Liberia: Senate to Hold Special Hummingbird, EBOMAF Session Monday
Monrovia – The Liberian Senate is expected today, Monday, June 10, to hold another special session to consider the ratification of the Mineral Development Agreement between Hummingbird Resources and the Government of Liberia. The Senate’s special session is also intended for the Pre-financing Agreement between EBOMAF and the government.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
In a communication from the Office of the Senate Pro-Tempore to all senators, Pro-Temp Albert Chie requested his colleagues to be present in their Chamber by 11 a.m. Monday. This special session comes days after a similar session was held by the Senate. During that earlier session, the Senate concurred with the House of Representatives on the Eton financing agreement.
The Liberian Senate on Friday, June 8, concurred with the House of Representatives on the ratification of the US$536 million loan agreement between the Government of Liberia and Eton Private Finance Limited.
The concurrence follows Wednesday, June 6, passage at the lower house where the agreement received a unanimous vote with one abstention.
During Friday’s special session, the Central Bank of Liberia put the government’s consolidated account on the line in order to secure the US$536 million loan from ETON Private Finance, for the construction of roads linking the country’s southeastern counties.
Putting the government’s consolidated account – the account where all remittances are made to government – up as sovereign guarantee means in the case of any default on payment, ETON, through international arbitration, can demand the government of Liberia to pay the loan through available channels, including the consolidated account.
The danger involved is that when this happens, government’s operations would be greatly affected because operational funds would be used to pay back the loan.
But members of the House of Representatives, who have already given green light to the passage of the agreement believe such would be preferable to giving up any of the country’s resources or foreign assets to secure the loan.
Appearing before the Senate, Central Bank Governor Milton Weeks confirmed to members of the upper house that where there is default in the payment of the loan, the Central Bank would take responsibility through the consolidated account.
Just days after ratifying the controversial Eton Financing Agreement Loan, the House of Representatives also unanimously approved the loan financing agreement between the Government of Liberia and EBOMAF SA.