Gabon: serious breach of the rule of law
PARIS, France, 17 February 2018,-(AMA)/- Today, armed men commandeered the SEEG – Société d’énergie et d’eau du Gabon, Gabon’s Energy and Water Company, acting on a decision of the Gabon’s Water and Energy Ministry.
The Veolia Group strongly protests against this brutal action taken entirely contrary to the rule of law, and is doing everything it can to support its employees in Gabon, who for two decades have been committed to providing the best public water and electricity service to the country’s citizens.
Veolia won Gabon’s public water and electricity concession in June 1997, under the terms of a 20-year contract with the Gabonese Republic whereby the company became the majority shareholder of the SEEG.
Veolia has been established in Gabon for more than 20 years and is one of the country’s largest foreign employers and investors, having invested FCFA 366 billion, or about €558 million, since 1997. Veolia owns 51% of its subsidiary the SEEG, and manages the production and distribution of drinking water and electricity throughout Gabonese territory. Among other things, the Group’s investments in terms of human resources, training and financing have enabled Gabon to triple the number of people with a water and electricity supply, making the country one of the African continent’s leaders in this area by 2012.
Veolia and its directors and employees in Gabon have done everything possible to establish a constructive and responsible dialogue with the authorities. Having now been the victim of a brutal expropriation on the part of the Gabonese State, Veolia is examining the legal consequences of this situation and expects Gabon to comply with the rule of law and with its obligations.