As the country dwindles into economy hardship, the concession area is among the many areas that have received high criticism with several lawmakers to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate about the ill-treatment meted against their constituents.
The Western Cluster Iron Ore Agreement signed between the Government of Liberia (GoL) is one of the many that is receiving continuing criticism with lawmakers from the county, especially Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, who served as chief negotiator of the deal facing serious backlashes, something that led to him relinquish his role(s) in the renegotiation of the controversial deal.
But Sen. Snowe did not just give out the position in silence – he reported to Plenary how US$5M of which US$3.5M intended for the county is still being held by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).
The Bomi County Senator reported that since July of last year, the US$5M paid by Western Cluster to the Government of Liberia, the MFDP is yet to remit the US$3.5M due to the people of Bomi, thus leading citizens of the county to point accusing fingers at them (lawmakers) on the embezzlement of said fund.
“Western Cluster made US$5M payment to the Government of Liberia which US$3.5M is intended for the people of Bomi. But since then the Ministry of Finance has not disbursed this to the county – not a dime has been given to the county,” he noted.
“The thing is, the money was paid to the since July government but not a dime has been paid to the county. This may lead to some other situation. This is a very serious situation. Honorable Pro Temp, please ask the Minister of Finance to account for this money intended for the county. Our people are becoming disgruntled and they are putting us under serious pressure,” the Bomi County lawmaker added.
Following his presentation to that august body, the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie commanded that the Senate cite the Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning(MFDP), Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. to provide explanation regarding the fund.
“Most of the issues brought here are similar and we need invite the companies and the relevant government ministries and agencies concerned so that they can provide details, beginning next week Thursday. The Ministry of Finance will be one that will come here to give us an understanding about this money,” ordered Pro Tempt Chie as he knocked the gable.