Weah Blasts Concession Companies

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President George M. Weah

For not being people-centered

President George M. Weah has frowned on concession companies operating in Liberia for their failure to prioritize citizens’ interest and threatened to replace any concession company that will not live up to its social responsibility to the people.

President Weah made the statement Saturday, February 13, 2021, while engaging citizens in Kokoyah District, Bong County following complaints by residents that Alph Logging Company and MNG Gold were allegedly working and extracting resources from the land without any concern for the wellbeing of the citizens.

According to the citizens, MNG Gold’s mining operation is getting houses in the vicinity to experience cracks while water sources are contaminated, and Alpha Logging Company too has reportedly failed to construct a bridge that will benefit both the citizens and the company.

In addition to complaints of polluting water sources and cracking of houses in Korkoyah, the citizens highlighted some bad labor practices and “poor” mineral development agreement and corporate social responsibility of companies operating in Bong County evidenced by the Alpha Logging Company’s failure to erect a bridge, which the citizens claimed if erected, will be used by both the company and residents.

The citizens of Kokoyah District were seen with placards calling on President Weah to quickly intervene especially in the issue of houses that are said to be experiencing cracks as a result of mining operations carried out by MNG Gold.

President Weah said the social responsibilities of concession companies are intended to address the social needs of the community in which they operate, and therefore any company reneging to improve the lives of the people will be replaced with new ones.

President Weah further described as ‘outrageous’ report from citizens that the multimillion-dollar company, Alpha Logging Company, “has threatened to discontinue operations if government compels it to construct a bridge.”

“This is Liberia, and it is our responsibility to make sure that companies operating herein work in the interest of our people,” President Weah re-emphasized.

The President’s visit to Kokoyah District, Bong County where MNG Gold operates is part of his county tour that is aimed at listening to citizens’ plights and appreciating them for his election as President of Liberia in 2017.

“We will work with your lawmakers to craft all the good and implementable ideas. We all need to support them to push it for passage, and I will do the signing and finishing touches for the good of Liberia,” President Weah assured.

President Weah who is accompanied by a huge number of government officials including lawmakers called on members of the Legislature to review the contract of companies that are not working in the interest of the Liberian people, something he said was essential to the Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity.

“We will not allow Liberians to be threatened in their own country.  We must ensure that every company operating in Liberia considers our interests. Your issues will be addressed,” President Weah assured the citizens.  

The Liberian leader said his government will not be deterred to alter any company’s concession if the company reneges to develop the community where it operates.  

The concessions companies have come under intense criticisms from the public across Liberia due to what they termed as bad labor practices, lack of proper mineral development agreement and corporate social responsibility.

During the town hall meeting, President Weah also called on the citizens to be patient because according to him, it is not easy to address those demands but achievable.

14 COMMENTS

  1. If this effort was channeled towards the ministers who have not been performing for the past few years, then Liberians will also be better off. Our own Liberians in government are keeping us down, so how can the president blast at concession companies, when there are our own people putting us through hardship. I think that our house should be clean before we blast at others. Of course, in many concession agreements with companies investing in Liberia, they do have some sort of social agreement with the locals where the company will be based; however, there are suppose to be Liberians who are leaders there to make sure that these agreements are fulfilled. If you ask me, money has been given numerous times, but the citizens won’t benefit because the leaders have fooled the company.

    • Lack of knowledge is always exhibited by most Liberians when commenting on things involving other people. How can you link the president’s concern on concessions with poorly performing ministers? I tell all my friends that the reason I will vote against this President in 2023 is to show to them that it is our own stupidity that’s suffering us in this country. Wait and see what’s going to be happening after 2023 when we shall have taken this government out of power. I believe that’s the time most Liberians like you will begin to know their own country.

  2. Arête de Dire n’Importe Quoi, Monsieur le Président!
    Have you seen your shameful defeat come 2023 and trying to hide your face? Stop saying rubbish, Gbekegbeh!

    A mining company, any company for that matter, whether private or public, is usually organized with the sole objective of earning (maximum) profit. Whenever it (company) invests in any economic activities, it expects to get a return on investment (ROI) within a given time frame to pay back the equity capital.
    Though it has social obligations, it should however be underscored to all that a business (company) is neither a humanitarian organization nor a philanthropic grouping.

    The GOL placed hurdles on investments in Liberia and then impose social obligations on companies; you can’t have your cake and eat it too! If you want to fix things in Liberia, as promised, first and foremost:
    – Stop concentrating on brown envelops (the 3 branches of government) and think about the people, then craft professional and win-win contracts with concession companies and any businesses coming to Liberia to benefit all, not the privileged few.

