MONROVIA, Montserrado – Members of the House of Representatives have concurred with the Senate to ratify two mineral development agreements recently submitted by the executive.
Both agreements are between the government and Prosis Mining Liberia Limited in two target areas. The bills were earlier passed in the Senate and forwarded to the House of Representatives on September 20, 2019.
A joint committee was then requested to review and consider due legislative diligence to both agreements and report to the House within one week.
In its report to the House, the committee said it had conducted all required due diligence and held hearings. The committee recommended passing the agreements without amendment, noting that both bills had gone through robust scrutiny.
Lofa’s third district representative, Clarence Massaquoi, motioned for representatives to vote to accept the committee’s recommendations.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Gbarpolu’s third district representative, Matthew Joseph, said the passage of the agreements marks a joyous day for the people of Gbarpolu, where the mineral development activities will take place.
Joseph praised Pres. George Weah and members of his cabinet, especially Nathaniel McGill, the minister of state, for looking in the interest of those in Western Liberia. The lawmaker also thanked his colleagues at the legislature for ratifying the agreements.
“The western region consists of Bomi, Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu counties, but the investments will benefit all Liberians,” he said.
“We know that the government cannot do all. We must help the government to empower our people. Our people will benefit education, health training among other things.”
He said the investment was worth over a US$100 million and will last for about 15-20 years, depending on the company’s gold and diamond mining activities.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has extended its session by an additional five days. It is the third time members of the House of Representatives have voted to extend the current session. The previous extension ended on Monday, September 30.
In an executive session on Sunday, members of the House agreed on the extension of the session to enable them to act on the draft 2019 budget, and other bills, such as Weah’s proposal to print L$35 billion in new banknotes to replace the existing ones. The lawmakers are also expected to act on the president’s reform proposals.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah