-Admonishes county authorities
An influential youth from Nimba County has called on county authorities, including the Legislative Caucus, to cautiously discuss the ongoing scrap deal, which has brought North Star, a company in scrap business, to a good status after years of litigation.
A-Gobac Selekpoh, the executive director of Nimba Education Guide (NEG), a civil society organization (CSO), over the weekend informed this newspaper that county authorities could likely be treading yet on another ugly path, which may cause confusion and a handsome loss of funds that could be used to develop the county.
“We are not happy with what is happening in our county right now. North Star, after winning a landmark case against our county leadership for wrongfully awarding a contract they earlier won to Western Steel (another scrap company), the court ordered that county authorities reconsider their decision by bringing on board Western Steel, hence North Star has a legitimate ground,” Selekpoh said.
According to him, a 40,000-ton of scraps excavation was awarded to North Star, but the company, having extracted 4,000 tons of the scraps, the county authorities, including the Legislative Caucus, decided to deny North Star the chance to continue extracting until the remaining 36,000 tons, which was a “deliberate attempt to award Grand Bassam, a new company in the arrangement, the mining deal for reasons best known to themselves.”
He said each ton of scraps is sold at US$72, but when considered as a whole, it means that North Star has US$2,880,000 to pay for the scraps.
“We are informed that North Star has not reneged on paying the amount required for them to continue extracting the LAMCO leftover materials from its mining site in Yekepa before the war years in the country,” Selekpo said.
Selekpoh’s local NGO is involved in advocacy and education of people on how to understand and mitigate several challenges, including how the County Social Development Funds (SDFs) are used.
He said that his organization has conducted an opinion poll across the county, and got to know that the locals are completely against what the county leadership is doing.
“We have met and discussed the people’s disappointment against the deal with county Superintendent D. Dorr Cooper, but he denied any wrongdoing on the part of the county leadership,” he noted.
Selekpo said the action of county authorities, if allowed to continue, may undermine the Pro-poor agenda of the CDC-led government, which is struggling to deliver to the nation its campaign promises of good and paved roads, adequate electricity for most of the country’s population, peace and harmony as well as a host of many other promises that the government is yet to achieve.
But Superintendent Cooper, when contacted late yesterday via mobile phone, said: “Go ahead and publish Selekpo’s opinion, that is his right.”