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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Liberia: Lawmaker Left Frustrated After ArcelorMittal ‘Tight lips’ on Revenue

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Newly seated Nimba County Representative Taa Wongbe Wednesday took to social media to vent out his anger and disappointment over ArcelorMital Liberia’s Chief alleged refusal to grant access to the company’s revenue data.

‘I felt insulted,’ Wongbe remarked about a meeting with the company when CEO claimed to have no information about ArcelorMittal  annual revenue in Liberia.

“I just walked out of a briefing with ArcelorMittal Liberia feeling insulted! I asked the CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, Mr. Josephus (Joep) Coenen, about their annual revenue in Liberia and he said he doesn’t know.

“I asked for 2023, 2022, 2019 and he looked lawmakers from Nimba, Grand Bassa, and Bong dead in our faces and said “I don’t know”. I asked him twice and he said he doesn’t know.

Liberian people should be angry! I told him what my father used to tell me! “Taa…there’s only one thing God is not making anymore on earth and that’s land. Invest in land.” What ArcelorMittal Liberia is extracting from our land cannot be replenished!!.”

“These guys have been taking us for a ride. They did these nice videos about how they are training people, how much they are investing in Liberia, and all the nice stuff, but couldn’t tell me what percentage of the 79 billon revenue ArcelorMittal Liberia makes globally!?? They provide US$3.5 million annually for social development like we should be happy! What!!!?? Per their own presentation, Liberia is their 4th largest operation! It’s in the pictures.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is how our country is being mortgaged! I walked out with colleagues begging me to stay. I couldn’t stay! I felt insulted. Please do not call me for a meeting if you are unprepared.”

“ArcelorMittal Liberia is part of the ArcelorMittal group, the world’s leading steel and mining company and the leader in all major steel markets globally. ArcelorMittal has steel-making operations in 16 countries, including 37 integrated and mini-mill steel-making facilities.

“ArcelorMittal is one of the largest foreign direct investments in Liberia and the highest contributor to government revenue in the extractive industry. With more than three thousand employees and growing, ArcelorMittal Liberia is the largest employer in Liberia’s private sector.

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