By Jackson P. Foyofayiah
The House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 constituted a specialized ad-hoc committee to review all concessions and investment incentives that have been signed by the Legislature.
The body took the decision based on a communication from Lofa County District # 3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi.
In his letter which was addressed to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Representative Massaquoi attributed the huge economic challenges the country currently faces to the failure of concession companies to fully implement their side of the bargain signed with the Government of Liberia.
He alleged that most of the concessionaires are in noncompliance to improve the country’s economy and are bent on exploiting the nation’s resources at the detriment of the ordinary Liberians.
The Lofa lawmaker also claimed that most concessionaires that were given tax breaks are even using the opportunity to siphon millions from the country’s economy instead of helping Liberians to become economically viable.
Representative Massaquoi named Sime Darby, Firestone, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), Alpha Logging Company among others as concessionaires that have not been in full compliance with the Corporate Social Agreement signed with the government.
“Hon. Speaker and Colleagues, it is an open knowledge that our current economic status as a country is challenged and needs the selfless inputs of all stakeholders to revive it and rekindle the hope of our people,” the Lofa County District # 3 Representatives stated through his communication.
“Areas I believe should be looked at are the concessions and investment incentives that are currently in place. You will agree with me Hon. Speaker and Colleagues, that the implementation of these instruments has a significant impact on the viability of the economy,” he added.
Representative Massaqoui further craved the indulgence of his colleagues to institute a process to review all concession agreements and investment incentive, which according to him when done, will establish the current level of compliance and the economic benefit the country stands to achieve.
Following the reading of the Lofa County lawmaker communication by the House of Representatives Chief Clerk, it was unanimously agreed by the body’s plenary that his (Rep. Massaquoi) request be granted, and that the Speaker sets up a specialized ad-hoc committee to carry out a thorough review of all concessionaires operating in Liberia.
Meanwhile, those selected by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers to carry out the reviewing process of the various concessionaires include: Representative Clarence Massaquoi, Lofa County (Chairman); Representative Acarous Moses Gray, Montserrado County (Vice Chairman); Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Bomi County (Member); Representative Kanie Wesso, Gbarpolu County (Member), and Representative Rosterlyn Suakoko Dennis, Montserrado County (Member).
Others are: Representative Samuel G. Kogar, Nimba County (Member); Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood, Montserrado County (Member); Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennoh, Grand Gedeh (Member); Representative Matthew G. Zarzay, Sinoe County (Member), and Representative Dixson W. Seeboe, Montserrado County (Member).
The rest include: Representative Judy Fatormah Wiah, Lofa County (Member); Representative Thomas P. Fallah, Montserrado County (Member); Representative Rosanah G.D. Shark, River Cess County (Member); Representative Edward Kafiah, Bong County (Member); Representative Richard Kun, Montserrado County, (Member), and Representative Taparoza Taponweh, Montserrado County (Member).