Liberia Incurs US$14 Million Debt

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has transmitted a US$14 million loan agreement to the National Legislature for ratification.

The loan agreement is intended to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Greenville Port project under the watch of the National Port Authority (NPA).

According to a communication addressed to the plenary of the House of Representatives yesterday, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development is the provider of said loan.

The President disclosed that the project for the loan involves, among other things, “rehabilitation works required to fully re-open the port, shipwreck removal, construction of port roads, container yard, shoreline fence and service boat ramp, rehabilitation of the port buildings and utilities networks.”

Madam Sirleaf announced that other issues that would be addressed by the funding included the installation of security systems, procurement of marine crafts and cargo handling equipment, consultancy services for design and supervision of the civil works and institutional support and navigational aids.

The loan is to the tune of four (4) Million Kuwait Dinars; approximately fourteen Million United States Dollars. The projected is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

The President said the reasons for incurring the loan were; “Bolstering economic activities along the South Eastern corridor of Liberia, thereby contributing to the economic and social development of our nation.”

The letter was later read and forwarded to the committees on Investment & Concession, Judiciary, Public Utility, Maritime, Contracts & Monopolies, Ways, Means & Finance and State Enterprise to report to plenary in two weeks.

Judging from expressions on the faces of lawmakers and a history of not rejecting ratification of such nature, legislative commentators believed that said loan agreement will be ratified by the Legislature in the soonest possible time.

However, the new loan agreement came in the wake of the President’s appointment of her son, Robert Sirleaf as Ambassador to Kuwait; Mr. Sirleaf headed two lucrative positions in government, which included the posts of Senior Advisor to his mother and chair of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).

This loan shows that Liberia’s debt is increasing as the last Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) 2011/2012 report announced that the country’s debt is over half a billion dollars.

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