By Democracy Watch
The government of Liberia has come under sharp criticism from the National Aspirant Council over delay to ratify the third amendment of the Mineral Development Agreement that was negotiated and signed between the Executive branch of government and ArcelorMittal Liberia since September of 2021.
The National Aspirant Council which is a conglomeration of young Liberian professionals who are desirous of vying for legislative seats in the upcoming 2023 legislative and presidential elections said the decision of the House of Representatives to return the AML deal to the Executive without any valid reason other than their personal interest is a classic demonstration of grave insensitivity to the plights of over 3,000 Liberians who are currently under the employ of the company and may lose their jobs if the agreement is not ratified.
“A Legislature that doesn’t place premium on the welfare of the ordinary people and the overall economic progress of a country when it comes to performing their law-making responsibility is a Legislature that is useless to the democratic advance and the development of a country”, the group lamented.
The group in its strong worded position criticised the 54th Legislature as the most corrupt branch of the government of Liberia that is made up of self-seeking bigots and crooks who don’t take delight in placing the county’s interest first over personal greed. The group said if Liberia will make any progress, the citizens will have to in 2023 sanitize the Legislature by getting rid of greedy lawmakers who don’t seek the advance of our country by replcing them with patriots who have the country at heart. The group is also calling on the Liberian public to rise up and demand that the Legislature be audited for funds they have received to carry on their legislature functions.
“If the Legislature cannot assemble the moral courage to demand audit of that branch of government, they ultimately stripped themselves morally naked as Direct Representatives of the people of any legitimacy and authority to hold accountable the other two branches of government if they failed to account for public funds”, the group with appal asserted.
Speaking to Democracy Watch, the group said ArcelorMittal since coming to Liberia has immensely contributed to the government job creation efforts and is helping to improve the overall economic condition of the country. According to the group, the AML agreement amongst other things, when ratified, will provide additional 2,000 direct new jobs and over 4,000 indirect new jobs for the country’s unemployed youth.
In addition to the new jobs the agreement promises, the group said the government of Liberia stands to benefit roughly about 80 million dollars per annum as direct support to the budget and over 3.5 million dollars to affected communities where the company operates.
The group said a people driven legislators that are sensitive to the unemployment quagmire that is riddling the country and making many parents irresponsible in meeting the needs of their families will not reject an agreement that is in the best interest of the country.
The National Aspirant Council wants the Legislature to rescind their decision, do a critical review of the agreement and ratify it for the good of the country and the thousands of unemployed youth. The group believes that the expansion of AML’s investment portfolio by an additional 800 million dollars is a renewed hope that massive job creation is underway.