Heated debates ensued Thursday on Capitol Hill over the passage of the controversial 800 Million Mineral Development Agreement with Steel Giant, Mittal Steel.
Thomas Alexander Goshua, Dist 5 Representative raised contending issues with the agreement ranging from lack of perusal by the body, passage coming out of just committee room discussion and citizens non participation in the debates amongst others.
Said Goshua ‘If Mittal thinks our people are not significant to the agreement they will have to mine their ore in Nimba, fly it over Bassa to final destination as we will not allow them pass through our county.’
The Bassa lawmaker’s stern position on the matter led to Speaker Bhofal Chambers ordering him out of session before the border in an obscure manner passed the document.
Government of Liberia is expected to benefit 55 million within 19 months of the agreement from the company with Social Development Fund now left directly to the discretion of the county leadership. Scholarship and other amenities are reportedly embedded in a document just released to the public following the passage.
Mittal was denied rights such as controlling the port of Buchanan or the railway management amongst others.
The public has raised issues concerning the earlier agreement signed in 2005 in which some forty to sixty percent weren’t adhered to leaving many to wonder why such a haste without performance review of the last agreement and how it affected the lives of the people.
Former Bassa Senator Gbezohngar Findley sued Mittal over many vices and has since considered the new agreement a bad deal for the people and needing thorough checks before passage.
He was denied appearing at any Public Hearing for the new ratification as the matter lingers in court.