President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Presents Loan Agreement For Ratification
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, September 24 (LINA) - A Concessional Loan Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Export-Import Bank of China has been submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the National Legislature for ratification.
The agreement is in a minimum aggregate amount of Renminbi 350 million Yuan, which is equivalent to US$50 million.
Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China, and translated to mean "people's money."
Its international symbol is CNY or CHN in Hong Kong, but abbreviated as RMB with the symbol ¥.
The Liberian leader, in a communication addressed to both Houses of the Legislature Thursday, said the loan agreement is intended for the upgrade and expansion project of the Roberts International Airport (RIA).
President Sirleaf said repayment of the loan will be recorded in Renminbi, although the repayment may be in United States Dollars or other convertible hard currencies accepted by the lender.
The rate of interest applicable to the loan, according to President Sirleaf, shall be two percent per annum, with a Management Fee of 0.5 percent, while the Commitment Fee shall also be 0.5 percent.
She said the maturity period for the loan facility shall be 240 months (20 years), which includes a grace period of 84 months (13 years).
President Sirlaf informed the body that all of the proceeds of the loan facility shall be used and applied by Government solely to pay 100 percent of the Commercial Contract amount to the China Harbor Engineering Company Limited, which is the Chinese supplier.
The Liberian leader petitioned the Legislature to ensure timely ratification of the loan agreement as there is an urgent need to renovate the RIA facilities and its terminal building.
Meanwhile, both Houses of the Legislature have forwarded the agreement to their relevant committees for scrutiny with the mandate to report in one week.