Culled from Daily Observer Newspaper
At the 54th day sitting, Tuesday, September 4, the House of Representatives has ratified the additional Financing Agreement for La Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) interconnection project, in the tone of US$45.3 million, which was signed between the Liberian government and the International Development Assistance (IDA) on December 11, 2017.
The financial agreement is entitled, “Additional Financing Agreement for the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Interconnection Project La Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone-Guinea (CLSG).”
The then Finance Minister Boima S. Kamara signed on behalf of the government, while Marisa Leshchenko, Country Manager of IDA affixed his signature for IDA-International.
President George Weah submitted the additional loan agreement on Friday, July 6, but was read in the House’s Chamber on July 10, during the 44th day sitting, and accordingly, the amount of the additional financing allotted to Liberia is US$45.3 million. The agreement comprises a grant of US$22.6 million, and a loan of US$22.7 million.
The House’s decision to ratify the US$45.3 million Financial Agreement yesterday followed a report from the Joint Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment; Ways, Means, Finance and Development.
The Joint Committee said among others, “we observed that La Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone-Guinea (CLSG) Project will construct line (1249 KM) aims to facilitate efficient regional trade of electricity by connecting those three countries with the larger sub-regional West African Power Pool (WAPP); and CSLG will allow the four countries to import cheaper reliable electricity (Dry Season) Liberia and/or to export energy (via/St. Paul Project).
In a communication to Speaker Bhofal Chambers of the 54th Legislature, the President said the project’s objective is to support government’s effort in providing a reduced and affordable cost of electricity that will be reliable for the Liberian people and efficient in revenue generation .
It may be recalled that recently, while submitting the CLSG Project for ratification, President George Weah described CSLG Project as “significant to the country’s economic recovery program.”
According to the President’s communication, the original IDA for the implementation of the regional project is SDR94, 900,000 or its equivalent US$147 million negotiated in March, 2012.
He furthered that the amount of the project increased between the period 2012, and 2016, due to the Ebola epidemic in the Mano River Basin.
“The amount of the additional financing allotted to Liberia is US$45.3 million,” the President said. The maximum commitment charge rate is one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%), and the service charge is the greater of the sum of three-fourths of one percent (3/4 of 1%) per annum on the withdrawn credit balance with payment dates of February 15, and August 15 in each year.
Meanwhile, the passage of the CLSG Loan Agreement comes a week after House Speaker Bhofal Chambers assured the director-general of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif of the ratification.
Speaker Chambers said the Legislature is excited about the electricity project, and will therefore support its implementation in full.
He argued that electricity supports education, health, industry, security and the comforts of life, adding, “Liberia needs this project. We will do our best to ratify the agreement.”
He said that electricity will transform Liberia’s economy, and improve life in the rural areas in many ways.
The Speaker made these remarks when the Mr. Sherif, accompanied by Liberia’s Country Office Manager, Jerry Taylor paid a courtesy call on his office at the Capitol Building, Monday, August 27, 2018.