Click images to supersize

preparing for sea tranportation
road transportation
Concession agreements studied:
Forestry / Timber / Logging
(also Liberian-owned)

  1. Industrial Trading Trust
  2. Liberian Industrial Forestry Corp.
  3. Morro River Lumber Corp.
  4. Liberian Timber Industries Corp.
  5. Siga Lumber Company
  6. Maryland Logging Company
  7. MIM Timber Company
  8. Bolado Sawmill Company
  9. Talk Lumber Company
  10. East Asiatic Company
  11. Lofa Timber Company
  12. Cavalla Timber Company
  13. Liberian Eastern Timber Company
  14. Cestos Nimba Logging Corp.
  15. Liberian Logging & Wood Processing Corp.
  16. Lofa-River Cess Lumber Corp.
  17. PPP Timber Industries Ltd
  18. Bell Timber Company
  19. Cape Palmas Logging Corp.
  20. Dunbar Logging Corp.
  21. Liberian-Ivorian Logging Company
  22. Liberian & Overseas Ventures Corp.
  23. MACARS Timber Corp.
  24. Jlao Enterprises Inc.
  25. NACA Enterprises Inc.
  26. Togba Timber Corp.
  27. Tropical Farms Corp.
  28. Yah River Logging Corp.
  29. International Wood Corp.
  30. Liberian Timber Corp.
  31. Nimba Logging Corp.
  32. Varjan Logging Corp.
  33. Associated Liberian Timber Corp.
  34. Lofa Lumber Corp.
  35. Toweh Logging Corp.
  36. Liberian Timber & Plywood Corp.

In 1977/78 there may have been 40 – 45 timber companies in the country of which about ten were inactive, the remaining producing timber. Oficially, it was reported that 33 firms were engaged in forestry operations in 1977 (Source: Annual Report Ministry of Finance 1976-1977).

The administration of the forestry sector not only showed a failure to know even the number of logging companies operating in the country. It was also incapable of assessing the total concession area granted for logging operations. In 1976 it was reported that a total area of 12.7 million acres had been committed for timber production purposes. See table below.

In 1976 (rounded figures): acres (millions)
Total concession area granted under Timber Concessions   8.7
Option areas for Timber Concessions   1.9
Other areas in use   0.7
Estimated timber land under Agricultural Development Contract   1.5
Grand total 12.7
(Source: ‘Justification of the Budget of the Forestry Development Authority’as cited in Van der Kraaij (1983), p.276.)

Based on available data it was inevitable to arrive at the conclusion that more (timber) concession area had been given to investors than was available in the country. First, timber rights under other concession agreements were not included in this figure of 12.7 million acres. Secondly, Liberia’s total forest area could well be less than this figure. Thirdly, not all logging companies with timber exploitation rights have been included in this estimation. Hence, a number of conflicts arose between investors/logging companies chiefly as a result of this overlapping of concession areas.

This happened not only under the Administration of President Tolbert (1971-80) but also under the administration of his predecessor, President Tubman (1944-71): Two years after both the African Fruit Company and LeTourneau of Liberia had obtained exclusive rights in the Baffu Bay area, this land was given away for the third time. In 1956, the Columbia Southern Chemical Corporation was granted one of the largest concession areas ever granted to a foreign company in Liberia: covering more than 2 million acres which was even double the size of the historic concession area granted to Firestone in 1926!







back to
Lessons from foreign investments in Liberia



© fpm van der kraaij