Monrovia – The Government of Liberia has entered into an agreement with a Chinese firm to exchange some of the country’s natural resources for US$2.5 billion in order to implement its ‘Pro-poor’ development agenda, says Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah.
Report by J. H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]
Minister Tweah made the disclosure during a special press briefing at the Ministry of Information Tuesday, September 11 in Monrovia.
There are concerns that Liberia has already exceeded its debt limit, but Minister Tweah says the agreement with one of China’s major companies is a swap that will see the exchange of the country’s natural resources for billions of US dollars.
Said Minister Tweah: “Let me be very clear on it, this is not a loan. It is an investment facility; a framework enters into between the China Road and Bridge Corporation and the Government of Liberia under the FOCAC arrangement to unveil $US2.5billion dollars for financing the country development over the next five.”
He said agents from the firm will arrived in the country in the next few months to conduct an assessment on Liberia’s various natural resources.
“No restriction, all the natural resources,” he said of the planned assessment. “The feasibility study will determine the viability of the project.”
The Weah-led administration has proposed an ambitious road project as its top development priority. Connecting counties in the southeast has been put on top of the government’s development plan
However, the government has struggled to source loans from two private lenders that appear to have hit rocks.
Mobutu Nyenpan, Minister of Public Works, says the Southeastern road and all other road projects proposed by the government will be implemented as planned.
“The Southeastern road is still on track. What holding it is that we are looking for finance? Everything is on course; we are paving the road from Gbarnga to Voinjama,” Nyenpan said.
He said the cost of the various community roads project is around US$75 million, adding, that, “The pavement of these roads will increase asset to financial capital.”
He warned that the payments of roads will see the demolition of several structures along the route.
“People along the Cocoa Cola to the Red Light have already received payment for the relocation of their homes,” he said.