The National Transitional Government of Liberia is reportedly
rushing to sign and ratify the One Billion United States Dollars
Mittal Steel deal before the elections, The Analyst has learned.
The action comes quickly after the withdrawal of the Writ of
Prohibition from the Supreme Court by Global Infrastructure
Holdings Limited (GIHL).
Followers of the case suspect collusion among the two Mittal
brothers, Pramod and Laskhmi, saying that the rush to sign and
ratify the deal before the elections can only benefit one
presidential candidate, Cllr. Varney Sherman of the Liberian
Action Party, whom they suspect has been enjoying a massive
support from Chairman Bryant.
In newspaper ads taken over the last two weeks, the Development
Council of Liberia, (DCL), a public advocacy group of
professionals say "collusion" among the brothers, and the
inordinate speed being employed by the Bryant-led NTGL will only
benefit officials of the NTGL and Cllr. Sherman. However, a
source from Cllr. Sherman camp has refuted the claim saying that
"Sherman has his own money." Many believe that a transaction of
this nature commands legal fees approaching millions of dollars,
and they say such an amount would certainly go to Sherman Law
Firm which offers legal counsel for Mittal Steel.
Thus the signing of this agreement under current circumstances
and the dispatch being utilized are indications of a feverish
attempt to fill the presidential coffers of lawyer-turned-
In other developments, GIHL has absconded Liberia, owing
hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultancy fees and other
A confidential source told the Analyst that a lawyer
representing GIHL at the conclusion of the proceedings at the
Supreme Court is threatening legal actions against the company
for non-payment of fees.
Negotiations between the Minerals Technical Committee (MTC) and
Mittal Steel have reportedly reached an impasse.
Sources close to the MTC say most of the arguments advanced by
Mittal Steel, including its preparedness to fund the LIMINCO
project out of its multibillion dollar investment fund have not
Instead, our sources said, the company is asking the Government
of Liberia to guarantee hundreds of millions of dollars in loan
to fund the project.
The sources say Mittal is now proposing a complex arrangement of
equity participation that will eventually see the company owning
ninety percent of the project while the Government of Liberia
will get a measly ten percent.
A mineral economist said the use of debt financing will
adversely affect profitability of the project as interest income
should be significant.
This will reduce net profits and impact negatively upon future
dividends flow. The expert says the MTC should employ the
services of experts, probably investment bankers to advice them
on the complex financial nature of the one billion dollar
More significantly, many politicians say the rush to sign this
agreement only week before general elections in Liberia under
mounting allegations of massive corruption within the NTGL
should be resisted.
They would prefer that the Government of Liberia defer
negotiations and signing of this agreement to the incoming
administration in January 2006.