Many Liberians this paper spoke to recently expressed delight over the amount given to the Liberian Government to help with its development projects. They have described it as important at this time and would love for such amount to be used for its intended purpose. More importantly, they said there was no preconditions were attached to the amount as done by other countries.
Abraham Massaquoi, a resident of Matadi and a businessman said, "as a businessman, I love to see development in this country and when we see such development, we are happy. More of concern is the line in which that country gave the money. It is a third world country." He added, "This is a true friend. We need assistance that will foster our development agenda as the president has always said.
Last week, the Indian Government gave Liberia a credit line of US$144M aimed at the development of electricity transmission and distribution network. Liberia needs such assistance at this time. Some time ago, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to do more in supplying power to the city.
Another businesswoman who spoke to some reporters over the weekend said, "As for me, as business woman, I want to thank the Indians for giving our president and this country that assistance to help," Ma Betty Mulbah of the Water Side market said.
She said, "Light is our big problem here today. All that we do here will start with light and end with light. Even you the journalist need light to work. So, if a country can help us with this, we need to be thankful for that."
Speaking as a member of the Marketing Association of Liberia, Mr. Wreh Samuel said, "when you travel and return with good news, your people can be happy. But if you are a leader that will travel and as soon you come, you only talk about yourself that is not good. But Ma Ellen travelled to Asia, to be exact, India, to come with good news. Some of us heard the news on radio."
But he said, this: "the money should be used for light and nothing else. That money is huge and we are of the belief that if used properly, can help transform our country to some level. The president is making great impact as a result of her trips. Some people will say she is not doing well, but I can say that she is trying. Room was not built in one day."
This is the first time in the history of this administration for such amount to be given by India. Over the years, the Indian Government has provided scholarships and other technical assistance to Liberia. During the president's visit, several trade agreements were signed with the aim of enhancing trade and development among both countries.
The provision of the funds comes at a time when an Indian Company-Jindal Power and Steel Limited-is bidding for the Wologizi Mountain as well as plan to set up power plant for the country.
According to industrial sources, JSPL is among several international companies bidding for the mountain. One source said, Jindal's bid for the mountain is not attached to this monetary help from the government of India. Jindal is a private company.
According to research, the company is well known in the steel business as well as power, and based on its operations, quality of life it provides to its employees, is seen by many industrialists as the most suitable firm for the takeover of such project. Another businessman from Newport Street-Henry Kennedy said, "This was time for Liberia to know its true friend.
"In time of challenges, that is the time you know your true friend. We are getting to know some of our real friends who will give us help without any attachment. If other counties who have been giving help to Liberia can follow the footsteps of India, then, we are moving somewhere."
What remains to be seen is how fast this government is going to act on it and provide its energy starved economy.