Let it be truthfully declared and established that the National Social Security & Welfare Cooperation is non -partisan and has no direct or indirect link to any political party in Liberia and will never be a part of any spending that is not fiscally prudent for the survival of the cooperation least to dish out money to a political party.
NASSCORP was established to administer Liberia’s pension administration with the mandate to collect contribution, payout benefits and invest into institutions for the sustainability of financial solvency as enshrined in 89.63 of both the new NASSCORP Act and Decree 14.
In fulfillment of said mandate, the National Social Security & Welfare Cooperation (NASSCORP) with the authorization of its Board of Directors in August 2016 approved an investment in the amount of US$1.5 Million (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) equivalent in Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI) for the rehabilitation of its Cocopa Plantation. NASSCORP’s investment involved the purchase of convertible debentures of NRI with a maturity of five (5) years which provides NASSCORP an annual interest (yield) of 12% on its investment. The debenture also gives NASSCORP the added advantage or option of converting the facility into common stocks of the corporation in the future. The facility was disbursed in November 2016 to NRI at a ratio 80:20 in Liberian dollars and U.S Dollars, respectively and the debentures are to be redeemed in full at maturity in U.S Dollars.
NRI’s Management had approached NASSCORP close to two (2) years ago with a proposal for financing the rehabilitation of Cocopa plantation but NASSCORP had turned down the request given the lack of clarity of a comprehensive plan for the revitalization of the rubber sector despite intervention of the government and a stimulus package for the sector provided by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). The need to see the rubber sector revived is critical from our standpoint as workers’ contributions to the pension scheme has constituted a significant part of NASSCORP’s revenue.
A revised rehabilitation proposal from NRI which was approved by NASSCORP in August 2016 set out four (4) key priorities, namely: (1) the settlement of wage arrears, (2) acquisition of a new modern rubber processing plant, (3) rehabilitation of plant infrastructure and (4) the establishment of rubber wood processing facility. The investment made by NASSCORP was primarily used and targeted at the settlement of wage arrears owed to workers of the cooperation.
As a result of NASSCORP’s investment which successfully abated labor unrest and brought calm to the area, NRI has now been able to successfully arrange the acquisition of a rubber processing plant to start the processing of rubber. Value added through the processing of rubber is expected to significantly increase NRI’s revenue generation and further help insulate and hedge the cooperation from commodity price volatility in the future. This is in fact, why, despite current low commodity price for raw rubber, the investment in an integrated processing facility at Cocopa made good and prudent business sense.
The success of Cocopa in the future will benefit hundreds of rubber farms and farmers not only in the immediate vicinities of Nimba, but also set a higher benchmark for the pricing of rubber throughout the breadth of the country. The plantation hires close to 500 workers and by extension affects the economic livelihood of more than 2000 individuals. Employment will increase as a result of this investment as well as create higher wages for the workers of the plantation.
The future establishment of a rubber wood processing plant at Cocopa is even more exciting as this will enable diversifying the sources of revenues and propel growth of rubber wood production for export and domestic consumption. Additional income will be accrued by farmers from the purchase and processing of old rubber trees from hundreds of farms around the country and can be channeled to replanting to expand rubber production –a much better economic option than the traditional burning of old trees to produce coal.
This is ALL being achieved through the INVESTMENT made by Liberian workers.