The political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings has challenged President George Weah to give a clear definition of the purported US$2.5 billion deal between Liberia and China in exchange for the country’s natural resources.
Cummings told a local radio talk show on Tuesday, September 18 in Monrovia that he did not know more details about the US$2.5 billion deal between the two countries.
On the surface, the deal is very alarming and dangerous for a country like Liberia whose economy is suffering in the wake of economic challenges.
Cummings said there is a need for a speedy investigation to know the value of the country’s natural resources before making such a decision.
He said it is significant for the government to explain clearly what rewards the deal would bring for Liberia.
He said it is a shame on the part of Liberians to have foreigners to determine the worth of the country’s natural resources and decide how such resources will be used.
Cummings told listeners that it is very unfortunate that President Weah “does not understand the value of the country’s resources, which has brought shame to the country.”
He said though road construction is important to the country, it is not the only challenge the country faces, emphasizing that there is a need for the government to also highlight education, health, and agriculture.
Cummings said for all he had seen and heard about it, the deal is a slap in the face of Liberians who must stand up for the betterment of the country.
He said it is important for the government to get some Liberian experts to conduct research and analyze the value of the resources, before entering into a deal with other countries, to help the government to make a sound input in said agreement.
“We have not seen a lot of details; I want to be careful to make statements based on facts. But do we as Liberians understand the value of our own resources? Have we done the work to know that our resources are valued at only US$2.5 billion? How do we know that it is not US$5 billion or US$10 billion?” he questioned.
“Liberians deserve more than that. I am not against borrowing money for development; all I am saying is that we should get it at the right way and decide how we will use our resources and not for others to make decisions for us,” he said.
“I am not aware of a single situation where the outcome of these kinds of arrangements have been a success. We need to understand the details of what is being negotiated,” Cummings said.
He further expressed doubt over the possibility of the deal becoming a success in the absence of Liberians, like previous deals this administration has signed.
The ANC political leader stressed that in the absence of clearly understanding the rewards the deal would bring to Liberia, the government will be “killing the future of Liberians.”
Cummings said the the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court in the county is important that the president clearly states his position on the issue, “because it is a matter of urgency.”
He said if the culture of impunity must come to an end, the president must ensure that everyone seeks justice by allowing the establishment of the war crimes court.
Cummings said Weah was elected by Liberians, and as such, he must listen to their cry and implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.