House Ratifies US$86.9M Deal to Upgrade RIA Facilities, Build Mano River Roads

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The House of Representatives has ratified two financial agreements in the amount of US$50m and US$36,890,151.66, totaling US$86.9m, to upgrade facilities at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and the construction of the Mano River Union road.

The Mano River Union road will link the following areas: Danane-Lola (87.35km); Blolequin-Toulepleu-Liberia border (65km); Tabou-Prollo (28km); Karloken – Fish Town (80km); and Harper – Cavalla Junction (16km). It will also improve economic activities in southeastern Liberia.

The House made the ratifications based upon reports from the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Judiciary and Transport and an Ad Hoc Committee. Both reports were chaired by Rep. Prince Moye, Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning.

The RIA upgrading report was signed between the government of Liberia (GOL) and the Export-Import Bank of China and was last week submitted to the legislature for endorsement.

The multinational loan agreement was signed between the African Development Fund and the government of Liberia for the Mano River Union Road Development and Transport Facilitation Program – MRU/RDTFP.

According to the US$50m deal, “the rate of interest applicable to the loan will be two percent per annum, with a management fee of 0.5 percent, and the commitment fee shall be 0.5,” the President wrote.

The maturity period for the loan will be 240 months (an equivalent of 20 years), which includes a grace period of 84 months (equivalent to seven years), and the repayment period shall be 156 months or 13 years.

“All the proceeds of the loan shall be used and applied solely by the GOL to pay 100 percent of the Commercial Contract amount with China Harbor Engineering Company-Liberia Limited, which is the Chinese supplier,” the President said in her letter to the legislature.

As for the multinational loan agreement, the amount shall be repaid in 30 years – the payment period excludes 10 years grace period, and has an interest of 2% annually within the 11th to the 20th year, and 4% annually within the remaining payment period.

“A service charge shall be paid at the rate of three-fourths of one percent, which is 0.75% on the amount released for the project; and that the date of payment shall commence from 15th of April or the 15th of October in equal and successive installments done twice a year at the expiration of the 10-year grace period. This applies similarly to the payment of the service and commitment charges,” the report said.

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