VP Taylor Tells Nimbaians
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has called on local authorities in Nimba County to take politics out of development and take ownership of the process.
Mrs. Taylor, spoke at the launch of the ArcelorMittal Vocational Training Center in Yekepa on Friday, September 21. Launched under the theme, “Empowering Youth and Aligning Education, Workforce and Economic Development for a Prosperous Liberia,” the program covers 47 students in three disciplines; electrical, heavy duty mechanics and mechanical fitting.
She said: “Our local government officials, you will become owners of the process that the 14 counties are yearning, so, please take politics out development. It is my prayer that you will use your voices to encourage your youth and source other opportunities to enlarge this opportunity, in order to give greater opportunities to those who yearn for such opportunities.”
Turning to the young people, Madam Taylor said, “this facility provides you with a unique opportunity to take hold of your future and make it what you want it to be, because the process is laid down, and its benefits are clear, but the choice is yours to use it as a stepping stone to secure your future or pass by the opportunity it provides and remains where you are.”
VP Taylor called for more female recruitment into the training and encouraged the company to extend a similar program to other parts of Liberia.
Nimba County Superintendent, D. Dorr Cooper, in response said, “it is very hard for politics to go out of the affairs of ArcelorMittal’s activities, because Mittal cut down the social development fund of the affected counties to half, with the condition of low price of iron ore on the world market.”
But ArcelorMittal Liberia is yet to reconsider that decision, despite the improvement in the price of iron ore on the world market, something Supt. Cooper said has put pressure on local authorities from the citizens.
“Madam Vice President, it is very hard to rule out politics, because the Social Development Fund has dropped significantly due to the low price, but with the improvement in the price of iron ore, the people are expecting more money from the company,” he said.
The occasion was attended by the superintendent from the affected counties, including Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba along with other chiefs and ordinary citizens.
The launch could be one of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s greatest achievement in terms of human resource development in seven years since the company began shipping of ore from Liberia.
The company will provide accommodation and feeding for the trainees at least three times daily.