23 November 2017

Liberia: House Passes Another Loan Deal for Gbarnga-Salayea Road

Photo: Liberian Observer
Members of the House unanimously and happily passed the US$16.m loan deal.

In its first post-election session, members of the House of Representatives have ratified a financing agreement in the amount of five million Kuwaiti Dinars (K.D. 5,000,000), equivalent to US$16,516,002.40 to assist Liberia fund the Gbarnga-Salayea Road Project. The loan agreement was signed between the Liberian Government and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The House, at its 69th day sitting on Tuesday, November 21, unanimously voted to approve the financing agreement for the upgrading of the Gbarnga-Salayea road, which has been forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.

The House's decision was based on a report received from its Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary to act on a letter from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

"That the project shall undertake the construction of an all-weather asphalt road of approximately 81km and 7.5km length and width respectively (with 1.5m shoulders on each side) between Gbarnga and Salayea; and it shall also include among other things, construction works, such as earthworks, bridge works, and drainages; and consultancy services, institutional support and land acquisition," the report read by Rep. Prince Moye said.

"That the amount of five million Kuwaiti Dinars (K.D. 5,000,000) - equivalent to US$16,516,002.40 - which is an additional financing secured from the Kuwaiti Fund is sufficient to undertake the project. This funding will adequately complement other funds accrued in agreements mentioned here to successfully undertake this road project," the report added.

It may be recalled that in July, the Senate in its 45th day sitting approved the first loan deal for the Gbarnga-Salayea road project in the amount of US$20M, which subsequently was concurred by the House of Representatives.

According to the agreement, the Liberian government has agreed to secure US$12M from the Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA); US$20M from the OPEC Fund; US$20M from the Saudi Fund for Development and US$15M from the Abu Dhabi Fund as partial financing to complete the Gbarnga-Salayea Road.

Meanwhile, in Tuesday's session, members of the House of Representatives also amended the Revenue Code of Liberia and Phase One of the Reform Tax Code of Liberia, as amended by the Consolidated Tax Amendment Act of 2011, to adopt a Modernized Customs Code 2017.

"The purpose of this instrument is to develop modern customs processes that are consistent with international standards and practices that will ensure the full benefit from legitimate international trade. Besides, this Act considers greater transparency and fairness in revenue collection, protection of taxpayers and it creates accountability in customs actions and decisions," the report said.

Rep. Moye added: "The significance of the bill is to boost the economy by providing economic and commercial protection and security."

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