The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

AML Introduces New 3B Investment

President Joseph N. Boakai on Monday April 8, concluded a one-day meeting with ArcelorMittal’s Executive Chairman, Lakshmi Mittal.

The Liberian leader, who received Lakshmi Mittal, at his Executive Mansion office, welcomed Mittal and his delegation and assured them of his government’s willingness to embrace investment in the interest of his people.

Speaking to the press following the meeting, President Boakai said the Government of Liberia recognizes ArcelorMittal’s commitment to Liberia and its people.

“We look forward to continue working with ArcelorMittal as a trusted partner, to diversify its support to Liberia’s transformation, and ensure that Liberians benefit from the investments being made in the country,” he added.

Among other things, the two engaged in high-level discussions concerning ArcelorMittal’s operations in Liberia, and President Boakai’s Agriculture, Roads, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation and Tourism (ARREST) Agenda for the sustainable development of Liberia.

Both President Boakai and Mittal underscored the strong ties and collaborative spirit between Liberia and the mining giant that have characterized the relationship between Liberia and ArcelorMittal, dated back to 2005 when the company first entered Liberia after the civil war.

The Company’s five million tons per annum operation reopened Liberia’s mining industry, shipping first ore to customers in 2011.

Through its new expansion project, the company has committed $1.4 billion in a new investment towards building an iron ore concentrator to produce high-grade iron ore, which increases production to 15 million tons per annum.

With this new outlay, the company’s total investments in the country will exceed $3 billion, which also includes a substantial investment in the Yekepa-Buchanan rail infrastructure.

According to him, the first phase of the expansion is due for completion in late 2024.

As part of its future plans, ArcelorMittal is further studying a phased development of up to 30 million tons per annum.

Consistent with President Boakai’s vision of empowering Liberian youth with essential technical and operational skills, at today’s meeting, ArcelorMittal reaffirmed its dedication to additional investment in its Vocational and Technical Center (VTC), as well as support to other Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutes in Liberia.

At the same time, by 2025, ArcelorMittal’s VTC will have 200 skilled youths in their program, in addition to the 100 who have already graduated.

The collaboration with other technical vocational training centers around the country will help to enrich Liberia’s talent pool and drive socioeconomic advancement in the country.

Moreover, the company, he stressed, will also continue to provide scholarships for Liberian students pursuing higher education abroad, thereby nurturing the next generation of leaders.

As an integral component of Liberia’s socio-economic development, the Government is steadfast in its efforts to combat the trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs.

ArcelorMittal is aligned with such mission and pledges support by investing in community programs and initiatives aimed at raising awareness among local communities about the risks associated with harmful substance use, safeguarding livelihoods, and the wellbeing of Liberians.

The company remains the biggest investor and contributor of direct and indirect taxes in Liberia.

It will continue to create economic opportunities for Liberians by creating jobs, supporting local businesses, developing hospitals and schools, and participating in the refurbishment of critical road infrastructure such as the Ganta-Yekepa Highway, which is a vital economic link in the regional road network connecting neighboring countries Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire.

He stated that his company is also prioritizing the conclusion of the Third Amendment to the MDA, so that the trajectory of growth and the strengthened partnership with ArcelorMittal will continue for many years to come.

“Since we entered Liberia in 2005, we have always sought to be a dedicated, valued, and trusted partner to Liberia and its people.

It was a pleasure to meet with President Boakai today and we look forward to working with him and his administration to deepen this partnership,” he noted.

Mittal pointed out that his company’s planned project is to, among other things, significantly expand its presence in the country, and is expected to come on stream later this year.

He indicated that the project is a very important project for his company, one that will cement its presence in Liberia for many years and make a significant contribution to the country’s economic growth and sustainable development.

With fruitful outcomes of the meeting expected in the coming months and years ahead, the one-day high level meeting is a good sign for the new government, who is still challenged with several key issues, ranging from job empowerment to investment, but remains committed through President Boakai to deliver the necessary good to his people over the period.

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