    Every (international) company has a social policy. When you start to take the brown envelops, those people (risk takers owing the companies) record the amount on the social benefit line in the budget. When they begin operations, in one or the other, they must retrieve what was dispensed on brown envelops and other social and fiscal obligations.

    By the way, Mr. President, where did the money come from to build your mansions in the first year of your reign? From brown envelops, isn’t it? N’importe quoi!

    Weah, you have failed the hungry children of Liberia. You were gullible to take the bait so easily. We need you to do one thing for Liberia: get ready to pack and leave our executive mansion, we beg you!

    Do not sell Liberia cheap ooooooooooh!

  3. As I recall, all concessions have to put up a pool of money in advance of the concession that is specifically for the issues mentioned in the article…. Where’s THAT MONEY!!..

  4. Instead of blasting Concession Companies for not living up to their “social responsibility”, why can’t President Weah start his own company, and prioritize “social responsibility”??? It would be nice to see Mr. Weah using his company money to live up to its “social responsibility” (i.e. construct bridges, build roads, and schools for his employees and their families!!)👍

    Isn’t it noble and commendable to be charitable with your OWN money instead of other people’s money (concession companies), Mr. Weah???

  5. Except where it is laid out in the concession agreement; that a company have obligations to build roads and bridges, I see no legal reason(s) why any company should be held responsible. That’s why, royalties are paid by a [CONCESSION] to the Liberian Government. Part of that royalty-money should be spent for development purposes; including, building roads and bridges.

    • That is why Acelor-Mittal is struggling with the road from Ganta-Sanniquellie, because it was in the CSR; and the Present regime is claiming ownership. It was suspended due to the Ebola crisis, in exchanged for the company not to lay-off people.
      The same with China-Union, they were made to pave the road between Kakata to Bong mines, because it was stated in the agreement.
      So, CDC read the agreement and call for re-negotiation; so your book man SDT, can eat again.

  6. Our bragging bookish bullies are noisy again about President Weah’s insistence on “social responsibility” of concessions. He is right, and they’re wrong. Because corporate social responsibility (CRS) means “companies behaving and conducting business ethically, and with sensitivity towards social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues…”

    Tellingly, issues pertaining to mining impacts on land, homes, access to safe drinking water, etc. complained of by the people of Salela, Bong County are worthy of a blast of the gold company. But, unsurprisingly, few of our best and brightest politicos whose eyes are only focused on change of government in 2023 would that GMW ignore reasonable demands of residents. Concessions have duty to help protect the land, and provide for safety of communities impacted by their activities. For example, when water crisis hit the city of Flinch, Michigan, President Obama raged hell on the Water Company, and sent then Vice President Biden to loudly read the riot act.

    As for the Utopian delusion that policy wonks are coming in 2023 with solutions for all Liberia’s problems, we have heard that snake oil salesman’s song before. In mid-1979, another group promised to reduce a bag of rice to $10. During the 2005 election campaign, Liberia’s most cosmopolitan political figure EJS correctly observed: “Liberia is not poor. Liberia is poorly run…” She served for 12 years, and in spite of reportedly USD $16 billion in foreign investments and donors’ support, she bequeathed pervasive poverty of about 85 percent of the population.

    Liberia’s hope for economic recovery, hence stability, hinges not in appointing policy implementers based on partisanship, nepotism, ethnicity, or membership of secret societies, but on merit and experience. For instance, the Weah-led Coalition heard that 66 of 68 concession agreements signed by its predecessor were so fraudulent that a farsighted female boss of the monitoring authority resigned. A reasonable approach was for this government to make reviewing each of those agreements among its first priorities in office. Please, bookmen, our people have to eat and live safely before 2023; stop distracting President Weah.

  7. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    CDCians and its apologists have started losing control so soon! So, this thing can really hurt and you guys were doing it to EJS without relent?

    After restless nights and days commoving to right the wrong being done by EJS or the Congau people to the poor children of Liberia, hope ironically came alive on that fateful day of January 22, 2018 when the son of the soil, GMW distinctly and emphatically enumerated all the ills in the Liberian society, then laid his hands on his chest, as a sign of solemn swear, promising FIXES immediately.

    According to senior brother Sylvester G. Moses and I quote, “the Weah-led Coalition heard that 66 of 68 concession agreements signed by its predecessor were so fraudulent that a farsighted female boss of the monitoring authority resigned.”
    Why resign? Couldn’t this be the start of the FIXES by revising all those 66 concession agreements? What hampered the administration?

    When EJS came to power, the first thing she did was to revise the ArcelorMittal concession agreement. She was ultra-critical about the “bad” agreement signed by Gyude Bryant, and so she “righted” the wrong. What has stopped Weah from doing the same?
    CDCians, stop going back to the past, let’s look ahead to improve the lives of our people. EJS is no longer the president of Liberia. You combatted her because according you, her policies were bad, and she had corrupt ministers. Great, do the right things to make our people happy.

