MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Senate has concurred with the lower house to ratify the US$536 million road financing loan agreement to fund its coastal road project to connect southeastern counties.
A total of 505.3 km of paved roads connecting Buchanan to Cestos City, Greenville to Barclayville, and Barclayville to Sass Town are expected to be constructed as a result of the agreement. The project also includes the construction of the Medina to Robertsport road and the Tubmanburg to Bopolu road, including rest stops and roadside service areas.
Portions of the loan, according to the agreement, would also be used for the construction of a vocational training center in Greenville, Sinoe, with mini-soccer stadiums expected in Harper, Barclayville, Greenville, Cestos City, Zwedru, Robertsport, and Bopolu.
The agreement was signed between the government and a Singapore-based institution, Eton Private Finance and was recently ratified by the House of Representatives. The senators decided after breaking up into special committees during a special session last Friday.
At the same time, the Central Bank of Liberia has confirmed the country’s consolidated account as the sovereign guarantee to secure the loan as required in the agreement.
The Central Bank’s Executive Governor Milton Weeks disclosed in the Senate’s special session on Friday that the bank would take responsibility of settling the loan through the consolidated account in the case of default by the government.
With the ratification and confirmation of the sovereign guarantee from the central bank, the first portion of at least 50 percent of the loan is expected to be disbursed within 50 banking days, according to the agreement.
Public Works Minister Mabutu Nyenpan had also informed the Senate during the special session that the roads situation in the country was of national emergency. Nyenpan said it was important to secure the loan because the impassable roads network threatens national security.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah