President George Manneh Weah yesterday departed the country for Senegal, Morocco, and France respectively, according to an Executive Mansion release.
Although the release did not state the purpose of President Weah's trip to the three countries, it confirmed that the President will be away from Wednesday, February 14, to Friday, February 23.
The President was expected to be in Senegal yesterday, February 14, to cement ECOWAS solidarity. During the country's 14-year civil-war, Senegalese soldiers, through ECOWAS, joined the West Africa Peace Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) that led the campaign to restore peace to Liberia.
The President's next visit will be in Rabat, Morocco on Friday, February 16, which is significant because of the reported interest of the Kingdom of Morocco to join the Economic Community of the West Africa States (ECOWAS).
The Kingdom wants to extend its economic interest in West Africa and Morocco's King Mohammed VI last year visited Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Mali to promote his cause, particularly his country's membership in ECOWAS.
In recent years, at least 85 percent of Morocco's direct foreign investment went to African countries. In 2016, it was the largest African investor on the continent, to the tune of US$8 billion (6.8 billion euros).
The release further noted that President Weah will also pay his last official visit to France, where he is expected to meet with France President Emmanuel Macron from February 21 to February 23. France has been a strong partner in Liberia's development.
Apart from France's support to Liberia, President Weah began his soccer career in AS Monaco in the 1990s and therefore his visit could be another means to strengthen his relations with a country that played a significant role in his career as a professional footballer.
While President Weah is away, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Farlo McGill, will chair the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President the release said.
Special Review Committee
In a related development, President Weah has constituted a nine-member Special Review Committee to evaluate all concessions/management and other agreements, including contracts entered into by and between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and concessionaires and/or contractors.
Members of the committee are Archie Bernard, legal advisor to the president, chairman; and Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, co-chair.
Other members include Charles Bright, economic advisor to the president, Cllr. Necular Y. Edwards, Cllr. Bendu E. Clark, Cllr. Juah Nancy Cassell, Cllr. Jallah Barbu, and Cllr. Teplah Reeves.
President Weah has, however, directed all government agencies, public institutions, commissions and state-owned enterprises to fully cooperate with the committee to facilitate its smooth operation.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the President formed the committee yesterday, and mandated it to review and ensure that all contracts entered into by the GoL and concessionaires are executed according to agreed principles in accordance with the laws of Liberia.
President Weah further mandated the committee to ascertain and ensure that all contracts meet the legal requirements of the laws of Liberia and are fully implemented.
He also instructed members of the committee to ensure that during its investigation, the concessionaires and the country are in good standing with all current performance under the terms and conditions of the concession, management, and other agreements/contracts signed.
Weah then mandated the committee to recommend where there are issues.
Constituted LPRC Board
Meanwhile, President Weah has constituted the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
Those named to the Board are Bishop Joseph T. Pah, chairman; and members, Eric Nagbe, Cllr. Dempster Brown, George Kpawulu, Mrs. Danielette Nimely, and Ben Sanvee.