Liberia: Senate To Approve ‘Controversial’ US$536M Loan


Monrovia – A financing loan agreement between the government of Liberia and Eton Finance PTE Ltd in the tone of US$536.4 million will spend the maximum of seven days before ratification by the legislature.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

According to our Legislative senior reporter, this is a practice that is very unusual in Legislative politics as it relates to ratification of such amount.

On Thursday, May 10, the Senate voted instructing its committees on Judiciary, Lands, Mines, Energy and Natural Resources and Ways, Means and Finance to jointly investigate the loan document and come up with suggestion for the instrument to be passed.

In a motion file by Sinoe County Senator Milton Teahjay, he moved that the first reading of the document constitute the second reading and that the document be sent to the relevant committees to work with the House’s Committees to recommend suggestions in seven days.

The loan, according to the agreement from the Executive, will help finance the coastal corridor connection of counties’ capitals road project, via construction of the Buchanan-Cestos City to Greenville to Barclaryville Road, the Barclayville to Sasstown Road and the Barclayville to Pleebo Road.

Other roads to benefit from the loan include; the Medina to Robertsport Road and the Tubmanburg to Bopolu Road. Also to be constructed are ‘rest stops’ and ‘roadside service areas.’

The loan will also include the construction of a vocational training center in Greenville, Sinoe County; construction of a mini soccer stadium in Harper, Maryland County; Barclaville, Grand Kru County;  Greenville, Sinoe County, Cestos City, Rivercesss County; Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount Count and Bopolu County.

The principal amount of the loan is payable in 15 years by level payment at an interest rate of 1.46 percent per annum, with a seven-year interest and principal free grace period.

In the loan agreement, contractors of the project shall be the JVC or Consortium Comprising  MAEIl Liberia Construction Co., Ltd a major Chinese Engineering, procurement and construction company and subcontractor(s) comprising Liberian-owned and operated construction and engineering company(ies), all to be vetted and confirmed by the Ministry of Public Works in respect of their technical capacities.

“Honorable Pro-Tempore and members of the Senate, I trust that the Legislature will ratify this agreement, which seeks to provide employment, build infrastructure, strengthen our union, and drive our pro-poor agenda for the good of our Liberian people,” the President Communication stated.