MLME Ends Month Long Consultation
By Robert Dokie
Acting Minister of Land, Mines and Energy (MLME) has concluded its month long consultations with local government officials under the theme “local government participation in the decision-making process of the MLME.
Addressing a conference to mark the end of the month long consultation, Min. Roosevelt Jayjay, said the ministry, being cognizant of the important roles local communities play in the daily administration of the mineral, mining and energy sectors, coupled with the realization that the immediate effects of activities in these sectors are directly felt by these communities, declared the month of February as a local government month. Min. Jayjay said the consultation was strategy meant to bring the ministry closer to the people and their leaders, especially people who feel the immediate impact of these subsectors, to engage in productive dialogue with national leaders including legislative caucuses, superintendents, district commissioners, paramount and clan chiefs, city mayors, elders, among other, with the view of explaining the mandates of the ministry.
He noted that the interaction afforded the ministry an opportunity to inform the county officials about the regulatory and institutional frame works, processes, procedures, challenges and constraints faced by the ministry.
Acting Min. Jayjay also said the month long consultation was ultimately entertaining concerns and problems faced by local and national leaders with respect to mineral activities in their respective locales and finding solutions for the best way forward.
He disclosed that over the past four weeks, there has been fifteen interactive sessions with legislative caucuses, local government officials and authorities from all of the fifteen counties in Liberia.
He explained that during the sessions, presentations were made by the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy which explained the ministry’s mandates, scope of operations and activities in the various counties.
According to him, a lengthy question and answer period ensued at which time questions concern and situation analyses from the various Counties officials were entertained and clarifications, answers and responses were given by the professional and technical staffs of the ministry to these queries.
Speaking further, Min. Jayjay said the proceeding from these interactive sessions were diligently captured and cataloged by MLME recording secretariat with the ultimate aim of immediate follow-up to arrest and remedy those unwholesome practices and illicit activities in the concerned areas.
He however stressed that with its oversight responsibilities over the mineral, mining, energy, water and environmental sectors, the ministry highly appreciates the abundant and meaningful amount of information and recommendations provided by the local authorities and used the occasion to give his assurance that this wealth of information will be incorporated in the ministry’s two –five years strategic action plan to guide the ministry in efficiently managing the mineral wealth of the country and fulfilling Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) of empowering local communities that are directly affected by the impact of mining activities.