Weah to Construct Mini-Soccer Stadiums in 7 Counties

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Map showing the proposed locations of the Mini-stadiums in 7 counties

President George M. Weah has proposed the construction of modernized mini soccer stadiums in seven counties as his initial way to promote and develop sports in the country.

In the communications from the President to the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, which were separately read during Thursday’s sessions, the mini-soccer stadiums will be built in the capital cities of seven counties.

They will be built in Harper, Maryland County; Barclayville, Grand Kru; Greenville, Sinoe; Cestos, Rivercess: Zwedru, Grand Gedeh; Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount and Bopolu, Gbarpolu County.

….trust that the Legislature will ratify this Agreement which seeks to provide employment, build our infrastructure, strengthen our Union and drive our Pro-Poor Agenda for the good of our Liberian people,” President Weah noted.

The President, who is a former International soccer icon made the suggestions of the erection of stadiums when he submitted for ratification a Loan Financing Agreement between Eton Finance PTE Ltd and the Liberian Government in the amount of US$536.4m.

The communications of the President were dated on May 7, but were read Thursday, May 10 during the 27th day sitting of the 1st session of the 54th Legislature.

The President, in his communications, said the contract of the project shall be constructed by a Joint Venture Consortium (JVC) comprising MAEIL Liberia Construction Company Ltd, a major Chinese Engineering, Procurement and Construction Company; and the subcontractor(s) will be Liberian-owned and operated construction and engineering company(ies), which will be vetted and confirmed by the Ministry of Public Works in respect of their technical capacities.

The loan is payable in fifteen(15) years with 1.46% interest per annual with a seven year interest and principal free grace period.

President Weah said he trusts “that the Legislature will ratify this Agreement which seeks to provide employment, build our infrastructure, strengthen our Union and drive our Pro-Poor Agenda for the good of our Liberian people.”

According to reasons of the Loan, besides the mini-stadiums, the President also said the Loan will also finance the Coastal Corridor Connection of County Capitals Road Project, viz, construction of the Buchanan-Cestos City-Greenville-Barclayville Road, the Barclayville-Sasstown Road; the Barclayville-Pleebo Road; the Medina-Robertsport Road; and the Tubmanburg-Bopolu Road”.

Meanwhile, the Loan Agreement has been send to the Committees on Ways, Means & Budget and Judiciary to report within two weeks.

President Weah is the first African player to win both FIFA’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d’Or.

Weah plied his string at top-flight European teams including Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and AC Milan.

19 COMMENTS

  1. What’s the updates on the Gbanga to Foya road project? Lofans are still waiting to see the first pavement begin.

      • None of our regular politicians were international football stars with millions of dollars at their disposal. Not going to hail him for things he should have and could have done easily before he became Head of State. His colleagues of lesser fame and accomplishment didn’t need to be Presidents to do it for their countries. I will commend him for other things when they are delvered but not this or the hospital.

  2. Massa, the ‘marginalized’ counties are being currently prioritized. Lofa, Bong, and Nimba, Bassa and Monrovia are ahead in this game and therefore need to be considerate.

  3. Hmm, it seems like Pro-Poor developmental agendas are primarily focus on the coastalline areas, which is a good thing. However, the hinterland areas should not be put at a disadvantage.

  4. Building seven stadiums in 7 counties is a priority on President Weah’s mind with the current situation in Liberia now?

  5. Brove Mr.president, with this news I can say the pro poor agenda is working but not forget about the lofa road project, I know you can do it just a matter of time the people President.

  6. The “KEY WORD” is “DEVELOPMENT” major Government Project should be for one purpose only; “DEVELOPMENT”. Every Government Project, must contribute to the “DEVELOPMENT” of Liberia. Under Liberia’s current “Economic Climate”, is building seven-stadiums a PRIORITY?

    • No I dont think so and I’m big football fan. He should focus on roads and health care development. Those are the things the country urgently need now.

  7. What happened to the other unfinished road projects of former president sirleaf? Are there funds available to complete those projects?

  8. From the story, it appears to be one of those projects driven by foreign commercial interests and their local agents, and completely out of line with the country’s development priorities.

    In the end, they will make their money, the stadiums won’t provide employment on any significant scale, they will eventually deteriorate because there won’t be enough events to support them, and Liberians will be stuck with yet another infrastructure carcass.

    Meanwhile, infrastructure in schools and hospitals remain neglected, to the detriment of the country’s current and future development.

    This is a sad day for Liberia.

  9. I’d hope Mr. President, you’ll spend more money on education, health and improve our deplorable roads conditions on your next agenda. Blessing!

