MONROVIA – The Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, Janjay Baikpeh, has announced that global steel ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) has remitted to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance this year’s payment of County Social Development Funds for the county.
Making the disclosure Monday in an interview with state radio ELBC in Monrovia, Superintendent Baikpeh said the county has already informed the Ministry of Finance that the AML contribution is part the county’s spending budget and as such, should be disbursed in accordance with what is allotted in national budget for the county.
According to Baikpeh, the Chairman of the Grand Bassa County Legislative Caucus is expected to negotiate discussions with the Ministry of Finance for the transfer of the funds to the county.
“We need to get the people’s money to complete these projects,” the superintendent said, noting that the AML contribution will help the county carry out key projects across the districts to bring relief to the people.
ArcelorMittal Liberia pays more than US$2 million in social development funding to the three counties affected by its Liberia mining operations, including Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Bong Counties.
Superintendent Baikpeh further informed that his county is expected to receive US$1.5 from the ArcelorMittal Liberia contribution and US$200,000 as the Government of Liberia’s contribution to the Grand Bassa County Development Funds. The accumulated funds would then be transferred to various accounts of the concerned counties for expenditure.
The superintendent urged the Ministry of Finance to be swift in forwarding the money to the county, because the people of Grand Bassa are in dire need of basic social services like clinics.
“For example, the county has embarked on the relocation of the new Government Hospital, and we cannot do that without assessing the Social Development Funds,” Superintendent Baikpeh stated.
He told ELBC’s Super Morning Host Sorbor George that the government has been in discussion with ArceloMittal to contribute US$1million towards the relocation of the Grand Bassa Hospital.
When concluded, the new facility will include 150 bedrooms as well as modern equipment and seasoned staff to help save lives.
The repeated outbreak of fire at the Buchanan Government Hospital, which is considered the largest public health facility in county, has significantly reducing its already limited capacity to handle patients.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh has praised ArcelorMittal’s recent partnership with the Port of Buchanan which led to the provision of lights in the city.
The intervention by ArcelorMittal Liberia helped improve the light and security conditions at the government-operated Buchanan Port through the donation of a consignment of 33 high-performance and environmentally friendly solar streetlights.
Scores of people and institutions including public, private, and community-based, continue to benefit increased support from ArcelorMittal Liberia as part of the concession’s corporate social responsibility which promotes shared values and dividends of its operations stakeholders and local communities.
At the request of county authorities, ArcelorMittal in January this year invested more than US$260,000 to rehabilitate feeder roads in Buchanan City.
The roads included the 2.5 km stretch from Tubman Street Junction to the Loop, the Government Hospital-Kilby Street Road, the Pipeline to Grand Bassa University College Road, the Circuit Court-Upper Buchanan Road, the Barconie Road, and the ‘Own Your Own’ Road leading to Monrovia Junction.
As AML expands, more communities stand to benefit from their enhanced community development initiatives.