By R. Joyclyn Wea
The Government of Liberia has again entered into a US$1Billion United States dollars loan agreement with the World Bank to meet its priority of road construction in the country.
As part of this agreement, an initial amount of five hundred million United States dollars offer has been allegedly presented to the government of Liberia by the World Bank to kick start the initiative.
The World Bank is proposing US$0.5% interest rate in the agreement to be paid by the Liberian Government toward the road project.
This follow warning from the World Bank preventing the Liberian Government not to borrow in the commercial space as the loan taken from Eton and EBOMAF were in the commercial space.
Speaking at the Ministry Of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) on Thursday, August 2, 2018, MICAT boss Lenn Eugene Nagbe explained that the World Bank has presented to the government of Liberia an initial amount of five hundred million United states dollars (US$500m) for support of road construction, but at the same time clarified that negotiation surrounding the loan has not been concluded on grounds that the government has to sign and ratify such.
Minister Nagbe said “the agreement was entered into with the World Bank and partners in whom it’s agreed to give Liberia a financing loan agreement of the total of US$1 billion dollars thereby proposing a consultant, the IMF, African Development Bank.”
He claimed that this is the first time that such amount would be given to the government of Liberia to finance roads in the country.
Nagbe noted that eighty to ninety percent of the country is inaccessible due to what he calls inadequate roads connectivity and the country cannot develop as well in the absence of roads factor that prompted government to borrow such fund.
He indicated that in order for the nation to also succeed in agriculture and energy supply, it has to first succeed in its road connectivity which he named as the two major things that are holding Liberia down.
Accordingly, the MICAT boss clarified that this does not mean that the government is kicking out previous agreements entered into with Eton and EBOMAF loans deals, noting it is a law and all of these laws put together to fix the country’s roads properly.
“Some members of the opposition say Eton loan is a 419 but I do not know what they would say about the World Bank too, even if it was 419 what is wrong with somebody giving you billion dollars to fix road,” he added.
Nagbe cited that Liberia has the right to borrow money from the World Bank because it is a member of that financial body saying “if we don’t borrow money we will still suffer so what wrong with us borrowing money.”