President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially dedicated the newly-paved Red Light-Gate 15-Gbarnga highway with a commitment to complete several other development projects before the end of her tenure.
President Sirleaf said her regime has constructed the highest number of roads in the country and the initiative will continue with several roads, including Sanniquellie-Ivory Coast border, Harper-Fish Town, Gbarnga-Salayea and Mendikomah roads, among others.
She noted that the completion of the Red Light-Gate 15-Gbarnga-Ganta- and Guinea Boarder road is a clear manifestation of her administration commitment to improve the wellbeing of Liberians.
President Sirleaf said, she would work with the National Legislature to name the newly-paved Red Light to Guinea Boarder road in honor of the late Liberian Paramount Chief Nye Suakoko of Bong County.
She called on citizens of Margibi, Bong, and Nimba Counties to take ownership of the road which, according to her, will help improve access, ensure regional integration, and economic cooperation among the four Mano River Union member countries.
President Sirleaf made the remarks in Gbarnga, Bong County at program marking the official dedication of the newly-paved Red Light-Gate 15-Gbarnga highway on Wednesday, October 12,.
“To you the people of Bong, Margibi and Nimba , and the people of Liberia, let me say, the progress we have made belongs to you,” President Sirleaf said joyously.
The Liberian Chief Executive paid tribute to all stakeholders and development partners alike for the joint efforts towards ensuring the implementation of the road project.
She observed that development is not the sole prerogative of government, adding that all citizens do have a critical part to play.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has enjoined members of the National Legislature to ensure that as an integral part of the government, it was incumbent upon them to accelerate their role through the kind of collaboration and commitment that will bring impetus to the business of government.
For his part, Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore said road connectivity across Liberia remains a major priority for the Unity Party-led government.
He said through collaboration between government and partners, feasibility studies are ongoing to design and pave the Sanniquellie-Lougatuo road, which leads to the Ivorian border.
Moore disclosed that construction works are currently taking place for the pavement of an 11km road between Ganta and Yekepa.
Touching on the roads in the southeast, Minister Moore said the first 50km road between Harper to Karloken is being worked on while work on the remaining 30 km from Karlokeh to Fish Town will commence by December this year.
In remarks, the European Union Charge d’Affaires Emma Sundblad thanked President Sirleaf for the commitment in getting the road done.
She observed that road will enhance economic development of the remote areas by connecting the country and creating access to market, schools, health centers and other services essential for improving the wellbeing of citizens and growth and development of Liberia.
Sundblad noted that the European Union and World Bank contributed over US$300 and US$75million respectively towards the construction of the road between Monrovia and Guinea border through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF).
She said the EU and World Bank presently funding the maintenance of the Monrovia-Buchanan and Monrovia-Sierra Leone border roads, indicating that there are visible improvements in better roads and bridges through a series of projects being undertaken in the sector.
She pledged the EU commitment and assured the Government and the people of Liberia of their continued support in addressing the development needs of country.
Also speaking was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, Bong County Senator Henry Yallah who praised President Sirleaf for the progress in road connectivity across Liberia and challenged Liberians to make economic use of the new road so that it would pay for itself.
In brief remarks, the President of CICCO – Liberia, Mr. Fu Liangquan, the company contracted to execute the project, expressed delight that his company has been successful in implementing Lot-1 of the highway construction, thereby contributing to Liberia’s development agenda.
The project was financed through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) and the Government of Liberia (GOL), towards the cost of the Liberia Road Asset Management Project with support from the World Bank, European Union, Norway/Norad, Germany/KfW, United Kingdom, Sweden amongst others.
The design, rehabilitation and maintenance of the road started in May 2013 with President Sirleaf calling for maximum citizens’ support to the exercise.
The Red Light- Gate 15- Gbarnga 176.7 kilometer road was constructed by the Chinese company CICCO, while the Gbarnga-Ganta and Guinea boarder 68.6 kilometer road project was done by another Chinese company called CHICO.