Liberia: 'Liberia's Security Situation Exaggerated' - Chinese Investor
Monrovia — The spokesperson of a Chinese rock-blasting Company has expressed dismay over over-blowing of Liberia's security situation by Liberians and foreigners.
He said, after his business trip to Liberia was announced, some of his compatriots told him Liberia was is a dangerous terrain foreign business people.
"And, when I entered Liberia, some Liberians told me, 'don't go here... don't come here... you will be robbed'," said Mr. Jason Dong, Deputy Managing Director of China Dezhoudua Group Corporation (CGGC) Limited, in an interview with a team of Liberian journalists at the Company's office in Congotown, in December, 2018.
However, the Chinese explained further, he's seeing a Liberian security environment different from the kind described to him in China and in Liberia.
"For a long time, since I came here, I walk or jog alone during nighttime, nobody threatens. In fact, Liberians, strangers, show me love and give me gifts. Liberia is safe, unlike the picture shown me while I was in China, and had been having in the early period of business mission in Liberia," he enumerated.
Mr. Dong was responding to a journalist's question about his observation about security situation in Liberia for himself or his Company.
The main topic for discussion was reasons for CGGC's mission in Liberia and challenges encountered the Company from the inception of its operations.
CGGC, a Chinese State-owned Company, entered into Liberia in 2015.
The Company carries out two operations-- blasting of rocks using explosives, and sale of explosives.
During the interview, Mr. Dong said the Company supplied 10,000 tons of crushed rocks to its clients across Liberia.
Bea Mountain and ArcelorMittal--both foreign Iron Ore Companies--are two of CGGC's clients.
This Chinese Company has the "best storage facility in Africa," Mr. Dong said.
CGGC has sent some of its Liberian employees on training in China in 2018 to be equipped to work effectively in all departments of the Company, the Deputy General Manager disclosed.
"I was trained in Strategic Marketing and Business Management," said David K. Wheaton, CGGC's Liberian Public Relationship Manager during the interview.
Hilton T. Kollie and Joseph Yekekollie are two of other CGGC's Liberian employees trained in China.
"Each of them studied blasting technology, which is how to blast rocks using the explosives," David K. Wheaton said about his compatriots who were absent during the interview.
On death-related loss, CGGC has recorded of USD2.5m for four Liberians (non-employees) on who had collided with the Company's moving trucks.
"The money was paid to families of the victims," Mr. Dong disclosed, responding to a journalist's question about 'accidental death' through any of the Company's equipment.
"We have not experienced any casualty at any of our operation sites," Public Relationship Manager David K. Wheaton responded to a question about bodily harm from exploded rocks during blasting, or suffocation from inhaling of blast fumes.
Since it started operations, CGGC has always obeyed Liberia's Environmental and Labour Laws, Deputy General Manager Jason Done Emphasized.
"Our operation sites are inspected every three months by the Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy, and sometimes by officers of the Liberia National Police," Mr. Dong disclosed.
The major challenge to the Liberia's operations of the China Dezhoudua Group Corporation is what its officials described as "criminal business practice" by another Company doing what CGGC does.
"This Company is called Maxam, operating on the Clay-Bomi Highway. It is in the sale of explosives for rocks crushing, but sells substandard explosives, which affects our business including loss of our clients," PR Manager David K. Wheaton complained to the journalists.