economic forecast by a large margin. First and foremost, an estimate is necessary in these types of situations. Secondly, there is no one who could state with an absolute degree of certainty how much Liberia’s natural resources could be. So why does Cummings say that Weah does not understand the “value” of Liberia’s natural resources? It is understandable that Cummings has a right to present himself as an alternative. Indeed, he is member of the opposition. But Cummings’ inability to present a better contrast of issues he’d handle differently raises voluminous questions about whether he means what he says or whether he says what he means.

  3. I do hope the government appreciate and accept the counsel of Mr. Cummings and others with global experience in leadership on these critical issues. I raised similar questions in prior comments on a related story. The questions attributed to Mr Cummings in the article are valid and certainly the citizens have the right to know. It’s true, there might be more details of the deal that’s not available, and may limit one’s ability to understand the magnitude of its impact, and Mr. Cummings acknowledged that in the article. The government has the responsibility to bring clarity to the pronouncements it makes to the public to prevent the need for second guessing. That will allow time for critical look at deals by citizens before the deals are closed and become too late for any change or that result in embarrassing public reputation of the government.
    With a vast corporate experience at a global level, I am still dumbfounded how many overlook the substance of his input but rebuke him on unverified perceptions of his motives as if 1)he lacks the right as a citizen to question the government and/or 2) the fact that he represents the opposing party and may have an interest in the presidency makes him unfit to raise critical unambiguous questions of national interest, certainly for those that support his party platform.

    We should all encourage the public debate of issues so as to influence public policies.

  4. President Weah owe no explanation to Alex Cummings and any opposition group. When Cummings and all people of the opposition block realize that as a nation when one person wins an election, we should support in nation building, than Cummings can get some type of explanation but let cummings continue to criticize government instead of helping to build the nation. What is cummings doing for the Liberian people to have in a good position for presidency? Z_E_R_O. You will not get the explanation you need , Alex

  5. We can seen now, evidence of poor financial management, suffering cries of the masses. Hyper inflation. these facts are not theoretical, they’re real!! Liberians are suffering and suffering now!! This is the reality of the Weah administration. Cummings is NOT President, he is a citizen exercising his RIGHTS!! TPresident Weah apparently don’t have the experience or the” know-how” to run a government.!! Why trust him with more delicate issues without debate and scrutiny. He’s “learning on the job” , unfortunately that’s what we have! It’s NOT too late Mr. Weah, get “experts, with experience!!

    Counselor James Boayue
    Welcome to Nimba, Mr Cummings

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