…House Concurs with the Senate
The plenary of the House of Representatives has concurred with the Senate on the passage of the concession agreement between the government and the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI).
The House plenary passed the Concession Rehabilitation Financing Agreement on Thursday, May 9, 2019 during its 29th Day sitting.
The decision followed a recommendation from the House joint committee on Agriculture, Concession and Ways, Means and Finance.
According to the agreement, the government is a grantor, while NRI is the investor and receiver to a partnership agreement deemed as concession rehabilitation financing agreement. The concession covers 11,690.3 acres of land space around the former Cocopa belt on Ganta-Saclepea highway.
NRI, according to the 20 years agreement, will invest US$9.8 million in the first 15 years to fund the cost of reconditioning of camp houses for the personnel staff, and also purchase equipment to recondition 80 miles of internal plantation roads, security, education, health services and procurement of farms.
“The joint committee is pleased to inform this august body that after its review, it has affirmed explicit confidence in the NRI (investor) representation, and projected development schemes submitted to the government considering agriculture as the largest sector in the economy to be contributing 35 percent of the gross domestic product of the monetary sector our economy, which rubber production consists of,” the joint committee recommendation reads.
It may be recalled that the government and the NRI in 2016 signed the Concession Agreement to develop 4,800 hectares of land between Ganta and Saclepea to produce rubber, and rubber related products for a period of 30 years with the possibility of extension.
The agreement was then signed by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima Kamara; the Minister of Agriculture, Moses Zinnah; and NRI’s president and chief executive officer, Solomon S. W. Gaigai, and witnessed by then Chairperson of the National Investment Commission, Etmonia David Tarpeh.
The NRI was established pursuant to the provisions of the Liberia Business Corporation Act of the Association Laws of the Liberia (May 17, 1976) to intervene in the Natural Rubber sub-sector to resuscitate rubber plantations that have been under performing since the outbreak of the civil war (1989-2003), and to also assist smallholders, most of who have planted less productive seedlings on their farms.