The New Dawn (Monrovia)

5 December 2012

Liberia: RIA, Mount Coffee Get U.S.$20.2 Million - Rehab Starts Soon

Government has announced the disbursement of a total of US$20.2m as part of rehabilitation efforts affecting major state infrastructure, with the Robert International Airport (RIA) and the Mount Coffee Hydro receiving an initial amount of US3m and US3.1m respectively.

A statement released by the Ministry of Finance Tuesday said the move is consistent government's pronouncement to undertake tangible projects and invest in the domestic private sector.

"US$20.2 million has been paid on Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) while US$6.6 million has been spent on Liberian owned businesses, " the ministry said.

It said the investment in PSIP has focused on the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee (US$3.1 million); Construction of new HFO Plant (US$5 million); and rehabilitation of various roads (US$12 million). Among the roads under construction are Monrovia city streets, Marshall road, Jamaica road, Duport road, Clara Town road, AB Tolbert road, and SKD Blvd.

The Ministry of Finance is in the final stages of concluding a US$875m grant agreement with the European Development Bank to finance the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydro.

The Ministry said it has also approved US$3m allotment for the commencement of rehabilitation works at the Robert International Airport in Margibi County. The first phase of the rehabilitation will focus on the purchase of navigational aids, reconditioning of the runway and terminal and airport renovation.

"Over the past few months, several reform initiatives have been undertaken in the areas of revenue collection, budget transparency, expenditure management, customers' relations, and business friendly environment.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) reforms initiatives in the expenditure process that was instituted following the approval of the Fiscal year 2012/2013 budget has registered strong success which has greatly helped the expenditure side of the budget execution.

To date, of the US$235 million requested in allotment by line ministries and agencies for the second quarter, the Ministry has processed US$227 million out of which US$170 million has been paid." the statement released added.

The ministry said it remains committed to making sure that civil servants received their December salaries by the 10th and payment of future salaries between the 15th and 20th of every month. Civil servant salary payments for the month of November were effected between 10th and 15th of November.

"The MoF has planned to improve its customer's service to many of its vendor customers, vendors who payments have been translated into printed checks will be called immediately after the checks and the releases are signed," it added.

The strong macroeconomic performance over recent years and the Government's commitment to addressing the challenges ahead have been acknowledged by the IMF and resulted in the approval of a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility by the IMF Executive Board on Monday, 19 November 2012.

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