    The ANC does not have all the answers come 2023. We may stay on for maybe 12 or 18 or 24 years. We are not going to fix everything within this short period of time.
    One thing we promise all Liberians is that we WILL START the sustainable development of our country in every sector of the economic fabric of our nation.

    We do not evoke social responsibilities or claim them from concession companies in full bloom operations. It should have been contained in the concession agreements, with the consent of the inhabitants of the project areas before such operations can get underway. Weah has become a barking dog that doesn’t bite. He took the bait to close his eyes and mouth on some criminal economic activities underway in Liberia.
    How can you promise FIXES and allow yourself to be easily corrupted like this? Were your houses not decent enough? How could you allow them to give you money without knowing the origin?
    Weah should stop killing our people! Sooner or later, we will know where the money came from to finance his campaign and build his 4 mansions in one year.

    We know our people have to eat. We want our people to eat decently, live in conducive conditions and atmosphere, get regularly paid for the works of their hands and educate their children in the best schools of their choice; these are our resolves for our nation.
    Therefore, we urge Weah and thugs to put an end to the pro-Pocket Agenda for the Pauperization and Dehumanization of our people in Liberia.

    Sad news
    Liberia has recorded its first patient of Ebola from Guinea. Let’s pray for our poor and vulnerable people!

  8. Mr. Moses please refer me to your research where it was concluded that EJS passed poverty to 85% of the population, it would be an interesting reading! And what percentage is your kinsman passing on to the Liberian people now?
    We are aware that no concession agreement can ever be perfect; as both parties are negotiating for their interests, and it becoming disadvantageous to a party, whose subjects are eager for jobs and employment, that alone put pressured on the host negotiator, who had promised to provide those jobs for them in his/her political campaigns.
    like you rightly said, what stop this regime from re-negotiating those agreements to make them perfect, if they were not? they were not up to those tasks, because they were employing high schools dropped-outs and afraid of the so-called book-people. It is not late, but, is he courageous and has a team to do such? As, EJS and all her educated people, had at times, hired foreigners to assist with this process.

  9. Gbada J. Harris alias Gbada J. Flomo

    Perhaps, you should research the fact that because seafaring dispersed southeastern peoples, especially my kinsfolk the Krus, to different parts of the continent before and after 1820, we, as a diverse people, don’t have a one-dimensional mind. GMW is an elected President of Liberia, not King of the Krus. None is, or would even like that position ruling over an ardent straight-talk and independent-minded people.

    Of course, the Krus are proud of him, and support his vision in the PPAD. But in view of current hardships, we would rather say ‘well done’ than ‘well-said’: Implementation. That is why I’ve been an advocate for stability; nothing can be done in the midst of continuous street protests, cascading crises, or chaos. And my advocacy preceded this administration. Dissidents were lobbying in 1984 against development aid to Liberia with hope of turning the people against SKD. Thirty-seven years later, the country is underdeveloped, and distractors still want it that way until the 2023 elections. Isn’t that idiotic, Mr Gbada Harris, alias Gbada Flomo, and do you think the name Flomo would hide your class/sectional bias?

  10. Do you think by the name ‘Moses’; we would not know your origin and your lineage with GMW, that you find no fault with, even with glaring facts staring you in the face?If you were a true advocate for stability in Liberia as you claimed, that would have been done from the 1980s onward; but you sheepishly carried out every order from him to strangled voices of dissents. For you and many other Liberians who are still toeing the line of indigenous versus Americo-Liberians you are the crux of our problems in Liberia, but you blindly dispute this fact for your own reasons and heap praises on SKD and GMW as if they were or are angels and doing extremely well.
    When you wash the mole from your eyes to see the realities that will be the beginning of our redemption. No tongue twisting indigenous name is more Liberian than those who bear Anglo-Saxon name.
    Be critical on all of our leaders, all of them had their excess baggages and your kinsman who is in power today, his excesses is increasing and it would be proper for you to advise him and instead of writing to white wash him all the time.

  11. Gbada J. Harris alias Gbada J. Flomo

    If my observation that GMW’s government ought to have reviewed each of the flagged bogus 66 out of 68 concessions agreements approved by the previous government suggests to you that I’m “toeing the line”, your understanding of the phrase is suspect. For, unarguably, a government which inherited an economy in coma should’ve used renegotiating those bogus concessions agreements as the first vital step towards economic resuscitation. Hungry people are angry people. And hammering that point always makes me a man concerned about our country’s “stability”, not praise-singing. Ironically, a role you play enthusiastically for EJS – hypocrisy!

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