The Government of Liberia has signed a US$2.5 billion dollars agreement for natural mineral swap.Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, says the Natural Resource Swap Investment Facility is a framework entered into between the Chinese Roads and Bridge Cooperation and the Government of Liberia.
Addressing a joint press conference on Tuesday, September 11, at the Ministry of Information along with the Ministers of Public Works, Information, and Commerce and Industry, Minister Tweah explains the US$2.5 billion is for the development of Liberia for the next five years, adding that the money is for priority infrastructures such as roads and electricity, amongst others.
President George MannehWeah recently led a high-level delegation to China to attend the 2018 Edition of the Forum on China-AfricaCooperation (FOCAC) where the Government of Liberia signed various concessions.
Tweah notes that government also entered into another agreement for the cultivation of about 500,000 to 1,000,000 metric tons of rice annually, saying “Rice is the stable food for Liberians and this agreement will be able to solve the rice problem in the country.”
According to the Minister, there is another agreement with a Chinese firm, PPIC for the supply of solar powered streets and traffic lights.He says two key priorities are roads and electricity, stressing that there is no way the country can develop without addressing these two concerns.
Tweah notes that recently, the World Bank announced that it is prepared to work with the Government of Liberia to source US$ 500million for infrastructure financing besides promising to bring US$150 million. “We will engage our other international partners and Banks to ensure that we raise the money for development. The US$500 million will be a concession loan”, he explains.
Public Works Minister Mobutu VlahNyenpan says the overhead interchange from the SKD Boulevard and the Ministry of Health intersection will be first of its kind in Africa, lamenting the issues of roads in Liberia are very alarming especially, during the rainy season.
Minister Nyenpan continues government needs US$3.4 billion to pave all roads across the country. He describes the lack of roads as a national security threat.
Meanwhile, he discloses that pavement of community roads kick off shortly and communities to benefit include Chocolate City, Small St. Michael, 2nd, 3rd, 6th streets, Pipeline, Michael Francis, Patience shop in Barnesville, Dry Rice Market to Johnsonville road, Cooper Farm, amongst others.He puts total cost for these projects at US$75million, which he says has been allotted.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne