World Bank Liberia Country Manager Assures Gov’t Of Continuing Commitment

Liberia World Bank Manager, Larisa Leshchenko
Liberia World Bank Manager, Larisa Leshchenko

Recently the Liberian Government led by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and and other members of the private and public sectors    on October 12, 2016 officially dedicated and named the newly paved 176km Red-Light to Gbarnga road Suakoko Highway founded by the government of Liberia and partners through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund, which was managed by the World Bank.

At this colorful program several remarks were made including the Country Manager of World Bank, Larisa Leshchenko whose statement was delivered by Kulwinder Singh Rao, World Bank Task Team Leader for Infrastructure.

Below is the full text of Madam Leshchenko which was read at the program:

Your Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia;

Legislative Chairpersons for Committee on Public Works;

Hon. William Gyude Moore, Minister of Public Works;

Superintendents of Bong and Margibi Counties;

Local and Traditional Leaders;

Other Officials of the Liberian Government;

Development Partners;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good morning.

On behalf of the World Bank, it is a great pleasure and honor for the World Bank to be represented here today at this important event marking the dedication of Lot 1 (Monrovia-15 Gate-Gbarnga Road Corridor(176.7km) which was funded by the World Bank and numerous other  Development Partners through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund. The financing of this road corridor is a demonstration of our commitment as true partners to the people of Liberia, to reduce poverty and promote shared growth and development.

 

The Monrovia-Gbarnga-Ganta Road is the main transport corridor that links the capital city, Monrovia with the rest of the country through the Central and Northern Regions, Bong and Nimba counties. This major highway will facilitate the movement of goods and services in both directions between the countryside and Monrovia. It will also enhance economic development of the hinterland by lower transport fares, increased transportation, access to markets, educational institutions, hospitals, and other services essential for the growth and development of Liberia.

I am pleased to note that despite several constraints experienced during the implementation process and Ebola, the road section from Monrovia to Ganta is executed to high quality standards and within budget. This is highly commendable. I am also happy to inform you that the project created employment for nearly 400 Liberians annually since the inception of the in January 2012, some of whom were able to acquire new skills for future employment. Travel time on this road has been significantly reduced, but we want to caution road users, particularly motorists, to observe all traffic guidelines to minimize accidents.

The objective of this Liberia Road Asset Management Project (LIBRAMP) is to support the Liberian Government’s efforts to reduce transport costs along the road corridor from Monrovia to the Guinea Border and to maintain the road in good condition over a 10-year period. This 10-year Bank funded road project employs the Output and Performance Based Contracting approach which transforms a road contract into a services contract. This means that the Government will pay only if road meets the service levels. As a result, Liberians can rest assure that for a very long period this highway will benefit from secured funding and devoted attention to be given it by implementers over the next 7 years. Liberia is a pioneer in adopting this new contracting approach and has shown the way that others are following: Mozambique, Ethiopia, Uganda, China and many more.

We want to commend donors for their financial support. The World Bank coordinated with other development partners through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) for the successful completion of this road project. The LRFT is a multi-donor trust fund for infrastructure, which is supported by contributions from the European Union, and the governments of Great Britain, Sweden, Ireland, Norway and Germany, and the World Bank. The LRTF is administered by the World Bank and supervised by an Oversight Committee comprising the Government of Liberia, contributing donors, and the World Bank.

The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group has successfully partnered with the Government of Liberia in re-establishing basic transportation infrastructure and in building institutional capacity. Early engagements by the Bank in the Transport Sector were focused on immediate needs, and now our engagements are guided by strategic visions of the Government in rebuilding the country, particularly the Agenda for Transformation.

Currently the World Bank has committed about US$360 million towards ongoing transport projects in Liberia. There are visible improvements which are evident through a series of projects being undertaken and they are collectively managed as a program. So far, our projects have helped financed rehabilitation of over 500 kilometers of paved roads (accounting for about 60% of total paved network of roads recognized by the Ministry of Public Works and construction of several main bridges including King Zolu Duma Bridge (formerly Vai Town Bridge), and Jake Melton Bridge (formerly Caldwell Bridge).

Madam President, Officials of Government, Distinguished Guests, the World Bank is assuring the Government and people of Liberia of its continuing commitment in helping to address the development needs of the country. We are optimistic that such assistance will help transform Liberia on its path to sustainable development and prosperity.

We want to use this occasion to thank the contractor, China Chongqing International Construction Corporation (also known as CICO), for delivering this project on time. We also like to commend the design consultant Phoenix Gash (of Israel), monitoring consultant, OPUS (New Zealand), Arup, Nigeria, the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Public Works/Infrastructure Implementation Unit and Ministry of Finance/ Public Financial Management Unit and all those who contributed to the success of this project.

Thank you.

in helping to address the development needs of the country. We are optimistic that such assistance will help transform Liberia on its path to sustainable development and prosperity.

We want to use this occasion to thank the contractor, China Chongqing International Construction Corporation (also known as CICO), for delivering this project on time. We also like to commend the design consultant Phoenix Gash (of Israel), monitoring consultant, OPUS (New Zealand), Arup, Nigeria, the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Public Works/Infrastructure Implementation Unit and Ministry of Finance/ Public Financial Management Unit and all those who contributed to the success of this project.

Thank you.

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About Cholo Brooks 4098 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL), including several other international organizations of journalists.