Liberia Risks Losing US$100m Chinese Investment
The Government of Liberia risk forfeiting US$100 million investment from the People’s Republic of China for the construction of a Ministerial Deplex here, if it fails to identify the site for the construction.
The duplex, which will contain ministries and agencies of the Liberian government, will have two annexes for the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively. Money for the project is said to have been already earmarked by the Chinese Parliament as part of expenditure for its current national budgetary period.
The Head of Mission and incoming Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Yanguan, in a meeting with the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Dan Morais cautioned that if the Government of Liberia does not identify the spot for the construction before the end of China’s current budgetary year, it will be difficult to implement the project.
Disclosing the minutes of the meeting to the New Dawn, Senator Dan Morais quoted the Chinese envoy as saying if the money does not come out of his country’s current budget, the Government of Liberia will have to convince members of the Chinese Parliament why the money should be placed back in the budget for the next fiscal period, which he noted will be difficult to achieve.
Senator Morais described his meeting with the Chinese delegation at his office as very fruitful, adding the outcome will benefit the people of Liberia, including the Liberian Legislature.
He said the only stumbling block is for the government to identify the land for the construction work to start. “We need to speed up the process; we need to move fast before the Chinese budget year comes to an end, if not, we have to again convince our counterparts and government officials in China why they should include the money in their incoming budget, and it will take time,” he said.
The Maryland County lawmaker said the Chinese envoy’s visit here was also intended to keep in touch with the Liberian Senate and maintain cordial relationship with them. He said the Government of Liberia is now the hold-on to get the money out of the Chinese budget, adding, “It can only be done by identifying the land on which the Ministerial Duplex is to be constructed.”
Recently, the government engaged the authorities of ELWA to make available some of its vacant lots for the project, but the Christian institution objected and took the Liberian authorities to task, forcing the government to bow.