Mr. Ghanem Sulaiman Al-Ghenaiman with outgoing Minister Amara Konneh
The Government of Liberia and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic have signed a $17 million United States Dollars loan agreement to help finance the Gbarnga –Salayea Road project. The road connects Bong and Lofa Counties.
Outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh, signed Monday, 21 March on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while the Deputy Director General of the Kuwait Fund Mr. Ghanem Sulaiman Al-Ghenaiman, who was accompanied to Liberia by Mr.Thamer Al-Failakawi, Regional Manager for West Africa, signed on behalf of the Fund.
According to a press statement, Mr. Konneh said the aim of the project is to enhance economic and social development of the central region of Liberia, while linking the country with neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone thru roads network.
He said the project consists of construction works to attain an all-weather asphalted road of approximately 81 kilometers and a width of 7.5 meters with 1.5 meters shoulders on each side between Gbarnga and Salayea.
Konneh added that the project also includes drainage facilities, reconstruction or rehabilitation of bridges, safety and environmental protection facilities, as well as consultancy services to review detailed designed, supervision of construction and institutional support and land acquisition.
He said the project is expected to be completed by end of 2019, noting that the total cost is estimated at about 9,095.51 billion Liberian dollars with the equivalent of about 28.921million of which the foreign exchange is equivalent to about 24 million, which represents about 85 percent of the total coast of the project or 20 percent of the foreign exchange component of the cost of the project.
According to him, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will loan about 4.41 million Kuwait Dinars which represents 16.8 percent of the total cost of the project, while the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa will provide 2.61 million Kuwait Dinars, representing 10 percent of the total cost of the project. The Government of Liberia will finance the rest of the project costs.
Mr. Konneh emphasized that the loan covers a period of 26 years, including five years grace period and will be amortized in 42 semi-annual installments, adding that the loan bears an interest rate of one percent in addition to the 0.6 per annum to cover administration costs and other expenses incurred in the implementation of the loan agreement.
“By concluding this agreement ,it will be the third loan that the fund provided to Liberia, where the fund previously provided two loans amounting to about six million Kuwait Dinars equivalent to about 20 million United States dollars for financing projects in the transport sector.”
By Bridgett Milton