(LINA) – The Liberian Government has signed a landmark loan agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to immediately begin pavement of the Gbarnga-Salayea road.
According to a Finance and Development Planning Ministry press release, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh and Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director General of OFID, signed the agreement Monday in the amount of US$20 million.
Minister Konneh the “historic financing” document was building on the achievements of the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and was bringing development to the Northwest of the country.
“This is a first step towards paving the road from Gbarnga to Mendicorma in Lofa County linking the country together,” the release quoted Konneh as saying.
He acknowledged that paving the road from Gbarnga in Bong County to Salayea in Lofa County will directly contribute to the socio- economic development of Liberia.
The statement said the agreement will provide US$20 million into a pool of funds meant for the pavement of 81 kilometers of the road from Gbarnga to Salayea, which is the first section of Lot 1 between Gbarnga and Salayea at a total cost of US$72 million.
The statement said the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is working with the Ministry of Public Works and other partners, including the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to finance the rest of the road project.
In remarks, the Director General of OFID, Mr. Al-Herbish, said the loan is intended to raise the standard of living of the population in Bong and Lofa counties, and pledged the Fund’s support to the development of Liberia.
The Liberian government in 2015 hosted a delegation of Arab lenders which included OFID, Arab Bank for Economic Development and Saudi Fund for Development and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, all of whom did an appraisal of the road project and pledged to fund the Gbarnga-Mendikorma Highway Reconstruction project.