Weah Dedicates Multimillion-Dollar Steel Manufacturing Plant

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Weah cuts ribbon to the Multi-Million Steel manufacturing company in Gardnersville, Montserrado County.

— Hundreds Liberians to get employment

The struggling Liberian economy has been given a bit of a push by Sethi Ferro Fabrik Incorporated, the oldest Indian investment in Liberia that pumped millions of dollars in constructing the nation’s first giant size steel manufacturing plants—an investment that comes with huge employment benefits.

The multi-million dollar plant was dedicated on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by President George M. Weah as part of the festivities in observance of the country’s 172nd Independence Day celebration.

The program was witnessed Y. K. Sailas Thangal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India accredited to Liberia, Commerce and Industry Minister Wilson Tarpeh, Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar M. Findley, Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County and other officials of government.

At the dedication, President Weah pledged the government’s commitment to provide the atmosphere for continued business by Sethi Ferro Fabrik Incorporated and other businesses.

“For Liberia to be better and the economy to grow,” the President said, “we must be mixed with different economic powers that will have the same value and strengthen us, Liberians.”

“Why do you say that Lebanese cannot be citizens? If they come and work, they will take the money to the country where they are citizens. They will be depleting us by generating ten billion in Liberia, they will take it to Ghana where they are citizens because they are confidence of ownership,” President Weah said.

According to President Weah, for proposals of such ideas that will give the Liberian economy a boost, these are some of the problems. “Why are we afraid of other nationals to build their capacities in Liberia?” he asked.

He said today Liberia produces rubber but does not have even a shoe factory. “Today we have iron ore and are proud to announce that Liberia has a steel factory and this is the right way to go.”

Weah Speaks at the dedication of Sethi Ferro Fabrik steel plant in Monrovia.

Jay S. Khanija, director of the Sethi Ferro Fabrik Incorporated, said the company is prepared to use Liberia’s iron ore to produce various steel products.

Mr. Khanija, who is also the son to Sethi, said the company’s goal is to lead the way for value addition and local manufacturing in the country, an initiative that the company has started already.

Mr. Khanija said the project will need the support of everyone as there will be no need to export scrap as Sethi Ferro Fabrik Incorporated is prepared to buy all, including heavy mental scrap.

“We needed to invest in programs that bring broader economic value to Liberia. Few years ago, we also started the production of plastic products in Liberia and today we are starting the production steel rods in Liberia. We are using scrap to produce steel rods,” he said.

According to him, by producing things locally will save the country on foreign currency and provide more jobs to Liberia, while exporting to other countries. He said the factory has employed over three hundred Liberians who, through their training, have learned very fast and will replace most of the expatriates.

He said for any country to truly develop and transform, it must engage in value addition, which the Sethi Ferro Fabrik intends to lead.

He said the company is proud to be part of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development under the leadership of President Weah.

Mr. Khanija is among the two children of Sethi who were raised in Liberia. He said their father has informed them that in order to demonstrate their love for Liberia, they need to take their investment to another level, which has given birth to the steel company.

Mr. Khanija recounted how his father came to Liberia in the late 1970s and the family has been in Liberia, including the days of the war and also considered Liberia as their home.

He expressed gratitude to the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and Ecobank Liberia for helping to bring the factory to reality.

Upjit Singh Sachdeva, Honorary Consul General of India in Liberia, said the Sethi Brothers has moved to another level in the industry by providing substantial amount of resources to the establishment of a state-of-the-art company.

Mr. Sachdeva said Sethi Brothers is the oldest Indian investment in Africa and Liberia in Particular. He said the company has also played major role in the commercial sector and today has made a remarkable move from the trading sector to the manufacturing sector.

He said the benefits of the trading and manufacturing companies by Sethi Brothers cannot be over emphasized, stating “these investments, especially the steel manufacturing company, responds meaningfully to the CDC’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”

Mr. Sachdeva said the steel company is expected to create full-time jobs for 500 Liberians, stating that the management of the factory will work assiduously to raise the speed level of the Liberian employees.

“Moreover, the factory will meet the steel needs of the entire country’s construction and reconstruction, as well as enough for export abroad, particularly sister countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River sub-region,” he said.

According tom Mr. Sachdeva, the steel company will help Liberia to generate not only enough foreign exchange, but will also serve as the result of the import substitution economic activities enjoyed by these manufacturing sectors.

“This will reduce the pressure on the value of the Liberian dollars and lower the inflation, thereby significantly enhancing the Liberian economy as a whole,” Mr. Sachdeva said.

