February 15, 2018 / 12:05 AM / a month ago

Liberia's new president orders review of concession agreements

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia’s new President George Weah has ordered a review of concessions entered into by previous administrations, the presidency said in a statement on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Liberia's President George Weah arrives at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Concessions generally cover government grants of rights, land or property.

The statement said a committee would “review and ensure that all contracts entered into by the government of Liberia and concessionaires are executed according to agreed principles in accordance with the laws of Liberia.”

The nine-member panel will also determine if the government’s partners in those agreements had been fully implemented and met their performance requirements.

During the 12-year rule of Weah’s predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the government attracted around $15 billion in foreign investment, according to a finance ministry report.

However, the West African nation has been criticized by watchdog groups for signing away much of its public land to logging, palm oil and natural rubber companies.

Sirleaf’s government sought to develop iron ore deposits and the offshore oil sector.

Reporting by Alphonso Toweh; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman

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