NACSUL Commends Senate on Investment Deal

The National Civil Society Union of Liberia (NACSUL) has expressed gratitude with the action of the plenary of the Liberian Senate to take as a priority the duty of scrutinizing the Mano Manufacturing Company (MANCO) Agreement with the Liberian government, and for assigning its relevant committee to scrutinize and carry out due diligence on the agreement before passage. According to NACSUL, since this agreement was forwarded to the Liberian Senate by the House of Representatives during the sixteenth day of its special session on Thursday, December 16, 2021, it has taken key interest on the matter and has read through its contents and analyzed the huge national benefits it holds.

“Against this solid background of relevant interest and authoritative information, the Union holds strongly to the belief that it is without doubt that this agreement of about US$25 million, which seeks to grant the MANCO the right to develop and operate an oil palm refinery in Grand Cape Mount County as well as upgrade the oil palm mill in Bomi County, will bring key benefits to the oil palm sector of Liberia, which include adding value to primary agricultural products, jobs creation in the expected counties of operation and encouraging local farmers in palm by purchasing and using their oil palm under the Out Grower Scheme,” NACSUL said in a press statement.

According to the civil society group, headed by Amos B.S. Kanneh, “We feel that this agreement, which seeks to have a 15-year timeframe, commencing as of the effective date, will bring ease to local marketers who rely on the costly importation of oil palm products to sustain themselves. Owing to the fact that this agreement will provide high-quality, locally produced refined bleaching and deodorized olein and stearin, which are bases for cooking oil and soap noodles used for making various soap products, we call on the National Legislature to see the need to ratify this agreement, as it will significantly reduce the stress on the country’s currency.

“The local production of vegetable oil, laundry, bath soaps and detergent is one of the key ways of easing the difficulties of our people. In furtherance, we wish to say that, in the face of the fact that this agreement will see the investor processing approximately 100 metric tons of crude palm oil per day, or 3,000 metric tons per month, with a future potential of increasing production to 200 metric tons per day or 6,000 metric tons per month, the huge benefits to the local agriculture in palm is a driving spirit for socio-economic change in the counties of concern, which the National Legislature must not downplay.”

NACSUL’s statement continued, “The Mano Manufacturing Company, formerly the Sime Darby Plantation Incorporated, located in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties, is a true partner to the economic development drive of the Pro-Poor Agenda and, as such, we call on the Senate committees, to which the task is assigned of doing due diligence through careful scrutiny for the purpose of contributing to an informed passage into law of this deal, to consider not only the need for investment in the sector but the good intention for change that the proposed agreement holds as they conduct their assigned task of scrutiny upon return from their legislative break.”

The National Civil Society Union of Liberia (NACSUL) has emphasized that it is keenly observing the process, and will not relent on canvassing with the relevant authorities to ensure that the auspicious agreement is passed.

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