Pres. Sirleaf submits US$27.3M agreement

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has submitted a US$27.3 million loan agreement to members of the House of Representatives.

If approved by both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, the funds, which emanate from the European Investment Bank, will be used to rehabilitate the runway of the Roberts International Airport, the RIA, in Margibi County. 

A communication read in the plenary of the House on Tuesday in Monrovia, appealed for an urgent passage of the document so that the Government can commence rehabilitation work at the nation’s only international airport.

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In the President’s communication, she informed the Lawmakers that the ratification of the Loan Agreement will address the urgent need to recondition the runway, which is in a poor state.

“More specifically, the project concerns the urgent rehabilitation of the airport’s runway, which is in a very poor condition, improvement to the pavement drainage system, construction of Runway End Safety Areas (REAS), and replacement of the runway lighting”, President Sirleaf stated in the communication.

According to the Chief Executive, the project also includes the provision of assorted items of operational and safety-related airport equipment such as fire tenders, ambulances, firefighting equipment, forklift, high loaders, conveyer belt loaders, passenger stairs, and passenger buses.

The Liberian leader put the estimated cost for the RIA modernization and rehabilitation project at US$ 60,300,000.00 (sixty million, three hundred thousand dollars).

She also disclosed that the government has concluded arrangements for the project to be financed with US$20 million from the Saudi Fund for Development; US$ 10 million from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; US$ 3million from the Government of Liberia; and US$ 27.3 million credit from the European Investment Bank, respectively.

Following the reading and debate, a motion from Grand Gedeh County Electoral District Three Representative, Alex Grant, to turn the instrument to the Committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Judiciary and Contract and Monopoly for review and subsequent advice to Plenary in two weeks was unanimously agreed.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has mandated three relevant committees to review 27, 300, 000.00 Finance Contract between the Government of Liberia and the European Investment Bank for the renovation of the Roberts International Airport Runway.

Members of the House reached the decision during the 11th day sitting of the 4th Session on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 following the submission of the agreement by President Sirleaf to the august body for ratification.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

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