Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah reassures Liberians and international partners that the loan financing deal between the government and Eton Financing PTE Ltd is on course and positively aggressive.
The reassurance by the Finance boss comes amid media speculations here that the agreement ratified by the 54th Legislature has fizzled out. But the Asian company has dispatched a senior official to Monrovia to provide clarity in an apparent attempt to allay growing public concerns about the loan which observers think is a ‘419’ scheme.
Eton Finance PTE Limited and the Government of Liberia signed a US$536 Million Loan Financing Agreement for construction of roads in southeast Liberia.ETON executive director, Dr. Yungseoung Jin, a South Korean national, arrived in Monrovia on Wednesday night, a move that officials of the Coalition government believe should put to rest apprehensions around a deal whose momentum has waned in recent weeks.
Addressing a news conference Thursday in Monrovia, Minister Tweah says the deal is at its concluding stages. It had promoted series of meetings held in Monrovia, with all stakeholders, including developmental partners, international financial groups, Chief Executive Officer and President of Eton and the Liberian delegation.
The Liberian government is currently negotiating for US$536 million for road projects in the southeastern region. Already, the World Bank has reportedly made a US$500 million commitment toward roads construction here.
Minister Tweah says government is appreciative of every means that the CDC-led administration could use to bring development to the citizenry and Liberia at large.
However, he admits that there have been concerns among international partners about what could be termed as unclean money involving the Eton loan.
Tweah explains that the Monrovia meetings are intended to iron out some technical issues relating to the loan, but totally disperse public notion that the financial deal is dead upon arrival.
He notes that the Eton loan deal meets concession requirements and offers the government best lowest interest in contemporary loan transactions with 1.6 percent following seven years grace period.
Meanwhile, the technical meeting is expected today, August 10, with the holding of a major press conference between Eton Management and the Government of Liberia.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor—- Editing by Jonathan Browne