Senate yet to concur
The House of Representatives has approved an Investment Incentive Agreement (tax break) for the Fouani Brothers Corporation to Construct and operate a Crude Oil Palm Refinery in Liberia.
The seven-year’s tax break was unanimously approved by members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
Plenary took the decision based on a recommendation by its Specialized Committee headed by Unity Party (UP) Rep. Richard Koon (District #11, Montserrado County).
It may be recalled, on Tuesday, July 14, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, as mandated by Plenary, set up a specialized committee comprising representation of the 15 counties to scrutinize the Investment Incentive Act submitted by President George Weah in favor of Fouani Brothers Corporation to construct the refinery.
According to the Specialized Committee, the refinery will be a US$30 million investment that will add value to crude oil palm produced in Liberia by producing refined edible vegetable oils, margarine, and other processed food products, glycerin and soap noodles; all of which that are currently imported.
In addition, the the refinery, as per the agreement, will process 13,000 metric tons of crude palm oil per month for the production of edible vegetable and the derivatives from such oil, adding it will be enough for export to the Mano River Union and other neighboring countries and create employment.
“The Lack of skills by the youthful population to enable it fit the job market is one of the main factors responsible for unemployment. The committee sees the Fouani Brothers Corporation Investment Incentive Agreement as an opportunity to addressing the high unemployment rate in the country,” an excerpt of the report said.
In addition, the committee notes that within five years, the investor shall ensure employment of at least 25 Liberian nationals in technical and other skilled or professional positions in the refinery. And not later than its 10th anniversary, the investor shall ensure the employment of not less than 50 Liberian nationals in technical and other financial, administrative and supervisory positions.
The committee reduced the proposed 15 years tax break by the President to seven, which the House acted upon.
Meanwhile, the Investment Incentive has been forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.