Some women from Nimba County under the banner ‘Daughters of the Mountains’ have petitioned the House of Representatives not to ratify the recent concession agreement entered into by the Liberian Government and ArcelorMittal-Liberia until the company lives up to the mineral development agreement.
In an eight-count petition to the House of Representatives they women kicked against the expansion of the company’s agreement until it also provides an audited environmental and social impact assessment report on its operation.
The Nimba women called on the Legislature to mandate ArcelorMittal to ensure gender balance in its operation in the country. They opposed any grant of mineral extraction from the country above the current limit of five million tons in the interest of generational equity.
Receiving the petition, the chairperson on rule, order and administration at the House of Representatives, Johnson Gwaiklo commended the women for the peaceful manner they gathered. He promised to present the women’s petition upon the arrival of the House of Representative to full plenary.
It can be recalled that the Liberian Government has signed an extension of the contract with ArcelorMittal in which the production of the company is to increase from five metric tons per year.
But since the signing of the agreement which the government said will provide more job opportunities pending ratification by the Legislature, the company has been facing challenges.
One of such challenges is a legal battle instituted against the company by former Senate Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Gbehzohngar M. Findley who said his legal team has filed a lawsuit against the Management of Mittal Steel (Liberia) Holding Limited at the Second Judicial Circuit Court of Grand Bassa County in its August Term of Court, for the company’s failure to meet up with its social corporate responsibility with citizens of Grand Bassa and Liberia at large.
Mr. Findley who spoke to newsmen in a press conference yesterday, September 15, said he filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment, to declare the rights of the people of Grand Bassa County and rule against the Management of Mittal Steel (Liberia) Holding Limited for its refusal to live up to the mineral agreement signed in 2007.
The former Senator of Grand Bassa said that as citizen of Grand Bassa County, he has the right to enjoy the rights and privileges accorded to every citizen and resident of Grand Bassa County, and by this, he pointed out that under the social contract, the rights contained in the Constitution of Liberia as well as statutory rights, guaranteed by the Constitution for all citizens are accorded to him as a matter of law and fact under the laws of the Republic of Liberia.
He said that he has the right and authority under the Constitution of Liberia as a citizen and resident of Grand Bassa County; that any contract or agreement entered into by the Government of Liberia obligating a Concessionaire to accord certain defined rights to him as a citizen and people of Grand Bassa County , and all other citizens of Grand Bassa or Residents, he (the Petitioner) has the legal standing and right to demand those privileges and rights defined in the delegated responsibility on the concessionaire by the Government of Liberia, when said rights so accrued .