Representatives of Sethi Ferro Fabrik, Indian Honorary Consul Sachdeva and officials of the Liberian government at the newly dedicated steel plant in Monrovia.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Someone please tell Weah that Liberians are citizens of other countries and still continue to send money back to Liberia. Not being citizens has not stopped the Sethi brothers from investing in Liberia. And there is no evidence that they would have invested any more than they already have if they were citizens. This is a prime example of false reasoning. If this administration and previous administrations had given Liberians at home and abroad the same opportunities it so eagerly gives foreigners, we wouldn’t have to discussed whether to give citizenship to foreigners in order to develop our country.

    • Dweh, you’re are missing the point. Liberians are granted citizenship in other countries and they never refused but you refused to let other nationalities to become Liberians. How can a businessman or woman will invest heavily in a foreign country? What are we afraid of?

  2. Thanks to the Sethi Brothers for this remarkable and sustainable investment. You did not wait to get the Liberian citizenship on headline news before embarking on this investment. You deserve my praise because you truely love Liberia!
    Your Excellency, Mr. President, you are preaching a dangerous political scam which could be detrimental to the Liberian people. If you love Liberia, as I know it, stop going in the line of Lebanese and other white colored nationals being citizens. You are comparing us to Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, etc. Ask a historian to enlighten you on when and how these countries got to that point Let me just remind you of some of the consequences and dangers of making them citizens now:
    – Liberians will not afford to buy land in their own country to construct their kitchen. For example, if a plot of land in Central Monrovia costs $2,000.00 US, which a “a wealthy Liberian” can afford now, the Lebanese or Americans may offer $20,000.00 for the same plot of land; the price of a plot of land in Central Monrovia will consequently rise making Liberians to be foreigners on their soil “big brother”. There will be beautiful infrastructure but rent, for instance, will astronomically rise out of the reach of a common Liberian. Just imagine the rest.
    – Our farmland will all be sold out within 5 years, making Liberians to be like South Africans or Zimbabweans with nowhere to plow for food.

    Your Excellency, upgrade the educational system. Let Liberians get descent jobs to send their children to good schools at home and abroad, the rest will be added unto Liberia.
    Look at what the Sethi brothers have done. Tell me how many qualified Liberians are available to work in that factory? The workforce will undoubtedly be dominated by expatriates.

    My greetings, Your Excellency!

  3. Please President Weah, let this company thrive by giving it a space to make some sound business decisions. Do not politicize it! It is a business entity and not a CDC political wing. It is not state-owned.

    You have tons of government ministries and agencies under your command that are inoperable because you have already saturated them with your CDC partisans, confidantes and cronies, and thus promoting graft, the spoil system, inefficiencies and ineffectiveness.

    So please let this company recruit and train its own core of Liberians, who may quality for employment. And by this token they can be able to help their families and contribute to economic growth.

    Live President Weah, but please let others live.

  4. As I did reason on the danger and negative consequences of putting “wholly and fully” the economy of Liberia in the hands of foreigners and mainly giving them citizenship in the article: Pres. Weah Blasts Critics For Shunning Foreign Nationals………, I must reiterate, if Mr. Weah and his “very naive”, “non-farsighted” and “donkey-stubborned” entourage do not understand the “queen’s language”, let me put it this way. I’m clearly warning that, Lebaneses, Indians, Euro-Americans/Europeans (non-African) foreigners and even other Africans will never have this country, Liberia, at-heart, if it’s not solely for financial/economical motives! No matter how rich or poor a native Liberian may be, he/she will always have mother Liberia in the bossom of his/her heart. But these “commercial guests” will never and ever do. Go to, at least, Lebanon and India and carefully make your own observations, you’ll be “perhaps” able to see and understand the reality of my opinion and or opposition. Those kinds of chances can never be offered/given to Africans in the named countries and many more. If you can’t quickly take in and utilize my cautionings and advices, then let’s go for a national referendum! //Gonyanue Blah

    • Gonyanue,

      Thanks so much for such brilliant and patriotic comments. It appears that the President and his handlers do not understand the impact and importance of citizenship and the responsibility of the national government to create an enabling investment opportunities for Liberian owned businesses first and foremost, especially under the current circumstances Liberians are faced today.

      It’s unfortunate that this President continues to blundered on local and international stage with unwarranted and misguided statements, purely out of ignorance and his personal connections and financial interest in foreign owned entities in the Nation. As such, his comments are not guided, neither polished and brings shame and disgrace to our Nation in violation of the organic laws of our Nation.

