September 3, 2018
Ambassador George Manneh Weah
President of Liberia
Re: Open Letter to His Excellency President George Manneh Weah
May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, be multiplied unto you. May He give you wisdom and guide you to steer the Liberian ship of state.
Mr. President, the Sovereign Lord, who instructed me to write this open letter to you, is the same One who has chosen you to lead Liberia at this time. You came to power on the agenda of “Change for Hope”: to change the way things have been done in this country by several generations of leadership and people, so that Liberia can begin to move away from being the 4th poorest country in the world.
I therefore congratulate your Excellency for your tireless efforts to expand Liberia’s circle of development partners and to hopefully reduce the deep-seated poverty and fragile economy you inherited. However, as you reflect on the pathway to bring genuine change and tangible improvement in the living conditions of the masses who supported your leadership, you are aware that you inherited a governance system that exploits the labor and resources of the country, with very little of the proceeds set aside to improve our quality of life.
It is a system in which the meager resources in the government budget can only support the lifestyles of a few persons in the state bureaucracy while thousands of youth experience mass failures in WACE exams; as thousands die from curable diseases due to the lack of drugs, basic medical equipment and adequate incentives to encourage qualified health workers. It is a system where well-meaning foreign investors, who are used to working with forward thinking and people-centered governments in other African countries, come here and are restricted to a rent-seeking investment framework intended to benefit only a few at the top. It is a system where despite the billions of United States dollars produced over the years from our God-given heritage, we watch with shame the ridiculous spectacle of foreign trips by highly intelligent and respectable government officials to beg foreign investors to advance us several years of very low future taxes. This is because Mineral Development Agreements signed in recent years granted income tax rates far below what is set out in our revenue code for such activity.
Mr. President, as you and some of your very competent officials seek solutions to your visionary and long overdue plan to connect Southeast Liberia and other parts of the country with a paved road network, you are playing with a deck of cards stacked against you by your predecessors. They negotiated the concession agreements that gave you inadequate revenues to sustainably service the long-term debt needed. However, the Sovereign Lord has directed me to inform you that, “The solution is in the problem.” The Lord of Hosts has placed more than US$5.5 billion gold deposits in Dugbe, Southeast Liberia, for us to use wisely to end the isolation of that region, unite this small country through paved roads and cover other development needs.
Your Excellency, the change you were elected to bring about is in your hands. Investors have successfully used our gold deposits in Kinjor and Korkoyah as collateral to borrow from international financial institutions to mine, process and export that gold. In the same way, Liberia can and should use our gold in Dugbe to create a public-private partnership with Hummingbird. Our share of gold mining profits will provide more sustainable revenues to finance even more than the US$ 500 million loans you are seeking.
Mr. President, if you and members of the national legislature will resist the temptation to shortchange Liberia’s future as your predecessors have done for selfish gain, the proposed approach will greatly improve the country. I pray therefore, that you will purpose in your heart to heed this word from the Lord.
With sentiments of my highest esteem and best wishes for your government to succeed in the interest of the Liberian people, I remain
Most respectfully yours,
Samuel Wonwi Thompson
2nd Floor, Boker Compound
Cheeseman Avenue – Sinkor
Cell phone: 0886 558 468 / 0770 183 559
E-mail: [email protected]