In the wake of accusations that Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) is engaged in land grabbing, some residents of Sinoe County have come to the company’s defense, thus dismissing the claims.
Those citizens in defense of GVL said the company always negotiates peacefully with locals on the acquisition of land to develop oil palm.
Two eminent sons of the county, Patrick P. Saydee and Reverend D. Lassanah Seequah, who are both members of the Torjuowon District National Congress (TNC), made the disclosure at a press conference recently held in Monrovia.
Addressing a cross section of reporters, the chairman of the TNC, Mr. Saydee, clarified that GVL acquired land through consultation with the people in the community.
“It is untrue that residents of Sinoe County are not interested in GVL’s investment. We want to make it clear the claims of some citizens saying that the company is wrongly influencing Sinoe’s people to acquire land for its operations are absolutely wrong,” he asserted.
He said it is important for those who claimed they are from the county to join their fellow citizens in making those decisions.
For his part, Mr. Seequeh said there have always been meetings held with the people to keep them up to date with the company’s operation in the county.
“This process has led to the crafting of a memorandum of understanding to help guide development in the county,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the head for communication at GVL, Virgil Magee said that his company was committed in ensuring that the residents get the opportunity to improve their lives.
“GVL is here to create opportunities that would better the lives of citizens in Liberia. Their oil palm operation is helping to reduce the level of rural poverty,” he said.
He said as part of the company’s social responsibility scholarships and employment opportunities for locals have been fulfilled by the company.