By Mark N. Mengonfia
Members of the House of Representatives are poised to nullify two financing agreements the Liberian Government headed by President George Weah signed in 2018.
The two financing agreements are ETON and EBOMAF submitted by President Weah. ETON loan agreement carries the sum of US$536.4million, while the EBOMAF financing loan agreement also has US$420.8million.
The money should have been used for the construction of the Coastal Highway per the agreements in the time period of 48 months from the day the first amount drop in the account of the Liberian Government.
But since the two financing instruments were ratified by the Legislature in June 2018, its true intents haven’t been achieved.
Drawing the attention of his colleagues to their earlier action, Nimba County District five Representative Samuel Kogar said “I have observed with keen interest over the perpetual silence and delay in implementing the ETON and EBOMAF financing loan agreements which were passed by this body.”
It can be recalled that the two instruments had some controversies surrounding it, but majority members of that legislative body said they did not care where the source of the monies were, but said their interest was to receive said money for their developmental agenda.
“Even if the money comes from Satan, we will use it,” remark from some lawmakers when the instruments appeared before them in 2018.
Representative Kogar said “in my mind, we unanimously approved these agreements because we felt at the time that ratifying these instruments was timely from all indication and that the agreements were in the best interest of the Liberian people in terms of the actualizing of Government of Liberia Pro-poor agenda under its social infrastructure development.”
Speaking on the issue, Representatives Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa County said it is important that if the loan is not possible for it to be canceled to save Liberia from paying debts that it did not use.
Making a reference to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Representative Massaquoi told his colleagues that through her lobbying ability, millions of dollars debts were waved, indicating that debts of Liberia is again increasing and as a lawmaker, he does not want Liberia to again join the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries.
Also speaking, Representative Dixon Siebo said “we have a provision in the agreement that if the first payment is not made within 50 days, agreement is canceled.”
Notwithstanding, Representative Kogar sought the indulgence of his colleagues to have Ministers of Finance and Development Planning , Justice and Public Works who affirmed and confirmed the goodness of the loan to appear before them to give a status report of the two instruments; the request which was unanimously approved by the plenary of that body.
With that, the Ministers of interest are to appear before that august body today at 10 am to give a status of the loans in question.
Alphonso has been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.