The National Bureau of Concessions (NBC), in collaboration with participating Ministries and Agencies including the Ministries of Finance, Lands, Mines & Energy, the Environmental protection Agency and the forestry Development Authority met over a three day period to validated the National Concessions Monitoring Templates for Mining, Agriculture, and Forestry concessions in Liberia.
The templates were developed and validated by the stakeholders to ensure consistency in monitoring and reporting on concessions in Liberia with a view to promote efficiency and effectiveness in concession governance and management
The validation process occurred during a workshop organized and supported by the National Bureau of Concessions (NBC) in partnership with the UNDP and USAID-GEMS held at the Administration Building in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County from July 21-23, 2014.
In a resolution validating the templates, representatives of government concession granting entities and CSOs agreed to adopt and validate the National Concessions Reporting Templates as the tool for monitoring and evaluating concession in Liberia as provided for in the NBC’s act.
“…the National Bureau of Concessions, and all government of Liberia entities party to concession agreements and the government agencies responsible for economic or social matters regarding the performance of concession agreements hereby validate the national template for concession monitoring and evaluation” the resolution averred.
The resolution signed by representatives to the workshop also endorsed a Focus Working Group (FWG) led by the NBC, for the purpose of coordinating technical support in the development of national templates, policies, systems and processes, sharing of information and technical expertise.
Speaking at the start of the workshop, the Director General of NBC, Hon. Ciata A. Bishop frowned at the fragmented nature in which monitoring was carried out in the past and called for stronger collaboration among government entities that are engaged in concession processes.
The NBC’s Director General also expressed concern over the upsurge of misleading information in the public about concessions, and warned against such act as it has the propensity to create wrong impression to international partners and the nation.
Madam Bishop also cautioned the participants to be constructive in the review of the documents to reflect the inputs of all of the relevant institutions within the concession regime and called on all stake holders in the concession process to remain engaged, sincere, respectful and collaborate to ensure due diligence and challenged youths and women to get constructively engagement at the community level.
The validated document is expected to be forwarded to the cabinet for approval before being formally lunched.
Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Grand Bass County, Hon. Etweda S. Cooper has described the validation of the monitoring templates as timely. According to her, the documents will seek to address the many grievances growing out of misunderstanding of concession issues by effected communities and will help with the ongoing decentralization plan by national government.
Representative to the workshop were drawn from the Ministry of Labor, Forestry Development Authority, Ministry of Justice, Environmental Protection Agencies, Public Procurement and Concession Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Education, National Civil Society Council of Liberia, National Bureau of Concessions, Youth for Community Academic and development services, Publish What You Paid, among others