By Bill W. Cooper
President George M. Weah has officially dedicated the 1st phase of Indian business tycoon, Upjit Sachdeva’s US$35 million rubber factory in Weala, Margibi County, marking a significant milestone for Liberia’s economic development.
The US$35 million factory was dedicated by the Liberian leader, accompanied with an array of government officials and supporters on Thursday, August 31, 2023, while on his campaign trail in Weala, Margibi County.
Spanning over a large area, the state-of-the-art facility, owned by India’s former Honorary Consul General, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, popularly known as “Jeety” in Liberia, is bound to have a profound impact on the rubber industry in the country, bringing numerous benefits to both the local community and the national economy.
Named and styled ‘Jeety Rubber LLC’, the plant has been built to boost Liberia’s rubber production capacity, as it is equipped with advanced machinery and modern technology that will enhance the efficiency and quality of rubber production, promoting increased productivity and global competitiveness.
Furthermore, the commencement of full operations at the Jeety Rubber LLC is also set to create numerous job opportunities for the local population, contributing to poverty alleviation and economic empowerment.
In a brief chat with reporters, minutes after the dedication, Sachdeva revealed that the turning on of the corporation’s equipment by the Liberian leader marks the start of the first phase of his company’s operations.
The Indian Business Tycoon disclosed that the company will provide employment opportunities to about 700 Liberians, especially those in its operational areas, following the purchasing of between 200 to 250 tons of unprocessed rubber on a daily basis.
This, Jeety promised, that his company will continue to purchase rubber from all local farmers, as part of efforts to empower them and help improve the country’s economy, something he said will also help put money in the pockets of small rubber farm holders.
He further asserted that the company will be fully functional throughout the week, when huge tons of rubber are purchased from the local farmers, adding, “Rubber is any country’s commodity. Every country’s commodity increases the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.”
“And not only that, the trigger down effect is that it creates employment for several hundred thousands of people. That’s why we are not putting up any farms. We are buying rubber from all the small holders in the country and we need 250 tons of rubber a day,” Jeety intoned.
He explained, “I am very grateful and thankful to the Government of Liberia, especially President Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Finance and Development, Justice, the Labor Minister, and the Director General of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) for the support from the beginning to the end of this project.”
Sachdeva disclosed that the company will ensure that the Liberian government generates US$40 to US$50M when it commences the exportation of processed rubber during the first phase of its operations.
He revealed further that during this phase, the company will produce and export both Technical Specified Rubber Ten (TSR10) and Technical Specified Rubber Twenty (TSR20). TSR10 and TSR20 are used for the production of tyres of all kinds, bags, and mats, among others.
This, Jeety emphasized, “If the second phase begins, we want to start the other rubber production and in a year’s time, we want to be hopeful to start to produce rubber bands, gloves, and in the next three to six years, as per our contract with the government, we will make tyres.”
Mr. Sachdeva stated that the TSR10 currently being processed by his government is the first processed rubber used for the production of tyres, but such production will not begin now, describing the company as “one of the best modern factories” in Liberia that will employ hundreds of citizens.
He noted that already, the Jeety Rubber Corporation has started giving to citizens of Margibi County as part of its corporate social responsibility, stating, “Currently we have a workforce in a short span of 12 months, we have a work force of 400 people and all our workers are from Weala.”
Meanwhile, Jeety also said he has already started living up to his corporate social responsibility, through the provision of pipe borne water to residents in about 15 communities, feeding of about 500 children on a daily basis, and the construction of a 50-bedroom fully equipped hospital, among others.
The hospital, Jeety told reporters, which is expected to commence operations in Weala shortly, will host an operation theatre, a modernized laboratory, x-ray room, ultra sound, eye treatment room, store room, pharmacy, emergency room, and three doctor’s offices, among others.
“I have already started giving to the people; I am not waiting for the company to start exporting before commencing corporate social responsibility,” he added.
It can be recalled that the Liberian Government, through the 54th National Legislative in December 2021, ratified the Jeety Rubber LLC Investment Incentive Agreement for the production of multiple rubber materials.
According to the agreement, Jeety Rubber LLC will construct, develop, and operate a national rubber processing and production plant for the production of tyres and other natural rubber products. It includes long and short rubber goods.
The processing plant is also expected to produce hand gloves, rain boots, and rubber bands, among others. The company will process approximately 25,000 tons of natural rubber per annum.
It compels Jeety Rubber LLC to consider the interest of local rubber traders and others, during its purchasing of raw materials.
Weah Dedicates Jeety’s US$35M Rubber Factory In Margibi
By Bill W. Cooper