Liberia Gets EU US$21.6m Grant
-To Provide Electricity For 38,000 Households
As part of efforts to increase electricity supply to Monrovia and its environs, the Government of Liberia and MBH Power Limited Nigeria with funding from the European Union (EU) on Thursday December 6, 2018 , signed Euros 18.9 million (about US$ 21.6 million) for the design and construction of electricity distribution network in Monrovia and its environs, otherwise known as the Consolidation of Monrovia Electricity Distribution Lot 2.The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel D. Tweah signed on behave of the government of Liberia while the Marketing Manager of MBH Power Limited Rachit Shah signed on behalf of MBH Power Ltd, the Nigeria Company contracted to implement the project.
With the previous Lot-1 was amounted to EUR 18.5 million, the Lot-2 design and construction of electricity distribution network in Monrovia and its environs will cost EUR 18.9 million (US$21.5 million).
Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Conference Room the Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said electricity and road connectivity are the banning constrains that the CDC-led government is faced with at the moment.
“Without power, no matter what we do, the Pro-poor Agenda will not succeed. The transformation of this country relies on the quantity and quality of electricity supplies; you have to know that it is our almost priority,” the MFDP Boss stated.
According to Minister Tweah, the national Security Council recently considered procurement within the electricity sector as a national emergency issue.
“My advice to the MBH, we have to move fast, you can clearly see the political environment. There is no margin for delay,” Tweah said to MBH Marketing Manager.
Although the government wants to move fast, Minister Tweah said they are not going to break those procurement laws adding they do not want to be called a ‘criminal’ state.
He said although the President wants things to move fast, he (President) also wants to respect the norms of procurements.
“What we want is a country and a President that is respecting the norms of the standard of laws, so we are complying while applying due pressure to delivery in record time,” Minister Tweah said.
Also, the Deputy Head of Delegation and Charge’ d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation to Liberia Juan Antonio Frutos said the Monrovia Consolidation of Electricity Distribution Works Lot-2 will allow the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to increase its customers base in order to absorb the increase quantity and what he terms as the much cheaper energy expected to be generated by the Mt. Coffee Hydro.
“The project foresees the proper connection 38,000 household connection to the grid. As mentioned during the signing ceremony of the Lot-1 (transmission lines), today we assemble to complete the package with the distribution component (Lot-2),” Frutos said.
According to the Deputy Head of Delegation and Charge’ d’Affaires, Peace Island, TB Annex (from the Congo Town back road to ELWA Junction), GSA Road, Zubah Town, Rehab Road, SKD Sport Complex, Rock Crusher, LBS and behind the German Embassy in Congo Town among other areas are expected to be connected through the project.
Antonio added that the government of Liberia will need to make available budget for the resettlement compensation for the local population along the connection lines.
The EU Deputy Head said that about 40 young people of all genders will have the opportunity to learn through the project.
“Since the new government has stressed the need for all projects to put an emphasis on training and technical education- and the EU fully agrees with this approach, this internship program has even been increased and reinforce,” he added.
“With the extension of the electricity grid and the need for more connections, there will be a need for more qualified electricians in the country,” Antonio said
Also, for his part, the Marketing Manager MBH Power Rachit Shah said knowing fully well the difficulties the country is faced with, his institution is committed to the development of the nation’s electricity and that they are going to make all efforts to do the work in timely manner and high standard.
“MBH seeks corporation from all stakeholders and the good people of Liberia to enable us perform this task as expected,” Shah said.