The management of ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) has presented a check of US$50,000 to the Nimba University as part of its annual support to the institution, in line with its mineral development agreement (MDA).
Presenting the check on behalf of AML’s Chief Executive Officer, Jozephus Coenen, Samuel Stevquoah, Head of Corporate Services, reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to the education, training and development of Liberians, especially the young people.
Stevquoah emphasized that, as long as ArcelorMittal is operating in Liberia it will continue to work to cement its relationship with the Liberian people, the government and all stakeholders to make sure that its presence in the communities is always felt in the most powerful and resourceful way, beyond the commitment of the company’s mineral development agreement (MDA).
“We’ve never been hindered or restricted by the MDA’s commitment. In fact, we’ve gone over and beyond our MDA commitments. Today, we are celebrating a brand-new asphalt paved road connecting Ganta to Sanniquellie. The commitment of US$40 million toward that road project by ArcelorMittal was beyond our MDA commitment, and besides that AML has also announced a sizeable contribution toward the construction of a new hospital in Sanniquellie,” Stevquoah mentioned.
He said ArcelorMittal Liberia takes its corporate social responsibility seriously and urged all Liberians, especially the people of Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties, to support the company’s operation and its expansion project that presents many benefits and opportunities.
“If we agree that we are in this together and that the success that will come out of this will be for the benefit of all of us, then permit me to use this time to call on our local stakeholders to support, much more then they have done before, the passage of the Third Amended MDA.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Edward Wonkeryor, has applauded the support of ArcelorMittal Liberia to the Nimba University, formerly the Nimba County Community College.
Speaking during the presentation of the check and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Nimba University and ArcelorMittal Liberia, Dr. Wonkeryor, who is also a former President of the Nimba County Community College, said the institution would not have continued to exist without the support of ArcelorMittal.
He expressed delight over the signing of the MOU, which strengthens relations between the university and ArcelorMittal Liberia.
“On behalf of President Weah, on behalf of the Minister of Education and in my own name, I would like to thank ArcelorMittal Liberia wholeheartedly for all that they are doing to help to improve the higher education system in our country, specifically the Nimba University. Without the infusion of the funds that you give us, we would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved today.”
Also speaking, the President of the Nimba University, Dr. Jesse Noah Mongrue, thanked ArcelorMittal Liberia for the support to the institution and said, given that the Nimba University is situated within an AML mining community, such support would help to develop the kinds of technical skills that could be useful to the company.
The establishment of the Mining and Geology School here at the Nimba University has its foundation in the mineral development agreement signed between the Government of Liberia (GOL) and ArcelorMittal in 2005. The school was earlier a subsidiary of the Department of Geology and Mining of the University of Liberia.
In 2011, ArcelorMittal released the first payment of US$200,000 to the University of Liberia through the Commission on Higher Education to procure materials and develop capacities for the establishment of the institute.
ArcelorMittal Liberia has been a strong collaborating partner of the Nimba University over the years. During the formulative years of the mining and geology school, a corps of ArcelorMittal professionals provided lectures in geology and mining.
In 2014, ArcelorMittal concluded an arrangement with the Ghana School of Mines for technical assistance and capacity building for teaching staff, including curriculum development. An assessment mission was ready to travel to Liberia in the same year but the Ebola epidemic in the country prevented the team from coming.
ArcelorMittal Liberia’s contribution to the support of the mining and geology school to date is US$575,000. This amount includes arrears for the school since 2012.