The Government of Turkey through its Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has donated 20 buses to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) to help ease the transportation problem in Monrovia and Paynesville respectively.
The handover ceremony was held yesterday in the courtyard of the National Port Authority (NPA) where Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai received the buses from the Turkish Government.
Upon receiving the buses, VP Boakai expressed gratitude to the Turkish Government for the donation and said it will help solve many of the challenges faced by Liberians, especially the students commuting to school under difficult weather conditions.
He said Turkey has been a good friend to Liberia, “because they have made many contributions toward the rebuilding of the country. I retrospect on the signing of three framework agreements to enhance the bilateral relations between both countries in the areas of education, mutual visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passport and an agreement for collaboration between the diplomatic institutes of Liberia and Turkey.”
He said the best appreciation Liberians can show for such a gift is to maintain the buses and put into place a code of conduct for drivers who will be assigned to the vehicles.
He also praised the strong and longstanding ties between Turkey and Liberia as evident by the many bilateral agreements reached between the two countries in many areas of cooperation including programs in education, the economy, cultural exchange and transportation amongst others.
Ambassador Boakai then called on Liberian businesses to invest in the transportation sector because the roads in the country are getting better.
Earlier, the Advisor to the Mayor and member of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Assembly, Ismail Hakki Turunc, said the handing over of the buses indicates that the relationship between Liberia and Istanbul has improved.
Mr. Turunc said people can get over difficulties by embracing each other, and pointed out that through harmony, world peace and security can be attained.
For her part, Monrovia City Mayor, Clara Doe Mvogo, acknowledged the Turkish Government for the donation, and said it will be used for the intended purpose.
She disclosed that out of the 20 buses, 16 will go to the National Transit Authority (NTA) for commuting of public transport; two will be used by the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC); while the remaining two will be used by the Liberia National Police (LNP).
Madam Mvogo indicated that the buses will be used in Monrovia and not outside of the capital in keeping with the memorandum of understanding signed between the NTA and the MCC.
The handover ceremony was attended by an array of government officials, including Madam Mary Broh, Director, General Services Agency; and Cyvette Gibson, Paynesville City Mayor, among others.