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Grand Bassa To Receive US$2.5m For Development In 2021 Nat’l Budget


  13 Janvier      10        Economie (10839),

   

BUCHANAN, Jan. 11 (LINA) – Grand Bassa County is expected to receive US$2.5 million from National Government as Social Development Fund (SDF) under the Arcelor Mittal Liberia (AML)  Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) for Fiscal Year 2021.

The amount will be disbursed upon the passage of the National Budget in accordance with Legislative proceedings and approval by President George Manneh Weah.

The Project Management Committee (PMC) Chairman, Moses Gbehzohngar Henry, who made the disclosure recently, confirmed that the money represents the US$1 million annual payment and the debt Arcelor Mittal owes Grand Bassa since the fight against Ebola in 2014.

Arcelor Mittal in 2014 entered into an agreement with the Government of Liberia for 50% payment of the SDF to Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa counties due to the negative impact of the Ebola Virus Disease on the economy and the sale of iron ore.

The agreement lasted for five years with a commitment to pay the remaining 50 percent annually.

According to Henry, upon release the fund will significantly impact the lives of citizens by executing more projects and empowering more institutions that would be endorsed in the County Council Sitting this year.

While the anticipation of the citizenry focuses on infrastructure development, Henry is of the view that considerable amount of the SDF should be directed towards agricultural investment as a source of sustainable development in the absence of money from companies in the county.

The PMC Head, who obtained his first Degree in Agriculture from the University of Liberia, expressed concern about the future of Grand Bassa when Arcelor Mittal departs after its 25-year operational period in the country ends.

He noted that this justifies the need for urgent investment in the soil.

Henry recommended the cultivation of cash crops like cocoa, coffee, rubber and food crops in specified districts where growth and productivity would be of high benefit to the county.

The Chairman’s desire to witness Grand Bassa County boom through agriculture was part of the speech he delivered in 2020 during his visit to the United States of America.

When quizzed, he emphasized that such endeavor will save the county from future development constraints and place it far ahead of other counties in respect of improved health, education and security services.

It can be recalled that Arcelor Mittal made payment to the Weah-led government in fulfillment of its social responsibilities to Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa as well as debts due the counties.

Of this amount, Grand Bassa received US$1.023 million (One million, twenty three thousand United States dollars).

Owing to the Resolution from the August 1, 2020 County Council Sitting, the money has hugely empowered the County leadership via the PMC to implement past resolved projects as well as additional projects and programs.

The PMC head also confirmed that dedication of some projects is pending, while for execution of remaining ones plans will begin this January.

Henry disclosed that the infrastructural projects earmarked at the Development Council County Sitting amounted to US$668,941.24, while institutional programs account for US$584,133.50.

All projects earmarked sum up to US$1,253,074.74 (one million- two hundred fifty three thousand and seven four dollars).

The PMC official told the Liberia News Agency that of the total amount, the Local

Administration has expended US$451,209, with US$571,790.83 remaining as outstanding fund for kickoff of other projects.

The PMC Chair said the Zuehgar Town Bridge in Statutory District Three and the Youth Center in Statutory District Four are 95 percent ready and will be dedicated upon completion early this year.

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