One of the challenges inherited by the government of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is joblessness in the country. This situation has been having serious economic pinch on the nation and has equally been a source of serious criticism inclusive of high cost of living. Notwithstanding this challenge, the government has consistently assured the masses that it will work to resolve the acute economic menace that has characterize the high cost of living and therefore causing acute suffering for the people. It has now become apparent that the CDC government has been engaged and has now bagged a sizeable number of jobs as stated by the National Investment Commission (NIC), which says the prospect of 3,000 direct jobs have been created through investment opportunities available to the country. The NIC’s Chairman, Mr. Molewuleh B. Gray at the December 6, 2018 edition of the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism (MICAT) on the Capitol Hill informed journalists that these job opportunities are made possible through Investment Prospects between February and November 2018, The Analyst reports.
Releasing the status of investment prospects for the period under review, Mr. Gray spoke of a diversification and expansion of existing and new investments, which he noted will have a total investment size of USD 109.8 million, while direct jobs to be created is 1, 700.
This he pointed out is in addition to seven other companies that were granted the 5-year short-term investment incentives in 2018 with a total investments size of USD 31.85 million which bagged approximately 700 direct jobs to be created and additional nine pending applications for an investment size of USD 21 million, and potentially about 600 direct jobs to be created.
Commencing his paper titled, “National Investment Commission Releases Status of Investment Prospects Between February to November 2018”, the NIC boss indicated that the government has finalized the renegotiation of three concession agreements that were recalled from the National Legislature upon the review of the Special Presidential Concessions and Contracts Review Committee.
Those agreements renegotiated, he explained, include Firestone Rubber Inc., Nimba Rubber Inc., and Liberia Traffic Management. He furthered that additional two new agreements have been negotiated by government which he noted are the Golden-SIFCA, a joint venture between two existing oil palm concessions.
According to him, this joint venture between two existing oil palm concessions was formed primarily to develop a USD 34 Million oil palm processing plant in Maryland County with the capacity of processing 80 tons (21, 120 US gallons) of crude palm oil per hour.
Mr. Gray also mentioned other quotas involving Fouta Corporation Agreement, for the construction of a USD 25 Million cement plant with a capacity to manufacture 500 tons – about 20,000 25kg bags of cement per day within the Monrovia Industrial Park, in Gardnerville, adding that this diversification and expansion of existing and new investments will have a total investment size of USD 109.8 million to generate direct jobs opportunities of 1, 700.
“Additionally, three tenders are ongoing under the two-stage procurement process as articulated under the Public–Procurement and Concession Act. These projects were initiated by the Ministry of Commerce and industry and the Liberia Revenue Authority as project sponsors respectively,” he said.
He accentuated that these three tenders are expected to be concluded and awarded within the next few months. “The bids being tendered are Destination Inspection Project, National Single Window, and Electronic Fiscal Device. These projects when consummated will have a significant impact on key Doing Business Indicators such as, Trading Across Borders and Paying Taxes, as well as the overall domestic resource mobilization efforts of the Government of Liberia,” he indicated further.
“NIC is at the verge of publishing the 2019 Investor’s Guide to Liberia as well as the launch of the NIC’s new website which will feature regular updates (monthly newsletters, business/investment reports, advertising, sector profiles, analysis, etc.) of investment activities in Liberia. The investor’s Guide, for the first time, will be printed in three languages: English, French and Chinese and widely circulated,” the NIC boss disclosed.
This update is based largely on investment interests and agreements captured by the NIC from February to November 2018, Mr. Gray clarified. Notwithstanding, he said it may not contain comprehensive information on all investment developments in Liberia during the period, because not all investments into the country are channeled through the NIC.
“However, the report gives a sense of investment status in the Liberian economy for 2018. The NIC is working on tracking the expression of interests as they progress to tangible investments, and a full report of NIC for 2018 will be produced and made available to the public,” he concluded.
The NIC is an agency of the Government of Liberia mandated by an Act of Legislature enacted in 2010 to, amongst other things, promote, attract and facilitate investments in all sectors of the economy, lead the concession negotiation process, and support the drive to create an enabling environment for doing business.