As Legislature Signs Joint Resolution To Borrow More Money, Is Liberia To Hit HIPC Status Again?

0
822

Members of both the Liberian House of Representatives and Senate have signed a joint resolution authorizing President George Weah to employ all legal and legitimate means in securing loan financing agreement(s) for the construction of pave roads leading to the 15 political sub-divisions of the Country.

The joint resolution which was on Tuesday overwhelmingly endorsed and passed by majority members of the House, upon concurrence by the senate, will mandate the executive to acquire loan finances for road construction of critical corridors in Liberia.

It comes barely a week after the upper and lower Houses of the Liberian Legislature in what many Liberians refer to as a 4G passage of two major financing agreements including US$536.4M secured through a Singapore based Financing company, Eton and a US$420.8M pre- financing loan agreement between the Government of Liberia and a West African Construction company EBOMAF.

The $536 million loan agreement is geared towards the construction of a coastal corridor connecting counties capitals and the construction of a vocational training center in Greenville, Sinoe County, the construction of mini stadiums in Harper, Mary Land County, Barclayville, Grand Kru County and Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County amongst others.

Meanwhile, the 420 million will be used to connect the northern and other parts of Liberia.

According to the sponsors including Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah, connecting county capitals will reduce poverty and increase the income generation of the Liberian Government.

The sponsors mentioned that the timely concurrence of the resolution by the upper House and execution by the chief executive will help promote economic, social and environmental development across Liberia.

They underscored that road connectivity is a casualty to economic growth.

The joint statement quotes the crafters as saying “borrowing of money to connect the cities of Liberia is in the supreme interest of the Liberian people”.

Some of the corridors to be constructed include Sawmill and Gbarma in Gbarpolu County, Vaihum, Manekoma, Kolahum, Foya, Gbarma to Mano River basin in Lofa and Bong Counties, Todee to Bomi corridor, and Rehab in Montserrado amongst others.

It is believed that the unconditional endorsement, signing and execution of the resolution by both the Senate and the Executive will satisfy one of the pillars of the sustainable Development Goals that speaks to empowerment of people and poverty alleviation.

Vice President and President and President of the Liberian Senate at a news conference on Tuesday affixed her signature to the joint resolution.

She said it is in the interest of the Country.

Liberia’s Debt

It is a major concern by many Liberians that the two loan agreements now raise Liberia’s internal and external debt to over an alarming $2 billion United States Dollars.

With these questionable loans, political pundits and concerned Liberians are raising concern that Liberia could in the soonest possible time return to its previous “Heavily Indebted Poor Countries” (HIPC) status a decade ago when Liberia could not settle her external obligation of $4.6 billion United States Dollars.

It can be recalled that Liberia was relieved of the US$4 billion debt under the Unity Party Government headed by then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.