OROMIA: METEC is Stripped of its Undeserved Mining Privilege in Ilu Ababora

Mengistu Assefa, (Dr)

Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) is stripped of the undeserved ‘privilege’ of extracting and selling coal mineral in Yayu, Ilu Ababora. Oromia Regional State has reclaimed the control of coal mining in the area.

A letter written in 2012 shows that Dr Arkebe Equbay ordered this controversial transaction of the Corporation in. The coal was originally meant to be used in the Yayu Fertilizer Factory currently under construction in the area by Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC). But METEC, claiming that it was given the permission to extract and sell the coal mineral, had been exploiting it for nearly 7 years.

Questions and concerns have been pushed by Oromo people that this illegal economic transaction has to stop and due attention be given to the matter. The complain also adds people’s complaints about the protracted compensation for the displaced people in the name of the project. The controversial multi billion capital giant is under fire for the delay in the mega projects it handles and unhealthy financial transactions.

In a recent development, Oromia Regional State Government has stripped METEC of its ‘privilege’ and the business will be run by a union of youth containing 171 members. The same statement by Oromia Regional Government Communications Affairs Bureau reveals that the coal mineral will be utilized by the Yayu Fertilizer Factory upon its completion.

Yayu Fertilizer Factory was set to be finished by this year, but till Late September it showed only a progress of 0.28% from June when it was 43.3% completed.

A statement from Oromia Water and Energy Office cited by Oromia Communication Bureau accuses METEC of not paying a land rent amounting to 47 mln ETB for 13,900 hectares in the last six years.

Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, Standing Committee for Government Development Enterprises Affairs held its session to hear annul plan and a quarter- year’s performance report of Metals and Engineering Corporation on Wednesday, November 06, 2017. Asked by MPs when exactly Yayu Fertilizer Factory is set to completion, METEC Director General, Brigaded General Tigabu Fetle, failed to give clear answer and rather generalized the failure of the Corporation as an minor internal problems on which it currently working.

The Corporation has created many inconveniences and mistrust among majority of the people and yet the bigger picture is why high rank government officials of Arkebe Equbay’s critical position, go out of the economic policy framework of the Nation to order an illegal transaction of this height.

I commend Lemma Megersa’s administration for standing against this illegal trade and stripping the Corporation of its shady ‘mandate’ of acting against the interest of the public.

  • I further urge the Administration to go every mile to make the Corporation and its allies legally accountable for the illegal trade it had been conducting in the last six and half years.
  • The Corporation has to compensate the people around the area.
  • These government officials who with sharp contrast to the country’s law to order such corrupt transaction should face charge for corruption and the prime minister should be publicly inquired for the dirty trade the Corporation had been conducting ever since its inception.
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