Arcelor Mittal 800m Deal and Draft National Budget on hold, as Senate Adjourns

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The Liberian Senate has adjourned following a two months Special Session.

In his closing statement, Tuesday, December 21, 2021, President Pro-Tempore Albert T. Chie indicated that the Senate could not concur with the House of Representatives on the passage of the 2022 national budget and ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement.

According to Pro-Temp Chie, the joint committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget and Public Accounts and Audits is currently reviewing the budget.

According to a Senate release, Senator Chie said, Plenary has mandated the committee to continue the work on the budget during the Christmas and New Year break so that the final approval from the Legislature can be granted before the President’s annual message.

On the issue of the ArcelorMittal Agreement, President Pro-Tempore pointed out that several concerns have been raised from the affected communities and Counties on the performance of the company on the existing MDA.

He said the Senate has set up an Ad-hoc Committee headed by Senator Saah H. Joseph that continues scrutinizing the agreement before their assembly in January.
The Liberian Pro-Tempore added that the team headed by the Montserrado Senator visited Bassa, Bong, and Nimba Counties and listened to the affected communities, as well as other stakeholders in Monrovia and the diaspora.

Accordingly, the Pro-Temp acknowledged that the Senate joint committee on Lands, Mines and Energy, concession and Investment, and Judiciary will consider the concerns of the affected communities and counties.

According to Senator Chie other issues on the access to the rail and Buchanan Port by third parties, the dispute in the concession area, exploration work program, and fiscal issues are cardinal to be addressed in the agreement.

He told reporters that the joint committee will continue to work on the amendment of the Arcelor Mineral Development Agreement when the Senate resumes in January 2022.

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