The World Bank and the government of Liberia on Friday signed three financing agreements in the amount of US$ 117 million for the construction of 101 kilometers of paved roads that will link Saclepea to Tappita to Toe’s Town of the country; and US$ 40M for the Second Inclusive Growth Development Policy Operation (IGDPO-2).
The agreements are part of efforts to boost economic activities in the central to southeastern corridors of the country by improving road connectivity.
Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr., thanked the Bank, World Bank and other bilateral and multilateral partners for the level of support across several sectors of the economy focusing in the area of Health, roads connectivity, infrastructure development and education.
He lauded the partners for what he termed as “taking practical step” aimed at helping Liberia address the challenge posed by bad road conditions.
Hon. Tweah said the Bank continues to work with Liberia in good and difficult times in structuring a path to transforming the country.
“The World Bank has stood with Liberia in good and difficult times by supporting the government in structuring a path to transforming the country”, he said.
He termed the ceremony as “a celebration of partnership and coordination” between the Bank and the government of Liberia.
According to him, development is not immediate; instead, it is the consequence of deliberation and processes with multiple agencies working together to solve risks and challenges.
He stated that the signing ceremony is also a milestone because of coordination, rethinking, and a partnership that is delivering because of adaptability and resilience that is looking at pre-existing models and redesigning them for development.
For his part, Country Manager of World Bank Khwima Nthara explained that US$ 96 million of the US$ 117 million is an IDA Credit for the SECRAMP and RETRAP projects, while US$ 21 million is a grant from the British, and German governments, and the EU provided to Liberia through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) that is managed by the Bank.
“It is a great privilege and honor for me to be participating in yet another huge milestone in the development partnership between Liberia and the World Bank as we sign financing agreements for the Southeastern Corridor Road Asset Management Project (SECRAMP) in the amount of US$ 62 million and the Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP) in the amount of US$ 55 million” Bank Manager Nthara noted.
Nthara said the projects will go a long way towards transforming the economy of Liberia, and in turn the livelihoods of people living in those areas.
He indicated that the Bank will be working with Liberia and other development partners to secure additional funding to complete the pavement of the last section of the road.
However, Acting Public Works Minister, Hon. Ruth Coker-Collins said the signing of additional Three Financing Agreements represents a milestone in the Road Sector.
“As government, we hold this project to our heart and we have since started the first thirty nine kilometers which is ongoing, so we are trying to complete the procurement process for the next phase. I think it is a historical day for me”, she stressed.
“We are excited, and ready in every capacity to move the country forward as soon as the ratification of these agreements by the Legislature subsequently happens; we will witness the pavement of major road corridors in the Southeast connected with Tappitta in Nimba County.
In addition it is expected that the projects when implemented will improve the enabling environment for agribusiness development, enhance competitiveness and market access through productive alliances, agri-marketing and road infrastructure investment and project coordination and management and contingency emergency response.