By Alex Yomah
The ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) has released what it calls a ‘self-compliance’ report to the National Bureau of Concession.
The move by the AML is an apparent response to the allegations that the company has been reneging on implementing the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).
AML’s self-compliance followed consistent protestations over the allegation that steel giant company had refused to implement the Mineral Development Agreement signed with government of Liberia.
Speaking at the official presentation of the report to the National Bureau of Concession yesterday, the Head of Government & Community at AML, Marcus Wleh, asserted that the report is intended to contribute to ongoing debates ahead of the AML’s proposed amendment before the Legislature.
Giving an overview of the 60-page report, Mr. Wleh averred, “This report is comprehensive and inclusive of ArcelorMittal’s achievements along with challenges facing the mining institution in Liberia,” Wleh stated.
He added that the compliance report seeks solutions from the Government of Liberia in terms of how to address those challenges and move to the next course of its fresh operations.
According to AML’s head of Government & Community, the compliance report is a demonstration of ArcelorMittal’s continuous commitment to transparency and accountability.
Illustrating what is in the report, AML said it addresses each of the 35 commitments and obligations in the MDA with the government.
“For instance, Article 1 of the law states that, ‘This is what the MDA it says we (AML) should do, this is what we have done from 2005 to now, this is the evidence, government come and verify”, Wleh illustrated what is in the unread report.
Adding, “We are hopeful that this formal documentation of the progress, achievements and challenges of AML will help to contribute to the debate that we are holding in Liberia now ahead of the proposed amendment to the MDA compliance report,” AML said.
He admitted that the company’s decision to submit it self-compliance report ahead of the concession company’s quarterly report was triggered by allegations that are intended to undermine the company proposed amendment.
“Some of our stakeholders have said that we need to show what we have done with what we were given before we start talking about fresh deal and this it. We are not saying that everything we’ve done is 100% because the MDA total compliance is a process. There are timeline in the Mineral Development Agreement that says, this should be done by this time, or that time, so there are definite obligations that are continuous; you will see progress that have been made and to obligations that are timebound you, will see progress,” AML’s representative indicated.
Stating some of what the AML has done, the company said contrary to media report, when it comes to employment, AML has exceeded all its obligations regarding payments.
“We have fully paid off to the government on all our fiscal commitments, in terms of the environment, we are 100% in compliance and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be able to confirm this,” he said.
However, in an acceptance speech, the Managing Director, the National Bureau of Concession Commission, Atty. Edwin Dennis, thanked AML for its compliance report and urged other concession companies to follow suit.
He assured the public that the government has received self-compliance and will dispatch officials to the concession locations to investigate to ensure that what is indicated in the report are factual.
“We will do fact checking. We will investigate on what you have in the report and what is in the agreement. We will be dispatching our teams to the concession site to verify and note that we will present our findings on AML report,” the MD indicated.
ArcelorMittal Liberia Presents
Compliance Report To Govt
By Alex Yomah