Mittal Steel’s Faith in Limbo
Speaking over the weekend in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, President Sirleaf said she can see the frustration in the people given the long time her government is taking to review the contract.
According to her, the government’s intention is to carefully evaluate “step by step’ all new investments in the country, especially natural resources before any company or investors can start operations.
The President further asserted that she does not want Mittal Steel case to be like the former LAMCO of which the interests of the people were not protected, thus leaving the LAMCO area with holes.
But recent development between the new government on one hand and the investors on the other has not been favorable and it is something to worry Mittal Steel. The contracts signed during the Charles Gyude Bryant erstwhile government have been nullified.
Few days after the new Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) took over, the Container Park contract signed between the NPA and the GSS was cancelled.
Recently, the Managing Director of Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company LPRC, Harry A. Greaves, wrote the General Manager of Mechanical Engineering Group that was to build storage terminal for the LPRC that said contract has been declared null and void.
Mittal Steel has promised to invest about 900 million United States dollars over a period of time with the assurance that the local communities from the area where the iron ore will come from will benefit immensely.
The contract was not signed by the Executive Branch alone but Legislative Branch as well. “Given the scenario of other companies which contracts have been cancelled, it is likely that Mittal Steel is between the scissors,” said James Mondaye, a former LAMCO worker.