By Lincoln G. Peters
The Government of Liberia and the World Bank on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 signed a USD$40 million financing agreement for the Liberia Sustainable Management of Fisheries Project (LSMFP) to help boost the operation of the Liberia National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA).
The signing ceremony of the financing agreement for the World Bank-funded LSMFP took place in Monrovia during which Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., signed for Liberia while the World Bank Liberia Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara signed for the World Bank.
NaFAA Director General Madam Emma Metieh Glassco also signed the document.
The USD$ 40 million financing agreement is aimed at creating job opportunities for Liberia, to increase domestic revenue collection and construction of modern fisheries infrastructure in Liberia for the landing of vessels and the storage of products which will help the country to produce its own product and export them to other countries.
Speaking at the signing program, Finance Minister Tweah described the project as a true transformation that will enable the country to raise domestic revenues and create job opportunities for Liberians across the country.
“We are diversifying the country’s economy. For too long we have been on roads, agriculture, among others. But this time we are touching all over every sector,” he said.
Also speaking, World Bank Liberia Country Manager Dr. Khwima Nthara said it’s a great honor for him to represent the World Bank at the auspicious financing agreement in the amount of USD$ 40 million of which 20 million is an International Development Association (IDA) grant and $20 million, an IDA concession credit.
“It will support the needed intervention across the whole Fisheries value chain as it will invest in new alternative vessels and fishing gears for getting the fish from the sea,” the World Bank envoy said.
According to him, the project will also support the Government of Liberia’s efforts in creating a business-friendly environment for aquaculture through the development and rehabilitation of the Klay hatchery and the establishment of the farmer field schools.
“The preservation of [the] existing stock of Liberia’s oceanic fish species is not guaranteed and depends on many factors,” he said.
He noted that this project supports integral efforts to increase the resilience of the Liberian population to the effect of climate change of inland aquaculture which will help ease pressure on oceanic species.
Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, Director General of the Liberia National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority said her entity was able to make Liberia’s case to the World Bank regarding the need to have an industrious fishing port.
According to her, Liberia has 77 Gangetic fishing vessels on its territorial waters, but these vessels can land in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone because Liberia does not have a landing pier for them.
She added that they have managed to also convince the Government of Liberia to make fishing a priority, something she noted also led to the sealing of the contract.
“Liberia [is] losing over 50% of revenue to other countries because we are not having landing industrious pier in the country,” she noted.
“These vessels that fish on our water and go to other countries to land supply these countries with fish and increase their domestic revenue generation while Liberia as a coastal country is importing 60 million per annual by 28 thousand metro tons every year,” NaFAA boss noted.
The NaFAA boss disclosed that the agreement signed will construct landing infrastructure sites in Montserrado, Maryland, Sinoe, Grand Bassa, and River Cess Counties respectively, adding that the Montserrado County landing site will be at Popo Beach, New Kru Town Bushrod.
“We will expand the Mesurado pier on the Bushrod Island from this project. And all the land needed for the construction are all available and ready and by 2026 all these facilities will be completed,” she added.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/france-world-bank-to-provide-49m-to-address-flooding-in-liberia/–Edited by Winston W. Parley