The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development have signed another loan agreement in the amount of six million Kuwaiti dena (KWD 6,000,000.00), approximately US$20 million.
The loan is for the pavement of 65km of roads linking Konia and Voinjama, a major corridor between Gbarnga and Lofa.
Acting Finance and Development Planning Minister Augustus J. Flomo, who made a statement at the signing ceremony on Thursday March 14, 2019, said roads connectivity is an important part of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
He indicated that roads connectivity is an integral part of human capital development.
Mr. Flomo stated that with roads, the country can move on a fast-path to economic growth and development, because roads will boost economic activity, improve farms to market roads, and provide the medium where people will have access to basic social services.
He informed the Kuwaiti Fund that Lofa and Bong Counties were once considered ‘bread-baskets’ of Liberia, meaning most of the agricultural activities were carried out in those counties, which were able at the time to provide food for most parts of Liberia.
The Acting Finance Minister pointed out that roads accessibility provides better framework for agricultural linkages, trade and economic growth.
Flomo thanked the Kuwaiti Fund with an adage that says “In times of need, those who come to you are your friends”, adding also that the Fund has helped government to achieve its Pro Poor Agenda.
He said the government of Liberia was glad for the gesture and expressed optimism for more intervention for Liberia’s development.
Nedhal A. Alolayan, Deputy Director General for Finance and Administration of Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, expressed hope that the project will contribute positively to the social and economic development of Liberia.
The project, he added is geared towards supporting the economic and social development in Liberia by providing reliable year-round land transportation in a subtropical forest region, of Lofa County.
The Kuwaiti Fund DDGFA indicated that the project will also improve connectivity and accessibility to places of work and social services for the inhabitants in the project area.
The loan, according to Mr. Alolayan, is the 4th concessionary loan extended to Liberia with a total amount of US$60 million, all of which are for the projects in the transport sector.
However, he said the Fund has extended a technical assistance amounting to about US$1.8 million for the preparation of the feasibility study and design of the Gbarnga-Mendikorma Road Project and a grant extended by the Government of the State of Kuwait to Liberia in March 2, 2012.
Mr. Alolayan went on to express optimism of the project implementation in a timely manner and with ‘highest’ degree of efficiency and economy within four years’ time.
Public Works Minister Mabutu Vlah Nyenpan spoke about the implementation of the project and said the financing will be used purposely for the development of the country, especially with roads connectivity.
Nyenpan reiterated the mandate of the President to have county capitals connected.
According to the Public Works Minister, most parts of the country are inaccessible and divided, especially during the rainy season, making reference to the southeastern part of Liberia.
“This agreement today is in furtherance of the capital to capital connection we are talking, and this is another reason we should celebrate,” Nyenpan added. He stated that it is the primary priority of the government to address bad roads condition by connecting the entire country with pave roads. He assured the Kuwaiti Fund delegation of government’s implementing the project within the specify time-frame, by ensuring value for money.
Minister Nyenpan explained that the road will enhance infrastructure development in the country with completion schedule for 2022.
Kuwaiti Fund initiated its efforts in the development of Liberia in 1978 by participating in the financing of the roads rehabilitation project between Paynesville-Totota, Paynesville-Robertsfield, through a concessionary loan at the time, of about US$7 million.
The pavement of the 65km of roads is a major corridor between Gbarnga and Lofa and is a boost to the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development that seeks to connect county capitals, the deputy Finance Minister said.