– House mandates President Weah take an extra US$1 billion
In spite of the furore surrounding the ratification of the two controversial loans/financing agreements to construct 759.7 kilometers roads in southeastern and northern Liberia, the House of Representatives yesterday mandated President George Weah through a proposed Joint Resolution, bearing the signatures of at least 48 Representatives, to secure and or negotiate more loan finance agreements for “road construction of the country’s critical corridors.”
The Joint Resolution was forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.
The House of Representatives and the Senate recently approved the US$536.4 million Loan/Financing Agreement between Eton Finance PTE LTD and the Government of Liberia as well as the US$420.8 million Loan/Financing Agreement between EBOMAF SA and the government.
In the lawmakers’ authorization yesterday, they asked President Weah to employ all legal and legitimate means in securing Loan Financing Agreements for the construction of paved roads leading to the 15 counties, prioritizing, “Sawmill (Gbarpolu County) – Gbarma-Kongba-Vahu-Menekroma-Voinjama-Kolahun-Foya (Lofa); Bopolu-Belle; Zwedru-Fish town; Montserrado County Soul Clinic-Johnsonville-Mount Barclay-Tyler Island 72nd connection; Todee – Bomi Corridor; Neckley’s town-Rehab.-Pipeline-White plain corridor; Bong – Gbarpolu corridor – Bong – Bassa corridor and Formutolee Route; and Margibi – Bassa Corridor (Gibi – Bassa); Virginia-Arthington-Mount Coffee Corridor; Morlton Corner-Suehn Mecca corridor; Saclepea – Butuo and Palala – Saclepia.”
The Resolution further read, “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed to by Head of States and Governments in September 2015, to set the world on a path towards sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda; the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development consist of 17 SDGs oof which poverty eradication is the overarching objective, alongside the promotion of economic, social and environmental development and Article 8 of the 1986 Constitution provides for policy towards ensuring opportunities for improvising the livelihood of our citizens, to include health and welfare facilities.”
It further read, “The attainment of SDGs requires domestics resource mobilization, and it is established that economic growth pivots on frequent movement of people, which suggests that roads connectivity is a causality to economic growth and that recent borrowing to connect our cities is in the overwhelming interest of the Liberian people; Article 34d (iii) of the 1986 Constitution states, “no loans shall be raised by the government on behalf of the Republic or guarantees given for any public institution or authority otherwise, then by, or under the authority of Legislative enactments.”
According to the attached communication to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, the Resolution is predicated upon the unanimous resolution of the people to petition the Government of Liberia through their direct Representatives.
Four members of the House of Representatives, including Jospeh M. Matthews, Jr. (Gbarpolu County District #3), Thomas P. Fallah (Montserrado County District #5), Francis S. Dopoh (River Gee County District #3) and Beyan Howard (Lofa County District #5) are the sponsors.
Though the Resolution did not state the amount of the Loan/Financing Agreement, reports say it targets additional US$1 billion to cover the construction of road corridors of about 1,000 kilometers.
It may be recalled that Public Works Minister Mobutu Nyenpan, said Liberia has a total road networks of about 12,000 kilometers, and under 1,000 kilometers of roads are paved, which means 94 percent of the roads are unpaved.
He said the roads are accident-prone, especially during the raining season.