      Sethi Brothers has been in Liberia since time immemorial and cannot account for any infrastructural developments other than their business and financial interest, literally milking Liberians. As a matter of fact, why will the President co-mingled the cutting of ribbons to giving citizenship to foreign nationals when in-fact, he’s aware of the Liberian Constitution?

      These are the President’s comments: “Why do you say that Lebanese cannot be citizens? If they come and work, they will take the money to the country where they are citizens. They will be depleting us by generating ten billion in Liberia, they will take it to Ghana where they are citizens because they are confidence of ownership,” President Weah said.

      According to President Weah, for proposals of such ideas that will give the Liberian economy a boost, these are some of the problems. “Why are we afraid of other nationals to build their capacities in Liberia?” he asked.
      According to President Weah, for proposals of such ideas that will give the Liberian economy a boost, these are some of the problems. “Why are we afraid of other nationals to build their capacities in Liberia?” he asked.

      He said today Liberia produces rubber but does not have even a shoe factory. “Today we have iron ore and are proud to announce that Liberia has a steel factory and this is the right way to go.” President Weah

      These ill-advised comments are not in the national interest of the Nation and its people. The major reason why Liberia has no factory from its vast rubber plantations is simply because of the failure of the Government of Liberia to negotiate a value-oriented deal to benefit Liberia and its people. The same with the iron ore extracting companies operating in Liberia. It’s the responsibility of the National Government to negotiate a fairer, value-oriented contracts to benefit our Nation and people.

    • Liberia is a democracy. The granting of citizenships to Indians, Lebanese… is not a one man’s decision. We-the majority of Liberians have over and over said No No No! To this proposal. Our President should not be in the business of imposing his will on the Liberian People.

  5. President Weah’s argument on the issue of citizenship for expatriates who are investing in Liberia makes a lot of economic sense. This achaiac law of excluding citizenship from people on the basis race long outlived its time and needs to be trashed! There really zero evidence that this exclusive citizenship to only blacks benefited Liberia. Not a single shred of evidence!

    One thing that a lot Liberians have very little tolerance for is competition and this is why we are at a loss for the manifold woes that beset us. The rest of our neighbors are reevaluating and tweaking their citizenship laws and investment policies in order to gain advantages in attracting investment. As a nation with hardly a middle class and inadequate and weak institutions, paranoia is our worst enemy that would prevent us from making and implementing bold and pragmatic decisions for the economic development of Liberia.

    • Thank you Charise.
      I hope President Weah can let go of this dream, for once.
      If that’s why you wanted to become president at all cost, then resign cause that dream will not be a reality now. Liberia is not ready to go down that line.
      We will NOT sell our land again for smoke fish.

  6. Chey! Manneh. Is it making Lebanese, Indians, Chinese, White people, and the rest, Liberian citizens that is aching your heart every time you get up from sleep? Is it your number one economic and political agenda? When will you start thinking about the poor people you have left behind in Sasstown, Grandcess, Picnicess, Bertu, Baclayville, and yea, the rest of mother Liberia?! When?

    Like you, they also want to have a chance to advance themselves and their respective communities. They do not want for these foreigners to come and take away their birth rights. They are struggling to make ends meet as it is. All they want now is to be given a chance with good education, good healthcare, good roads and bridges and they will left themselves up with their own bootstraps, just as you did.

    You became the world’s best soccer player because someone gave you a chance in Mighty Barrole, The Invincible Eleven, and the Lone Star. Please remember these are where you had your beginning. Why do you think that other children of Liberia cannot make themselves into the world’s best engineers, Doctors, Architects, scientists, etc, etc, if they are given a chance?

    Why do you want to be another Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sr.? Like Doe, you want for Liberians to call you Doctor. Like Doe, you chose Emmanuel Shaw to be a close friend and member of your inner circle/adviser. Like Doe, you now want to make Lebanese citizens of the Republic of Liberia, just to name a few similarities!

    Indians, Lebanese, Chinese, Whites will never give Liberian children any chance to make progress in their own native land! Think about that.

      • I think they were all jubilant when Weah was finally elected president. Because they thought, and still think, he is the one to give them a fair chance for a better future in their own country. Making expatriates, like the ones he is campaigning for, to be citizens of Liberia will be completely detrimental to those dreams becoming reality.

        • Take random samples of Liberia’s Steel and perform stress-test; preferably in a German laboratory. It’s “Absolutely” necessary.

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