Liberia’s Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore has disclosed here that regulations and policies of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, which Liberia scribes to limits the government from borrowing hugely as being anticipated to undertake major infrastructural projects across the country.
Speaking at the official opening of the ECOWAS Infrastructure Preparation and Development Unit validation and draft final report for study on the Dakar, Senegal-Lagos, Nigeria corridor conference Tuesday in Monrovia, Minister Moore said the IMF’s regulations have reduced the country’s options for borrowing, noting that this would hamper government infrastructure agenda.
Moore intimated Liberia is already living in the neighborhood of billion, inclusive of both local and international debts.
He said the country’s transport sector is vital and needs key attention, but with the benchmark which shows that Liberia can only borrow US$120 million per annual, it makes it difficult for government to gainfully make impact on transport as being projected by the regional body, ECOWAS.
Also speaking at the conference, ex-minister of Public Works and ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure Dr. Antoinette Weeks said, the Dakar-Lagos corridor is part of the Trans-African Highway or TAH-7 Network within the ECOWAS region.
She said development of the TAH-7 falls under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa or PIDA, adding “The Dakar-Lagos corridor covers a distance of approximately 4500.0 kilometers and will connect the coastal capitals of 11 ECOWAS member states.”
According to her, it is believed the development of the Dakar-Lagos Corridor will widely contribute towards the socio-economic development of West Africa, as it will connect the most densely populated and economically viable parts of the sub-region.
The corridor, she added, will also connect with other corridors along the north-south axis of the continent by linking the landlocked countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. “It is also worth noting that Dakar-Lagos Corridor is one of the seven flagship priorities of the development project, which has been selected by the ECOWAS Commission to be fast-tracked and implemented. To enhance the development of the Dakar-Lagos Corridor, the ECOWAS Commission engaged a consultant in February 2015 to conduct a study on the corridor’s missing links. This study is being implemented by the Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU), a specialized agency with the commission’s infrastructure department, charged with preparing bankable regional development infrastructure,” Dr. Weeks further detailed in the conference, gathering which brought together eight West African States’ delegates to Monrovia.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne