President George Manneh Weah Wednesday, February 6, 2019 dedicated a newly constructed boat station and ramp for the Liberia Coast Guard (LCG) at the port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The government of the United States constructed the facilities as part of its technical and financial assistance to the reconstruction of the Liberia Coast Guard, an arm of the national security structure manning and monitoring the country’s territorial waters and maritime industry.
President Weah, flanked by officials of Government as well as partners, thanked God for his manifold blessings upon Liberia as he cut the ribbon to the building.
It is the second dedication of such facilities President Weah has performed in less than a year, manifesting his government’s determination and commitment to addressing the many challenges faced by the security sector, mainly the Coast Guards.
Few months ago, the Liberian leader, who is working with the country’s partners to improve the security sector, dedicated the first boat house built by the US Government Base on the Bushrod Island.
President Weah at the time lauded America’s continuous and increased support to Liberia’s efforts to improve its security sector.
Making remarks at the occasion, US Ambassador Christine Elder recounted her country’s contributions and interventions in revitalizing the Liberian Coast Guard.
“When approached by the Liberian government in 2010,” Amb Elder reflected, “the United States Government gladly accepted the challenge to help re-establish the Liberian Coast Guard as a specialized maritime law enforcement unit within the Armed Forces of Liberia.”
She said the US was proud of the progress made in improving the Coast Guard’s capacity to effectively carry out its responsibility of protecting Liberia’s coast and territorial waters.
The US envoy said, “The United States has provided support to the Liberian Coast Guard by training and equipping Coast Guard personnel and by building new infrastructure, as many of you saw recently at the Freeport in Monrovia and now here in Buchanan.”
Ambassador Elder disclosed that her government provided a grant to Liberia to fund the refurbishment of Coast Guard and the construction of a station facility at the Freeport in Monrovia.
The grant, she added, helped Liberia to procure all the necessary vessels and equipment including the 6 patrol crafts, 16 Zodiac boats, 4 Ford trucks, spare boat engines and parts for the Liberian Coast Guard.
She put the Buchanan Boathouse and Boat ramp construction at $1.7 million, noting “I’m also proud to share that the permanent fixed pier being constructed at the Freeport is almost complete, representing an additional grant of over $1 million.”
Ambassador Elder reaffirmed her government’s commitment to continuing the process of developing a Liberian Coast Guard capable of patrolling and protecting all of Liberia’s territorial waters.
“To accomplish this goal, Liberia will need to expand beyond the current Coast Guard Bases in the Freeport of Monrovia and Buchanan and eventually establish a presence in Greenville and Harper,” she revealed.
She said her country was aware that President Weah has no responsibility more seriously than ensuring the safety of his citizens, the security of Liberia’s key economic and infrastructure installations, and the protection of Liberia’s borders.
President Weah was joined at the dedication program by several officials of government and partners, including the entire Legislative Caucus of Grand Bassa County, Minister of State, Hon. Nathaniel McGill, Finance Minister, Hon. Samuel Tweah, Jr., the head of USAID and others.
Meanwhile, the Liberian government moved to address problems affecting the smooth operation of the Government Hospital in Buchanan.
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Nathaniel F. McGill, on behalf of President Weah, toured the medical facilities to get firsthand appreciation of the situation to be able to make required intervention.
The government, through the National Port Authority (NPA), announced an initial assistance of US$50,000, one ambulance and two motorbikes to the Hospital.