‘Totally Irresponsible’ – McGill Slams Sen. Johnson’s Critique of US$536 Loan Arrangement
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
Monrovia – The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel McGill, has sharply responded to the argument raised by Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson about payback guarantee on the Eton US$536 million loan deal with Liberia.
The loan deal if ratified by the Legislature will focus on the government of Liberia’s costal road construction.
According to McGill, only irresponsible countries and governments will take loan from organizations and other countries with a mind of not paying back; claiming that these are some of the issues that have kept Liberia developmentally backward.
“Under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, the right decisions will be made. An independent country, which is about to take other people’s money must guarantee it.
“The agreement is clear; in the agreement, Eton will deposit the money at the Central Bank of Liberia and the bank will disburse the money to the contractor,” he said.
The Presidential Affairs Minister maintained that the agreement between Liberia and Eton targets a specific area, including pavement of 503-kilometer roads in and around the country, specifically in the Southeast.
McGill believes that Sen. Johnson has been ill informed about the loan agreement and cautioned him to seek more clarity on the issue. According to him, it is a shame that some officials will think that Liberia, as a sovereign nation, will borrow and not have a mind to payback.
“There is no collateral, the only thing demanded by the borrowers is that the Central Bank should sign a sovereign guarantee and the Legislature should ratify. It is not where you borrow but who is willing to borrow you money; the options are many.
“This is a good project and nobody is going to stop this project. What people didn’t do in 170 years, this government will do it in six years.”
The Bomi County Senator’s feared that to go into loan agreement with a private entity whether this entity has a credible status or not there is an issue of Sovereign Guarantee trust because according to him the agreement is not telling what they are going to mortgage in the agreement.
The Senate plenary has given the committees on Concession, Judiciary and Investment seven days to review the agreement and report to plenary but Senator Johnson believes seven days will not be enough.
He said consultations are going on and most of his colleagues are beginning to see the idea; adding: “Firstly, if you look at the agreement, I think the Ministry of Justice did not sign it.
“So, we have to look at all this thing and ask what’s going on. I’m really not sure whether this company has the money.”