President Sirleaf Craves Legislature To Ratify US$38.5 Million Loan Agreement: Senate Sends Financing Deal To House

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has submitted a US$38.5 million Loan Agreement between Liberia and the African Development Fund for the Electricity Network Inter-connection project to the National Legislature for ratification.
In a communication addressed to House Speaker, J. Alexander Tyler and read in Chambers last week, President Sirleaf informed the Lawmakers that the project is a multi-million dollar donor financing project intended to strengthen the social economic development of Cote d’ Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia by harmonizing regional energy cooperation.
 According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), President Sirleaf put the cost of the project at US$38,514,164.
She said the project involves the construction of high voltage inter-connection networks linking the four regional countries, and will include the electrification of localities along the power line, capacity building for project executing agencies and study on the feasibility of hydro-electric stations.
The Liberian Chief Executive disclosed that an estimated 24 million people are already connected to the network, but have poor quality service and will ultimately lead to increase in power generation in the region, through hydro-power investment, which will eventually provide 40,000 households in Liberia with electricity.
 Following the reading of the instrument, Plenary sent it to the House’s Committees on Judiciary, Ways, Means and Finance, Land, Mines and Energy as well as the Committee on Public Utility for review, with the mandate to report to Plenary in two weeks. 
Meanwhile, the Liberian Senate has forwarded an Act to establish the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
 The Senate, in a communication to the House of Representatives, indicated that it passed the act on Tuesday, March 18, predicated upon the fact that allotments were made in the National Budget for the agency over the past three consecutive years.
 The Liberia News Agency quotes the Senate as saying that it believes the establishment of the agency will enhance power production and supply at affordable rate in rural Liberia, thus improving the living condition of the people and boost the economy of the country.
According to the Liberian Senate, US$50 million has already been set aside to commence the construction of the power plant, noting that the initiative will create employment opportunities for Liberians.
 After Legislative arguments on the communication, the lawmakers turned the document over to the Committees on Lands, Mines and Energy and Judiciary for review, with the mandate to report to Plenary in two weeks.
 At the same time, the Upper House has submitted an act to ratify the Financing Agreement, the First Poverty Reduction Support Development Policy Financing between Liberia and the International Development Association.
 A communication addressed to Speaker J. Alexander Tyler and signed by the Secretary of the Senate, stated that the Plenary of the Liberian Senate ratified the act on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.
 Following the reading of the act by the Deputy Chief of the House of Representatives, Plenary sent it to the committees on Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary, as well as Planning and Economic Affairs for review and report to the body in one week.   

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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