President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said government has come a long way in reaching its infrastructure development goals amidst numerous challenges, especially the annual six-month interruption of the rainy season.
President Sirleaf pointed out that the reconstruction of infrastructures such roads, bridges, power, water, schools and hospitals were all major challenges for this government given the level of destruction and lack of maintenance as a result of over two decades of conflict.
Delivering her final Annual Report to the nation in the Joint Chambers of the National Legislature at the Capitol Building in Monrovia on Monday, the Liberian leader disclosed that funding has been received for the construction of primary connecting roads.
She added that government has also begun the repairs of neighbourhood roads and streets; restoring grid electricity and pipe-borne water to the capital city and to several other counties and has also concluded arrangements for the construction of a bridge over the Cavalla River that will link Liberia to La Côte d’Ivoire, through the southeastern counties.
“We are proud that today, under programs of regional cooperation, lights are already on in Ganta and Harper, to be followed by Zwedru and Fish Town, at an affordable price of US$0.25 cents per kilowatt hour through the grid in Ivory Coast,” Pres. Sirleaf told members of the Legislature.
She explained that effort has been made by the government to bring electricity to Kakata, with Robertsfield and Tubmanburg to follow later this year; adding, “A major achievement in power expansion is our fulfilled promise to rebuild our Mount Coffee hydroelectricity facility.”
According to the Liberian leader, the government has secured funding for the completion of feasibility study for a reservoir on the Via River to ensure that the hydro plant has sufficient water to generate electricity throughout the year.
She indicated that the full completion of regional projects that are underway will ensure that electricity is further expanded to communities across the country, which would ensure continued reduction in the cost of electricity from US$0.49 cents to US$0.39 cents per kilowatt hour by next month.
“Since we took power in 2006, we have deeded a total of 1,700 leasing units to tenants who have been paying rents for the last two decades and have also built new estates comprising 124 units in Marshall and Brewerville to benefit 8,500 citizens, assuming five persons per household,” she noted.
The Liberian leader told members of the 53rd Legislature that the renovation of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex is nearing completion in fulfillment of a longstanding commitment, while the modernization of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) has commenced.
She noted that progress has been made in the construction of the Ministerial Complex and annexes to the Capitol Building, the home of the Legislators.
She explained that despite the challenges, Liberia remains an attraction for foreign investment, as she will in April join the Google Link network; a project that will maximize the potential of the ACE cable and provide our internet service providers with unlimited bandwidth via fibre optics which will place Liberia high on the list of African countries with the fastest internet speeds.