Liberia Signs US$20m Loan To Rehabilitate RIA

The Liberian Government and the Saudi Fund for Development have signed a US$20 million loan agreement to assist with the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) runway.

Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh signed on behalf of the Liberian Government while the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, Yousef Al-Bassam signed for his organization.

The ceremony took place on the sidelines of the annual IMF-World Bank Spring Meeting held in Washington DC.

Minister Konneh, who commended the Saudis for accepting the Government’s appeal, assured that all necessary modalities will be put in place as soon as possible for the smooth implementation of the project.

Mr. Al-Bassam expressed his institution’s willingness to provide assistance to the Liberian government in its quest to improve or replace damage infrastructures given the destruction of major facilities in the country.
According to a dispatch, the Saudi Fund is part of a pool fund of US$57 million for the RIA rehabilitation works.

Already, the Liberian Government has concluded arrangements with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development to assist with bridging the funds.

Prior to the signing, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning had earlier signed similar agreements with the EIB to provide US$27 million and the Arab Bank for Economic Development for additional US$10 million to meet the financing target.

The Government of Liberia is expected to contribute US$3 million to complete the required financing for the project.

The dispatched further noted that the rehabilitation exercise will focus on upgrading the RIA runway and the total rehabilitation of the Taxiway A and B as well as widening of the Taxiway fillets.

Consistent with the concessional nature of this facility, the loan will be amortized over a period of 20 to 40 years with an interest rate of two percent.
In another development, Minister Konneh has formally requested for financing for the pavement of the Gbarnga-Mendikorma Highway to the Saudi Fund and other Middle Eastern development lenders, including the Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund, and Arab Bank for Development in Africa, among others.

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