The House of Representatives is reviewing US$372.67 million Concession and Loan Agreements submitted by President George Weah, as well as an Incentive Agreement with the total investment of not less than US$34 million.
The President said the Loan, Concessions and Incentive Agreements are in support of the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD.)
These are the first “Agreements” after seven months following the ratification of the “controversial and failed” US$236.4 million Eton and US$420.8 million EBOMAF SA Loans, respectively.
US$87.87M Loan Agreements
The Loan Agreements between Liberia and the African Development Fund; Liberia and the African Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Fund are the second phase of the Mano River Union (MRU) road project between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire.
The second phase of the program, which builds on the first phase has an estimated total amount of US$87.87 million, but the overall objective of the project is to boost the post-conflict economic recovery of Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire by improving infrastructures, and promoting intra-community and regional trade.
“This amount comprises US$52.31 million of the requested ratification loan in addition to a grant of 33.6 million, and the Liberian government counterpart funding of US$1.9 million,” President Weah said in a letter to members of the Legislature.
The House voted to forward the Loan Agreements to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Banking and Currency, Judiciary and to report within two weeks.
US$25M Loan Agreement
The President also submitted to the Legislature for ratification a Financing Agreement of Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) between Liberia and International Development Association.
The total portfolio of the project is US$25 million over a five year period beginning 2019 –2023.
“The objective of the project is to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farms in Lofa, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Margibi counties by focusing on production of rice, oil palm and horticulture,” the President’s letter said.
Renegotiation of US$9.8M Concession Agreement
The House of Representatives is also scrutinizing the Concession Agreement between Liberia and Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI).
The NRI will make a total investment of not less than US$9.8 million during the first 15 years to fund the cost of reconditioning some of the Camp Houses for the workers, and purchase of earthworks equipment to recondition 80 miles of internal plantation roads; renovate and upgrade the current medical and educational facilities in addition to construction of new ones.
“…this agreement along with others were recalled by me for renegotiation with the National Investment Commission (NIC) to meet basic legal requirements and yield economic benefits. The renegotiation process has been completed and a new agreement was signed on October 5, 2018. This agreement, when ratified, will enable NRI to manage the Cocopa Rubber Plantation in Nimba County for 30 years…,” the President wrote.
The Concession Agreement was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery; Investment and Concession and the Judiciary and to report within two weeks.
SIFCA US$34M Incentive Agreement
Incentive Agreement between the Government of Liberia and Golden SIFCA is under review by the House of Representatives. Golden SIFCA is a Liberian registered corporation, and it is a joint venture investment equally held by the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) and the Golden Veroleum (GVL)-Liberia.
MOPP and GVL will separately develop approximately 10 hectares of the existing MOPP concession area in Maryland County with the total investment of not less than US$34 million. The SIFCA Concession Agreement was sent to members of a specialized committee for review.
US$250M Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated
Members of the House of Representatives are also reviewing the Mineral Development Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated.
The initial capital outlay is estimated at US$250 million, the government will retain 10% non-dilution equity in the investment.
“This concession offers opportunities not only to provide direct benefits in the form of employment and government revenues, but also contributes to strategic aims to link the historically economically deprived south east of Liberia with the rest of the country,” President Weah said.
“Although the employment benefits will primarily accrue to the aforementioned four counties (Sinoe, Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee), where there could be significant positive spillover effects beyond as improved human capital and access to markets creates additional benefits,” the president wrote.
The agreement was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Agriculture, Investment and Concession and the Judiciary, and to report within two weeks.