The Government of Liberia has signed a milestone loan agreement with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to help Liberians living in the North- Western region of the country to begin an immediate pavement of the Gbarnga-Salayea road.
On Monday, 22February Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara M. Konneh and Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development signed the landmark loan agreement worth US$20m to support the “Paving of the Gbarnga-Salayea Road”; the first phase of Lot 1 of the Gbarnga–Mendikorma Road project.
A dispatch from Vienna, Austria says the road is significant given the importance of that part of the country on agriculture and its implication for accelerating regional trade and commerce and overall economic development for Liberia.
The signing which now awaits the timely ratification by the Liberian Legislature is an excellent opportunity that will open up the North Western part of Liberia, a positive step taken by the Liberian Government and in particular the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in delivering the development targets under the Agenda for Transformation.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Vienna, Austria Minister Konneh expressed delight for the historic financing document, building on many achievements under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration and bringing development to the North West of the country. He said it is the first step towards paving the road from Gbarnga to Mendikorma, linking the rest of the country.
Konnehacknowledged that paving the road from Gbarnga to Salayea will directly contribute to the economic and social development of Liberia through the development, expansion and integration of roads network, thereby reducing travel time and cost, improving accessibility, achieving road safety and security, and ultimately improving the standard of living of the inhabitants of Bong and Lofa counties.
The agreement signed will provide $20 million into a pool of funds meant for the payment of 81km of the road from Gbarnga to Salayea which is the first section of Lot 1 between Gbarnga and Salayea at a total project cost of 72millions. The MFDP is working with the Ministry of Public Works and other partners, including the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to finance the rest of the road project.
For his part, the Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, welcomed Minister Konneh and Delegation, and said the loan is intended to raise the standard of living of the population in Bong and Lofa Counties, reduce time and cost of travel, improve accessibility and achieve security and safety.
He pledged the Fund’s support to the development of Liberia.Dispatch