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

AML’s Mineral Deal
Suffers Another Backlash

By Alex Yomah
The Liberian Senate has raised series of issues that were not included from the House of Representatives’ version in the ArcelorMittal Liberia deal.
With the expectation that the Liberian Senate would have concurred with the House of Representatives to ratify 3rd amendment of the MDA between Government of Liberia, that august body among other things, reached a decision to have a conference committee find a logical conclusion on the deal.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, presiding over the session yesterday, constituted a seven-member committee as members of the Legislative Conference Committee to delve into the matters at bar.
However, Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson who had always supported the US$800M ArcelorMittal deal submitted to the Legislature for passage by President George Weah somersaulted over his support during the deliberation.
Sen. Johnson, who had considered the deal as good for his kinsmen and county during all discussions initiated with President Weah, described the new amendment as a “bad deal.”
“I walked out of session to tell my people in Nimba that I will not support a bad deal. The deal is bad because our money is not going to be in our accounts and many other things, but I am specific about mentioning this to tell you that I am not happy,” Senator Johnson justified his action.
In his protest remarks, the Nimba County lawmaker confessed that he once celebrated the deal because he and his people and all affected counties were promised to include all of the MDA’s accounts that were not complied with and those that were not added to be included before submission of the proposal to the Legislature, but said promises were not adhered to.
“In 2005, we received the MDA between the Government and ArcelorMittal and we passed it into law. In the first MDA, there was a clause that said, Bassa, Bong and Nimba should take direct control of their Social Development Funds,” he explained in frustration.
“Unfortunately, when it was passed into law and sent to the Executive to be printed into handbills, the former President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf reportedly changed and instead included that three counties’ money should be paid to an eschew account to be controlled by the Executive,” he averred.

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