In the spirit of calling spade a spade and demarcating what is legitimately owned, from presentation that reflects the tune of a gift as being observed by the One Nimba Movement has been put into proper prospective. (See full statement below):
The One Nimba Movement (ONM) is a pro-democracy and advocacy organization purposely established to ensure that Nimba County’s population and resources are transformed into valuable assets and that its interests are projected at the National Level. The movement notes
with thanks the recent remittance of US$1.55 million of Social Development Fund to Nimba County.
However, the Movement is concerned that out of arrears of approximately $6.8 million United States Dollars, only $1.55 million United States Dollars could be remitted without solid commitment on how to settle the arrears. Furthermore, the Movement expresses great dismay at the comical display by the Government of Liberia in remitting the amount and making it a newsworthy issue.
The money paid is fairly due the people of Nimba County as stipulated in Article 14 of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between Arcelor Mittal Liberia (AML) and the Government of Liberia and its presentation by the Government as if it was a gift from the Government is laughable. Moreover, the unprecedented and suspicious manner in
which negligible portions of the arrears owed to Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties were paid for the very first time in pretty close to three years since the ascendency of the Weah government gives ample reasons to suspect that there is a coordinated conspiracy on the part of
the Government of Liberia and Arcelor-Mittal Liberia (AML) to rob these Counties of their fair entitlements especially at a time when 20% of the SDF is said to be questionably withheld.
The One Nimba Movement believes that constant delay in remitting the Social Development Fund to the people of Nimba County is a demonstration of gross insensitivity to the development concerns of the people of Nimba County.
While development activities by national Government are ongoing in other parts of Liberia, timely remittance of the Social Development Funds to the affected Counties of Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong could help repair the yellow machines in Nimba County, attend to agricultural
projects, provide for scholarships to students, strengthen health care facilities, improve economic activities, and support other development projects. The intent of the SDF is to compliment Government’s development such that the three counties that are affected by AML operations will receive direct benefits as social contributions to the livelihood of the citizens.
- Uninterrupted deferments in the payments of the money while the iron ore is rapidly depleting does not demonstrate good intent on the part of Government. The continuous refusal to pay on time and in full, the SDF to these counties gives more reasons to assume that marginalization
of counties outside of the South Eastern Region is on classical exhibition by the Weah led Government of Liberia – this act on the part of the Weah’s government is not only wicked and insensitive, but it is also, objectionable, unthinkable and unacceptable.
Additionally, it has come to our urgent attention with grave concern that the amount of US$169,925 and L$58.5m have been deposited into Nimba’s account from the proceeds of the scrap metal being extracted by North Star Inc. and Sethi Brother.
The One Nimba Movement is therefore, in the clearest voice, loudest tone, firnest spirit and in an unapologetic, unmistakable and uncompromising manner demanding the followings:
- That while we welcome the efforts made by members of the Nimba County Legislative
Caucus that led to the recent payment of US$1.55 million to Nimba County, we demand the immediate payment of our SDF arrears in the sum of US$6.8 million and the amount generated from the scrap metal;
- That the Government of Liberia immediately commence the process of review and renegotiation of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) with Arcelor-Mittal in keeping with the five (5) years revision clause in Article 36 of said Mineral Development Agreement; this has not been done for two review periods;
- That General Auditing Commission be requested by the Nimba County Legislative Caucus and the Government of Liberia to conduct a full-scale audit of the operations of the Nimba County Social Development Fund and the County Development Fund covering the period after the last audit to ascertain that the funds were used in keeping
with law and procedures;
- That the Nimba Legislative Caucus ensure that Ministry of Justice and Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) proceed to review previous audit reports of the CDF & SDF, especially the 2011/2012 and the 2012/2013 audit reports in order to prosecute and hold accountable wherever necessary, those past and present officials who might be
- That the Nimba County Legislative Caucus proceeds with the hosting of the next County Council sitting in a manner and style that will reflect the true and genuine wishes, aspirations and desires of the majority citizens of Nimba County. Since the County Administration headed by the Superintendent represents the Executive Branch and
members of the Legislative Caucus represent their respective electoral districts and
participate directly in the formulation of the Annual Budget, it is more logical to involve
the participation of other stakeholders and the Nimba County Civil Society community,
including the Teachers Association, Health Workers Association, Farmers Association,
Media Association, Business Community, Students and Youth Community, the Nimba
Diaspora Community, Women Organizations, etc in the deliberations on the management
and utilization of funds generated by the county including Social Development fund,
county Development, proceeds from scrap metal, etc; and
- That we are calling on the Nimba County community Radio Association (NICORA),
Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), Accountability Lab
Liberia and all local, national and international anti-corruption and advocacy groups to join us in this cause to ensure that the affected communities truly benefit from the operations of Arcelor-Mittal and other related companies operating in Liberia.
The One Nimba Movement stands in readiness to work with the Nimba County Legislative Caucus and the Government of Liberia in ensuring that Nimba County and other affected counties receive their just benefits in a timely manner.
“A Divided Nimba is a Weak and Defeated Nimba County” – Jackson Fiah Doe, Sr.
Thank you very much, God Bless Nimba County, God Bless Liberia!
Princess T. K. Domah
Cell#: 0880704821 /0779159242
Bob Yeenuah Kartoe
Cell #: 0886226238/0777840310
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