Western Cluster MOU Goes Under Probe


The plenary of the House of Representatives on Thursday, January 19, 2023 during the 2nd day sitting of the 6th session of the 54th Legislature mandated its Judiciary, Mines and Energy, Ways, Means and Finance committees and caucus members from the western section of Liberia to investigate how the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that gives Western Cluster the right to operate in Bomi County came about.

   The House’s decision was informed by a communication from Nimba County’s district #5 Representative, Samuel G. Kogar. Representative Kogar sought the indulgence of his colleagues through the communication to halt the operation of Western Cluster in order to conduct a full investigation into the matter, which he said has become national discussion due to citizens’ interest. He appealed to members of the 54th Legislature, especially the House of Representatives, to act now in the interest of the country.

   “Honorable Speaker and fellow colleagues: I present my compliments and write to seek the indulgence of plenary to have the operations of the Western Cluster Liberia Limited halted with immediate effect and an investigation be carried out against the backdrop of mounting public outcry, and the management be invited by plenary,” Representative Kogar’s letter read. He explained to his colleagues that a critical review of the mineral development agreement (MDA) and MOU should have been done by the Legislature, but this was not the case and, as such, the citizens are concerned.

   Western Cluster Liberia Limited signed a MOU with the Government of Liberia (GOL) on April 12, 2022 as a means of realizing the company’s 25-year MDA, which gives the company exclusive rights to mine 30 million tons of iron ore annually, comprising quartz, hematite and other mineral in Western Liberia. Western Cluster Liberia Limited was given class “A” license to mine.

   Representative Kogar’s communication was overwhelmingly embraced by his colleagues after its reading on Thursday, January 19.  Lawmakers, including Dixon Sebo, Prince Tokpah, Joseph N. Somwarbi, Acarous Moses Gray, Haja Fata-Siryon and Cano Wesson, in a separate statements, applauded the Nimba district #5 lawmaker for such a brilliant communication. After a heated debate in support of Representative Kogar’s letter, plenary reached a decision through a motion by Representative C.B. Barshell, Montserrado County’s district #3, to turn the matter over to the Judiciary, Mines and Energy, Ways, Means and Finance committees to probe all parties involved into the signing of MOU and report to plenary in two weeks.

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