Gov’t to Sign US$20M Agreement Today

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The Government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) will today sign a US$20 million financing agreement for the upgrading of the first section of Lot One of the Gbarnga–Mendikorma Road.

The signing ceremony will take place in a town between Bong and Lofa counties, after the arrival of a high powered delegation from the SFD.

A statement, which quoted authorities at the ministry yesterday, said the primary objective of the Gbarnga–Salayea road rehabilitation project is to contribute to the economic and social development of the country through the development, expansion, and integration of its road networks.

Government’s objective for implementing this critical project is also focused on reducing travel time and cost, improving accessibility, achieving road safety and security, and ultimately improving the standard of living of the inhabitants of Bong and Lofa counties.

The total estimated cost of the project is US$430 million. Lot One is the stretch from Gbarnga to Konia (in Bong and Lofa counties), which is estimated at US$184.7 million, and is approximately 137 kilometers in length, while the first section of this Lot is from Gbarnga to Salayea, estimated at US$95.1 million.

Donor commitment for section one of Lot One is US$82.5 million, while the government’s contribution or counterpart funding is US$12.6 million.

The MFDP further noted in the release that following yesterday’s signing of the agreement, the document will be transmitted to the legislature for ratification and, when completed, the project will enhance the economic status of inhabitants of the Mano River Union countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and La Cote d’Ivoire.

Yesterday’s exercise commemorates the fourth signing ceremony for funds earmarked for the Gbarnga–Salayea road project. Over the last two months, the financing agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development was signed in Vienna, Austria, and a financing Agreement with the Kuwait Fund for development was signed in Monrovia.

Following yesterday’s signing a similar ceremony with the Abu Dhabi Fund was expected to take place, thus sealing the financial package needed for the full implementation of said project.

“Agreements with Donors signed and ratified by the Legislature to consummate this project include the OPEC Fund for International Development, US$20 million; the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, US$15.5 million; and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, US$12 million,” said the MFDP in the release.

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