Gov’t And ArcelorMittal Collaborate For Industrial Harmony In Nimba County

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The Government of Liberia (GOL), in collaboration with ArcelorMittal Liberia, say they are working to address and resolve community grievances that would ensure industrial harmony at the company’s mining operations in Nimba County.

   The initiative follows recent disruptions at ArcelorMittal’s sites due to protests by local residents, some of whom are in the mine-affected communities.

   At a meeting on Saturday in Monrovia, Internal Affairs Minister Francis Sakila Nyumalin announced the government’s commitment to fostering a constructive relationship between ArcelorMittal and the local communities.

   To facilitate this, he said various committees have been established, comprising of government representatives and civil society organizations.

   These committees, he noted, are tasked with addressing key issues raised by the residents, including employment opportunities, scholarships, water supply, healthcare services, waste disposal and fuel management.

   Minister Nyumalin urged residents to engage constructively with ArcelorMittal to resolve their grievances, and emphasized the importance of a mutually beneficial relationship.

   The Minister highlighted that the government’s intervention aims to ensure that the company’s operations do not negatively impact the local population and that the communities’ benefits are maximized.

   In response, Andrew Taylor, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Chief Operational Manager, reassured both the residents and the government of the company’s commitment to addressing their concerns.

   Taylor disclosed that ArcelorMittal is embarking on a significant second phase of investment worth US$1.7 billion, in addition to the US$3 billion already invested in Liberia. He pledged the company’s dedication to working collaboratively with the Nimba County communities to foster sustainable development and industrial peace.

   Taylor commended the government, particularly Minister Nyumalin, for their intervention efforts and praised the residents for agreeing to a peaceful resolution of the disputes.

   The recent protests had resulted in disruptions, with blockades set up at the company’s mining sites, leading to a temporary halt in operations and evacuation of staff after the local residents moved “bush masters”, otherwise known as “country devils”, up the mines.

   The government and ArcelorMittal Liberia’s joint collaboration is intended to promote industrial harmony and sustainable development in Nimba County as a shared commitment to addressing community concerns and fostering a positive working relationship that benefits all stakeholders involved.    The government said this initiative represents a worthy step towards ensuring that ArcelorMittal’s operations contribute positively to the local economy and community welfare, aligning with the broader goals of the Boakai administration to achieve national development through industrial growth.

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