Monrovia - A framework agreement between the Governments of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China for the provision of over US$50 million (350 Million Chinese Yuan ) concessional loan for the upgrade and expansion project of the Roberts International Airport has been signed in Monrovia.
The maturity of the loan is for 20 years with an annual loan interest rate of 2%.
According to a release from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), the bilateral agreement, which is in accordance with further developing the friendly relations, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries; states that the People’s Republic of China has agreed for EXIM Bank of China to provide the Government of Liberia with the concessional loan.
Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara and Justice Minister, Counselor Fredrick Cherue, signed and attested respectively, on behalf of the Liberian Government.
In a brief statement, Minister Kamara described the rehabilitation of the RIA as key to Liberia’s economic transformation, thus leading to an increase in the airport’s capacity to serve more flights, passengers, reinvigorate the economy and grow tourism.
According to the release, Minister Kamara described the agreement as a major step towards bringing the airport up to standard, adding that the support shows Liberia’s strong partnership with China and also re affirmed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s commitment to implement the Agenda for Transformation, describing the project as an important symbol for Liberia.
With the signing of the framework agreement between the two Governments on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the Liberian Government through the MFDP is expected to sign the concessional loan agreement with the creditors, the EXIM Bank of China.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has submitted the RIA Loan Agreement to the House of Representatives for Ratification
The House of Representatives has mandated the Committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Transport and Judiciary to review a Loan Agreement to renovate the Roberts International Airport (RIA)
Plenary reached the decision based on a communication from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seeking the indulgence of the Legislators to timely ratify the instrument to ensure the speedy renovation of the RIA.
The Instrument titled “Framework Agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Liberia on Provision of Concessional Loan by China to Liberia” was introduced in the 7th day sitting of the Extraordinary sitting of the 53rd Legislature.
The cost of the loan agreement to renovate the facilities at the RIA and terminal building is in the tone of Three Hundred and Fifty Million Chinese Renminbi Yuan (¥350,000,000) or Fifty Million United States Dollars ($50,000,000).
“The rate of interest applicable to the loan shall be two percent (2%) per annum, with Management Fee of zero point five percent (0.5%), and the Commitment Fee shall be zero point five percent (0.5%)”. The President stated in her communication to the lawmakers.
President Sirleaf further explains that the Maturity Period for the loan facility is twenty years which includes a grace period of seven years and the repayment period is thirteen years.
Following the reading, the House Plenary unanimously endorsed a motion from Hon. Nemene Bartekwa that the Loan Agreement be forwarded to the relevant committees to review and advice that Honourable Body within one week.
Source: FrontPageAfrica Newspaper