According to Finance Development and Planning Minister Boima Kamara, the signing of the loan agreement is the second phase of the Fish town –Harper road, which includes the construction of a bridge over the Cavalla River between Harper City and San Pedro.
The signing ceremony which took place Friday at the Finance Ministry was witnessed by Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, Dr. Margaret Kilo, outgoing head of the African Development Bank Group, and officials from the Ministry of Finance and the African Development Bank.
Minister Kamara said the signing ceremony approves the regional concerns from the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone submitted to the Bank for the upgrading of several roads.
He said the construction of the road will support Government of Liberia in increasing service delivery in that part of the country in an efficient and effective way, easy access to hospitals, improved educational facility, increase trade and agriculture activities, and further strengthen internal security, especially as UNMIL draws down.
Minister Kamara highlighted that the project was negotiated as a 100% financing deal which include compensation to affected community and persons.
He also thanked AfDB for their contribution to the rebuilding process of Liberia, especially the Agenda for Transformation and also acknowledged the implementation of phase one value at US$52 million dollars with a disbursement rate of 17% and a physical implementation status at 18%.
For her part, the head of the AfDB Group Dr. Margaret Kilo said the UA 76.9 million or US$ 108.4 million dollars project funded with resources from the African Development fund is part of the transition support facility.
Dr. Kilo described the project as “historic for Liberia and the African Development Bank in several respects” including opening up southeastern region of Liberia which is expected to assist in the delivery of Government services such as health, education, the opening of the market access to communities, especially tourist areas in Cote d’Ivoire which will improve incomes for people in that part of the sub-region.
She said the project has been prepared as part of the Mano River Union initiative which is designed to increase trade and interconnection throughout the region including Liberia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, when the full stretch of the road from Harper to Guinea is fully paved among others.
The AfDB official said to ensure the long term sustainability of these projects, AfDB looks forward to the continued progress on the proposed road sector reform in Liberia, with combining infrastructure provision and governance reforms ensuring sustainability which are key aspects of African Development Bank support to the Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation.
She said to facilitate the smooth commencement of the road project, the Liberian government should ensure that the procurement process for civil works and civil works supervision services are completed by the 31st of August 2016.
Dr. Kilo noted that the revision of the resettlement action plan and the verification report also need to be finalized and stressed that this will pave the way for the compensation of the project affected persons or communities.