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Friday, July 19, 2024

PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER GIDDING’S REVERSAL ON MINING BAN STIRS CONTROVERSY

Date:

MONROVIA – In a turn of events that has raised eyebrows and sparked confusion, President Boakai’s statement regarding the closure of Western Cluster mining company has led to conflicting actions within the Liberian government. Lyndon Ponnie reports on the contradictions created by Public Works Minister Roland Giddings’ response.

President Boakai’s announcement that Western Cluster would be shut down due to concerns over the exploitation of national resources and potential damage to vital bridges sent shockwaves throughout the nation. The President expressed his belief that the company was depleting Liberia’s resources without actively engaging in mining activities. Shortly after the President’s statement, the Ministry of Public Works suspended the license of the Western Cluster mining company.

However, three weeks later, on June 5, Minister Roland Giddings declared that the ban had been lifted, despite the unchanged conditions that prompted President Boakai’s initial decision. The sudden reversal has sparked speculation about the influence and guidance the President receives, casting doubts on his autonomy and decision-making authority. Many are questioning the source of the inaccurate advice that may be undermining the President’s credibility.

Minister Giddings justified the decision to lift the ban by stating that the company would contribute approximately US$200,000 towards road rehabilitation. However, this explanation has left citizens skeptical, as it fails to address the potential damage caused by the continuous transportation of ores over bridges. Over a hundred trucks laden with ores traverse the route daily, raising concerns about pollution and infrastructure strain.

Critics argue that Minister Giddings’ actions insult the intelligence of the Liberian masses, as they believe the decision to lift the ban prioritizes short-term economic considerations over the long-term sustainability and preservation of national resources. The ongoing controversy surrounding Western Cluster mining company underscores the need for transparency, accountability, and responsible decision-making within the Liberian government.

It is crucial for the President and his advisors to carefully consider the potential consequences of their actions, ensuring the best interests of the Liberian people are at the forefront of their decision-making process. Given the concerns expressed by the Liberian public regarding these conflicting actions, it is essential for the government to provide a comprehensive explanation for the sudden reversal and address the underlying issues.

The people of Liberia deserve a government that acts in their best interests, upholds transparency, and promotes sustainable development. Moving forward, it is imperative for the government to engage in open dialogue with the public, address their concerns, and work towards rebuilding trust. The Liberian people deserve to have confidence in their leaders and the decisions made on their behalf. Only through effective communication, genuine accountability, and a commitment to responsible governance can the Liberian government regain the trust and support of its citizens.

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