Special Awards In Pictures

-Seeks Ratification Of US$25M Agreement
With about ten months left to the extremity of her two-term presidency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is making an apparent last minute push in a bid to ‘put the last nail in the development coffin.’

The somehow ‘last minute ditch’ is in the form of several bills or agreements she has sent to the National Legislature for its review, input and ratification, if deemed expedient.

The Liberian leader recently submitted to the House of Representatives for ratification, ‘the Investment Incentive Agreement’ between the Republic of Liberia and Roberts International Airport Resort (RIA).

According to our reporter, the agreement is part of many agreements she has sent to the august body for ratification. The investment incentive agreement has 15 years agreement term with a value of US$25million, she reckoned in her communication on the agreement addressed to Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay.

It is noted that the investor, to date, has made a total investment of approximately US$20milion with anticipation of additional US$5million for the completion of the hotel. This is geared toward the construction of a five-star hotel and resort facilities on a leased area acquired from a agreement entered into between the investor and the RIA for a period of 30 years.

“The purpose of the investment incentive agreement is to boost the private sector as well as facilitate the growth and development of travel and tourism in Liberia,” she said in the communication.

“This initiative is intended to create jobs, showcase and encourage Liberia’s art and craft sector, preserve our originality, revive financial wealth and promote economic development and sustainability.”

The investment incentive agreement, it is said, is in line with Liberia’s relevant laws and public policy “appertaining thereto, compliments the development plan of the hotel and resort sector of Liberia thereby attracting tourists.”

As the government commits to creating jobs and sustainable economic environment, the president said the passage into law of the investment incentive agreement will demonstrate Liberia’s commitment and implementation in such endeavor.

However, the communication was forwarded to the committees on investment and concession, ways, means, finance and development planning and judiciary to report in two weeks.

Pres. Sirleaf has pushed several agreements since 2006 some of which are accruing huge economic benefits for the country. She made headlines in her first term by prevailing on bilateral and multilateral institutions for the waiver Liberia’s staggering debt burden which stood at US$4bn.

As a result of other necessities, Liberia has slipped back into huge debt curve again, as Liberia under President Sirleaf continues to sign more loan agreements. It is alleged that Liberia’s current debt portfolio stands at US$3billion with less than ten months to the end of Madam Sirleaf’s administration.

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