Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah says there would be a three-year timeline for all roads earmarked to be completed here, after lawmakers approved two loans that his government secured from two private institutions in the tune of nearly a billion US Dollars.
According to an Executive Mansion release issued Tuesday, 12 June following Mr. Weah’s two - days tour in Central Liberia, the president vows that he will not settle down for four years or more for the completion of roads that are under consideration for construction.
Separately, the Legislature has rectified a US$420,810,000.00 loan secured from President Weah’s Burkinabe friend Mahamadou Bonkoungou’s engineering company EBOMAF SA to finance the design, construction, and supervision of 256.2km flexible road pavement corridors here.
That loan is expected to finance the Somalia Drive, Kesselly Boulevard to Sinkor road project which is “16km,” and is expected in Northeastern Liberia to finance the Tappita, Zwedru Road which is “112”kms, the Toe Town to La Cote D’Ivoire, Ivory Coast road which is 10.2kms and the Zwedru to Greenville road which is 185.5kms.
The agreement says the construction period shall be 36 months from the day of commencement which is three months after the deposit of the first tranche of the loan.
The US$420,810,000.00 loan is in addition to a US$536m loan agreement with Singapore-based finance institution Eton to fund a coastal road project to construct 505.3 kilometers of paved roads connecting Buchanan to Cestos City, Greenville to Barclayville, and Barclayville to Sass Town.
The project also includes the construction of the Medina to Robertsport road and the Tubmanburg to Bopolu Road in western Liberia, including rest stops and roadside service areas.
President Weah reemphasizes his commitment to roads construction that would open up the country, saying: "When the road is built, we all can connect.”
He tells citizens not to allow anyone to discourage them about the roads because they are very important for the economy.
On a two-county tour in Central Liberia where he inspected preparatory works on road projects earmarked by the government, Mr. Weah’s first stop took him to Bong County and climaxed in Ganta, Nimba County.
In Bong, the Executive Mansion says President Weah dedicated repaired works on the Gbarnga-Voinjama-Foya road financed by USAID and inspected the Gbarnga-Salayea road project.
While in Nimba, President Weah dedicated a 1.9km chip seal pavement works in Ganta and inspected the 67km Ganta-Yekepa road project, which is being done by ArcelorMittal.
“Roads connectivity is a major preoccupation of President Weah aimed at easing traveling constraints citizens continue to face as well as enhance cross-country trade and boost economic transactions,” the Executive Mansion says.
It adds that President Weah notes that he is not deterred by growing public criticisms over his plans to build roads across the country, as his major focus is to do what he can do for the country.
He says he wants to do more and talk less, adding: “I am here to follow-up on the road we broke ground for sometimes ago. This is a project started by the former administration. I want to thank Madam Sirleaf.”
He says now that he is the President, so he has to make sure the road is built.
He urges citizens of Bong and Nimba Counties to cooperate with the construction companies and help the government achieve its roads construction agenda for people to move freely.
He adds that any country that lacks roads is not a developed nation. The Chinese Construction and Engineering Company (CHICO), is working on the Gbarnga-Salayea road project, while ArcelorMittal is in charge of the Ganta-Yekepa road pavement work.
Construction works are expected to be completed between 2020 and 2021, according to the Ministry of Public Works.