By Bill W. Cooper
Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) has stressed the need for the incoming Unity Party (UP) government to ensure rehabilitation of major roads in the southeastern region, which is fast becoming an investment hub.
The company also expressed its willingness to buttress the incoming administration’s vision and plans in the construction and reconstruction, as well as the improvement and maintenance of the road infrastructure in that part of the country.
As a result of the terrible road condition, the company revealed significant financial losses amounting to over US$20 million in 2023, and pledged to collaborate with the UP government, to address the situation and avoid a reoccurrence.
The call came ahead of the inauguration of President and Vice President-elect, Joseph Boakai and Jeremiah Koung, on January 22, 2024. Boakai, during all of his campaign trails, committed himself to addressing Liberia’s deplorable road situation.
The President-elect asserted, “Under my platform which is ARREST, roads infrastructure is one of the key areas my administration will tackle, and I assure that no car will be stuck in the mud in my first 100 days in office.”
GVL is a foreign investment company which signed a 65-year concession agreement with the Liberian Government to develop 220,000 hectares of land with oil palm in the southeastern counties of Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee, and Rivercess.
The company launched its operation in Sinoe on December 3, 2010 and in Grand Kru on February 14, 2012, as out of the total number of lands signed for in the agreement, GVL has developed with oil palm about 20,000 hectares in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties.
Currently, GVL has employed over 3,200 Liberians, with more than 60 in managerial roles, as well as constructed over 700 housing units with pipeline water and 24hrs electricity for its employees, free of charge.
The company has also constructed health facilities at all farm sites, equipped with drugs and professional health workers to take care of the medical needs of its employees and community dwellers at no cost.
Addressing a news conference yesterday in Monrovia, GVL Vice president of Strategy and Stakeholder, Elvis G. Morris, said, “Bad road conditions along the government highway during the 7 months of rainy season every year in Monrovia, Buchanan, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland counties, are some of the challenges we have been faced with.”
“This year was the worst since 2016, though several interventions were made by GVL to ensure the roads in Grand Kru and Sinoe are pliable, but it remains a major challenge because this also caused a high cost of maintenance of vehicles and equipment, due to less FFB transportation to the mill and impact to the CPO quality,” he noted.
GVL Chief Executive Officer, Johanes T. Handojo, giving the institution’s plans for 2024, recommended an improved collaboration and support from government entities that have direct link with their operations, ranging from EPA, NBC, NIC, MIA, and MOA.
He added, “The Government should strongly intervene on road maintenance/construction in Sinoe through Grand Kru to Maryland, because it will not only improve GVL’s operations, but will also boost the high potential economy in the southeast.”
GVL Announces US$20M Loss In 2023
By Bill W. Cooper