Liberia’s President, George Manneh Weah has submitted a new Pre-Financing Loan Agreement in the tone of US$426 Million to the 54th National Legislation for ratification.
According to an Executive Mansion Release, the loan agreement which was entered into between the Government of Liberia and Group EBOMAF will be financed by Euro Bond, redeemable after 15 years with a 5-year grace period and a 10-year interest only on payment.
The loan, when ratified will be used for the construction of 256.2 kilometers of paved roads and bridges in Monrovia and major corridors of the interior of the country.
Group EBOMAF will begin pre-financing the road project within three months after the agreement is ratified.
The roads to be constructed upon ratification through this agreement are as follows: Sinkor to Kesselley Boulevard, Zwedru to Greenville, Toe’s Town to Ivorian Border, and Tappita to Zwedru.
But news of the loan agreement has spark controversies amongst Liberians at home and in the diaspora with many calling the president decisions to sign an agreement with his friend Mr. Mahamadou Bonkoungou, a “conflict of interest.”
It can be recalled in late May this year; President Weah received a private Jet from Businessman Bonkoungou, who he claimed is his old time friend.
The jet which is put around 33 million raised serious concerns among political pundits and commentators who claimed the Liberian leader was in “total constitutional error” to receive such a gift as a sitting president.
They indicated that the president was in violation of the Code of Conduct and must be mindful that in this day and age, there is nothing in politics called “free gifts” or free “lunch”; for every gift or favor from rich billionaires or companies directly and exclusively for the President has an attached string that is bound to be honored at one point in time or futuristically which can be troubling and should be nabbed from the unset.
Howbeit, with the loan agreement having already being submitted to the National Legislature for ratification, many Liberians have taken to social media to express their disenchantment about the president’s loan agreement.
“This is a complete Conflict of Interest. How can a man who just gives the president a private jet be giving the leverage to sponsor a loan agreement? I am totally disappointed,” Lewis Elton, a Facebook user exclaimed.
“This is exactly what we were saying when this man gave the president the private jet. We knew very well that it was not free; there was some special interest attached,” Elton Morris, a Facebook user averred.
“For me, I don’t see this loan agreement as being bad for our country. All I want to see is for roads to be built but the president should not be in the business of accepting fabulous gifts from business entrepreneurs and companies this will always arouse conflict of interest,” Nelson Tiangay, a Facebook user stated.