The Government of Liberia and the ECOWAS Bank for Development and Investment or EBDI on Friday December 7, 2018 signed an aide-memoir, an instrument that would pave the way for the provision of USD100 million loan for the construction of phase one of the proposed Coastal Highway project.
The phase one which represents 96.6 km will begin from Barclayville in Grand Kru County through Sasstown to Sinoe.Public Works Minister Mabutu Vlah Nyepan signed for the Government of Liberia, while Mr. J. Doe-Weah Wallace, a Consultant of EBDI signed on behalf of the ECOWAS Bank.
The ceremony was witnessed by Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, Finance Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe and other government officials present.
Public Works Minister Nyepan told journalists at the signing ceremony Friday night that the penning of their signatures represents a firm commitment of the bank to provide the initial funding to begin the government’s much trumpeted coastal road project.
In an upbeat appraisal, he told journalists that the commitment made by the ECOWAS bank follows President George Weah’s request-a move which was followed by the Bank sending a technical team that was in the country for four weeks on a fact finding mission.
Mr. Nyepan said move by Mr. Weah to reach out for developmental assistance demonstrates his desire to ensure that Liberia’s infrastructure gap is closed.
The agreement when finalized will see the construction of the coastal road phase one beginning in 2019.
The Publics Works Minister whose ministry is considered as the priority ministry under this government listed several roads construction projects which he said are in progress.
He mentioned the ELWA Junction to Coca-Cola 4 lane road, the community roads pavement which is ongoing and the immediate opening of county access roads. He said the road between Grand Bassa and Rivercess is also being discussed.
For his part, EBDI consultant Wallace in his post signing comments said the EBDI mission presence in Liberia is based on the Government of Liberia’s request for assistance.
He said following the signing of the aide-memoire he will remain in country for couple of days to complete the signing of all further relevant documents to know the way forward.
Making a brief comment at the ceremony, Finance and Development Planning Minister Tweah indicated that the securing of the initial funding for the coastal road demonstrates the commitment of the Weah administration to the people of Liberia when he promised to build coastal highways to link the entire country.
Mr. Tweah recognizes the efforts of President Weah to as he said “lift the marginalized from poverty.”He said this was worth mentioning because Mr. Weah is leading the country at the time aids and grants were in the decline and yet the president is looking all over the place for assistance.
He mentioned the recent USD300, 000 scholarship awarded to medical students, USD4.5 million for community roads, a USD 3m for small businesses to be deposited at the LBDI bank and the amount of USD4 million realized from the cleaning of the teacher’s payroll as few of the president’s achievements in 10 months.
-writes Othello B. Garblah