Hon. Roland Layfette Giddings, Minister.
Hon. Roland Layfette Giddings, Minister.

The Ministry of Public Works Suspends Western Cluster’s Road User Permit; Threatens to Terminate Same if the Company Refuses to Cure the Violations Within Sixty Days

The Ministry of Public Works has with immediate effect suspended the Road User Permit (RUP - 220620-004) issued Western Cluster Limited (WCL) for  what it termed as “Violation of the Terms of the Permit”. The said RUP gave Western Cluster the right to carry out commercial hauling of iron ore on the Freeport of Monrovia- Bomi Hills road corridor.

In the notice sent to the company through its Country Representative the Ministry noted with specificity that, “WCL persistently violated Section II (D)(E) of the Permit by employing the use of trucks longer than the permitted 34 feet length, 8.5 feet in width, and carrying an axel load of about 40 tons- far beyond the allowable 30 tons”. The Ministry also observed and documented Western Cluster’s trucking of iron ore throughout the day and night contrary to the limitation stipulated in the Permit, which restricts the trucking of iron ore only between 7PM to 6AM.

The Ministry of Public Works further charged Western Cluster for non-compliance with Section III (A) of the Permit, which requires the company to erect and install weigh bridges at the point of departure and at Klay Junction respectively. This, the Ministry claims, that the company has fallen short of upholding this key transparency and accountability measure. Additionally, the Ministry evidentially niched Western Cluster to its glaring failure to carry out maintenance and repair of the referenced road corridor, thereby eroding pliability and posing challenges to other road users.

The Works Ministry, however, recalls that prior to the issuance of this notice suspending Western Cluster’s Road User Permit, a November 6, 2023 suspension was effected against these very violations. “What is even more frustrating is that the Ministry of Public Works on November 6, 2023, suspended the permit for similar violations, which suspension was lifted after WCL assured the Ministry of curing these violations within the soonest possible time”, the notice stated. The Ministry concluded that it was left with no option but to take the decision against WCL‘s lack of good faith dealing to fulfill its obligations under the Permit until any/all violations and defaults under this Permit are cured. It cautioned that if Western Cluster fails to cure these supra stipulated violations within 60 days, the company risks termination of its ROAD USER PERMIT.