December 11, 2015 Citizens of Nimba County have called on Government of Liberia to privatize the country’s energy sector. The citizens reached the decision at a one day stakeholder’s forum held in Saclepea City, Nimba County, when they voted for a policy that would lead to the privatization of Liberia’s energy sector.
The Forum was attended by hundreds of participants, including Messrs. Thomas Z. Gonkerwon, Transmission and Distribution Consultant of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, and LEC’S Planning Manager, Mohammed L. Sow.
In a resolution prepared by delegates at the end of the forum, the delegates said privatizing the country’s energy sector would ensure continuous power transmission and lower cost for energy as compared to the present where the system is solely managed by the West African Power Pool (WAPP) with low or no power at all.
During the forum, the citizens called on the government through the County leadership headed by Superintendent, Hon. Fong G. Zuagele to give Liberians first management priority if their suggested policy change leads to a bidding process.
Also speaking, the head of the Concerned Women’s Organization of Nimba County, Madam Musu Kardamie, called on local authorities to ensure that the recruitment, training and employment of young people from Nimba be prioritized should suggestions are accepted by government. Madam Kardamie said if the private sector works with the locals, it will not only boost the energy sector but also help reduce the high rate of unemployment in the county.
For his part, Nimba County Superintendent Hon. Fong G. Zuagele welcomed the resolutions prepared by the delegates and assured them that their suggestions and recommendations would be taken to government for proper and necessary action. Superintendent Zuagele said Nimba is currently receiving the electricity under an agreement between the government of Liberia and Ivory Coast through the WAPP to supply electricity to Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland and River Gee Counties He said with the privatization of the system, power supply will be on 24 hours a day.
A local businessman, Mr. Tomah S. Floyd said the WAPP agreement has helped them to the extent that are going away from Tiger Generators whose maintenance cost is so high.
WAPP is a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic bloc including Benin, Cote d’Voire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and The Ganbia. The other countries are Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
As an International organization of public interest, WAPP is to ensure regional power system integration and realization of a regional electricity market. WAPP is made up of public and private generation, transmission, and distribution companies involved in the operation of electricity in West Africa with 26 member companies.
Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo has vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone violating government’s recent ban placed on beach sand mining in and around Monrovia.
The long history of beach sand mining within the limits of our shore front cities has left its marks in the form of beach erosion, shoreline recession, and the destruction of land, property and other historic landmarks.
There are several other places affected by beach erosion. The most affected ones being the OAU (Hotel Africa), New Kru Town, West Point, Banjor, and 24 Street Sinkor. For many individuals within our society, beach sand is so common and apparently volumnous that it is extracted from almost anywhere. This arbitrary extraction of beach sand is detrimental and has cause destruction to properties, the environment as well as human lives.
As beach erosion problem along the coast of Liberia has now claimed the attention of policy makers and environmentalists, it has become necessary to control the situation. In order to do this, the Government of Liberia has ordered the closure of all beach sand mining sites in and around Monrovia.
Recognizing the imminent threat to investment, properties and human lives within affected localities, practical measures has been taken by government to minimize the situation. Some of these measures include reverting from beach sand mining to river sand mining which is intended to reduce the problems of beach erosion along shorelines.
Recently, Minister Patrick Sendolo along with other technicians from the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy and officers of the Liberia National Police tour several beach sand mining sites around Monrovia, and arrested violators of ban. Minister vowed to regularly inspect beaches around Monrovia and anyone caught mining on the beach will be arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, Minister Sendolo has called on all individuals interested in the sand mining business to revert to River sand. He said river sand has far less salt content and used worldwide for construction and other purposes.
The formalization of Artisanal and Small Scale Miners on the Regulatory Roadmap Consultative Workshop in Ganta City, Nimba County; December 3, 2015 at the Peace Empire Hotel Hall.
Welcome remark was done by the City Mayor of Ganta City.
Overview and specific objectives of the ASM Consultation and the brief statement about the ongoing ASM Pre-Assessments was done by Hon. Stephen B. Dorbor, Deputy Minister for Planning.
Expectation from participants on what the workshop will provide.
Expect that at the end of the consultation,
- That Artisanal Miners will value their mining activities through an organized cooperatives;
- That all miners will be happy to form cooperatives so they can attract International Partners and Investors;
- That small scale mining activities will be merchandized;
- That the MLME appeal to the President to lift the bind/sanction on mining activities in Nimba so as to avoid illicit mining;
- That fair trade will be created to enhance the ASM sector to progress positively;
- That local sub offices be established with all functional sections/departments like Cadastre, GDO, etc to enhance smooth and timely issuance of licenses, mineral valuation, etc to avoid theft and delay;
- That the MLME at Central Level will speed up the issuance of licenses;
- That MLME will provide educational opportunity for Gold and Diamond Boys thru scholarship;
- That the lack of access to road, machinery, etc to carry out productive mining activities will be curtail;
- That account will be created for miners who discover deposits in the Gold and Diamond sectors thru the help of MLME;
- That access to loan opportunity and other credit facilities will be created to enhance mining works;
- That after the Cooperatives are formed, mined boys need to be educated on how to make productive use of proceeds generated.
Developing the nation’s natural resources, Liberia to gain access to world capital markets. Begins first commercial gold mining in 2015
The recent visit to Liberia of Mr. David Reading, Chief Executive Officer of the Aureus Mining Company, to inform the Liberian people that his company would begin commercial production of gold in Liberia by July 2015 indicates that the country once gain have access to world capital markets.
Mr. Reading said Aureus Mining is presently constructing the first commercial gold processing plant in Grand Cape Mount County and would produce about 120, 000 ounces of gold annually.
He said works on the processing plant are progressing despite the Ebola Virus epidemic to renew his company’s commitment to the government in its development drive.
The Aureus CEO said the fact that his company is still operating in Liberia despite the outbreak of Ebola clearly demonstrate its commitment to honor the agreement with the Liberian government.
When established, he said the company is expected to provide over 300 direct and 3000 indirect jobs to Liberians. He lauded the Liberian government for the level of support given his company.
Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Patrick Sendolo said government of Liberia is excited about the development of the first commercial gold mining company in Liberia.
He said in the wake of the Ebola epidemic government has pursued a strategy to ensure that companies operating in Liberia would continue to carry out their work unhindered, and assured Aureus Mining of government’s full support to their operations in Liberia.