  10. The building of soccer stadiums nationwide should be viewed as an investment by the government of Liberia. Therefore, it is hoped that more money will be made in return. It will be seen as a waste of the country’s poor financial resources if enough money is not made. Let’s hope for a lucrative future. Of course, I do not want to be misunderstood. The making of a lot of money is not the only reason why the 7 stadiums are slated to be constructed. Liberians have fallen back internationally in soccer during the past 10 years. God willing, our young boys and girls will spring back into action once again.

  11. Well this what Liberia voted for….mini soccer stadiums in 7 counties wow! What a great vision for Liberia. Your fellow international soccer and basketball players did the same or more for their countries without becoming president. Liberia will remain in the 19th century and behind if the people continue to vote into office people like Sirleaf, Weah and the leeches in the Senate and House. God please send us a saviour. Forgive our trespasses against you and our fellow humans.

  12. “A Borrower is a slave to the lender.” Can’t we build second class stadiums without borrowing money?

    The intent on paper (planning to develop certain rural parts of Liberia and build 7 stadiums) looks goods. However, the reality of borrowing US$536M which is almost equivalent to Liberia’s FY 2017/2018 budget of US $526.6 M with no detail explanation on how funds will be generated over 15 years to repay such loan (with an interest rate of 1.46 percent per annum) looks very fiscally irresponsible.

    Without explaining where the money will come from to repay this loan, it reminds me of previous “big show and no substance governments” that once plunged Liberia into one of the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Counties). It was not until our former Chief Beggar President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, begged the western powers to forgive most of Liberia’s massive debt which allowed Liberia to once more financially function on the world market.

    We should learn from our history. Desperation should not plunge us into bad financial decisions. Liberia is notorious when it comes to defaulting on its loan. I am skeptical when it comes to borrowing money almost the size of our entire fiscal budget. It is regrettable to see more than 50% (US$296 million) of Liberia’s meager 2017/2018 budget US$526.6M is spent on compensation of overloaded government employees. Not telling how much will go into top government employees pockets after the new 2018/2019 US$ 562.2M proposed budget is approved.

    This new government needs money badly; but it should first focus heavily on austerity measures by cutting government waste: salaries, unwarranted perks, unwarranted travels, expensive vehicles, duplicate functions, etc., and open up the country’s economy by making Liberia business friendly.

    Give tax incentives to Liberians in the Diaspora willing to invest one million dollar or more into the Liberian economy. Encourage a moderate but efficient tax system. Develop a strong security sector; apply the rule of law; develop a good education system with good technical colleges; improve the health sectors. These are few factors that will attract more businesses into the country thus generating more income into the country and lowering the unemployment rate.

    Borrowing more money without the means of paying for it is a quick way of adding more debt to our already ballooning debt. Focus on generating income.

    Focus on austerity measures: focus on a small but efficient government that is result oriented.
    Focus on Liberia’s natural potentials: Harness Liberia’s Waters for Maritime advantage: Seaports; utilize Liberia’s abundant natural resources (good soil and weather for domestic agriculture sufficiency) for economic development….road/utility connectivity; increase trade and investment both domestic and foreign.

    When I last checked, Liberia is a democratic country with a capitalist system and by definition: “Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.”

    If this government can put the core principals of capitalism to use, Liberia will be better off economically than just relying on borrowing money that it cannot afford to repay!!!

    Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer be ware! Liberia is not a poor country, it is just poorly managed. We can build more than 7 stadiums without borrowing a dime.

  13. No I dont think so and I’m big football fan. He should focus on roads and health care development. Those are the things the country urgently need now.

  14. I think that at some point every country requires stadiums, it allows locals to thrive in sports and attracts tourism, however now is not the time to invest in stadiums in liberia, the money should be spent on county schools and school infrastructure, soorts are developed at a grass root level and not in stadiums, lets schools become attractive and the scools will produce athletes, wiout the infrastructure to support t stadiums they will become white elephants, stadiums are a major cost centre, a country requires the infrastructure to support stadiums example the tourism sector, road and infraushould be developed way before stadiums.
    South Africa has build some of the most beautiful stadiums the works has seen for the Fifa world cup and those stadiums have become white elephants with large running cost to maintain.

  15. These private partnerships must be leveraged with a 20 to 40 year master plan,
    The resources of liberia must benefit its people, as an example if liberians lease an oil block or allow minning to the chinese, than the first 10 years should be invested into schools, next 10 years into universities at the end of the lease terms liberians will now have the capacity and skills to refine their own oil and mine their own resources. Ultimately it takes a leadership with a 100 year vission, which will benefit The future generations, but few leaders are willing to sacrifice.

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