Senate Concurs with House on US$25M Renewable Energy Financing Agreement

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-Meanwhile, Debate and Passage of Land Rights Law Deferred to Aug 22

The Liberian Senate, on Wednesday, August 15, voted unanimously to concur with the House of Representatives in ratifying the financing agreement (Liberia renewable Energy Access Project) between the Republic of Liberia and International Development Association in the tune of US$25 million.

In the report calling for the ratification, the Senate joint committee on Foreign Affairs, Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources & Environment; Ways, Means, Finance & Budget; and Judiciary, Claims Petitions & Human Rights, “recognized that the loan is critical to the implementation of the nation’s economic stabilization recovery plan, and in furtherance acknowledges the immense benefits Liberia as a nation and people stand to acquire by its ratification.”

According to the report, the loan period is 20 years, including 10 years moratorium; and that the government of Liberia shall pay interest at the rate of half of one-percent (¾ of 1%) per annum on the principal amount; while services charge shall be equal to three-fourths of one percent (¾ of 1%) per annum, while the maximum charge shall be one-half of one percent (½ of 1%) on the withdrawn account.

The purpose of the loan is to generate financing for Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project (LIRENAP), which will increase access to electricity and foster the use of renewable energy sources.

According to the agreement, the grant which is sourced from the Strategic Climate Fund “shall support the scaling up of renewable energy programs under project agreements to be formulated and implemented by the Rural Renewable Energy Agency.

The joint committee in its report recommending passage observed that a portion of this amount shall also be used for investment in mini hydro plants generation in selected areas of Lofa County and also decentralized electrification in the County.

Meanwhile yesterday, the committee on Lands, Mines, Energy & Environment, chaired by Senator Albert Chie, submitted a final work on the long awaited Land Rights Act for debate, endorsement and passage, but due to the voluminous nature of the report, it was voted that debate be deferred to August 22, 2017.

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