By Tabora Bojang
The government will borrow an additional US$15.31 million equivalent to about D891 million to support the completion of ongoing works on the 22km Bertil Harding Highway.
The completion of the highway in time for the proposed 15th OIC summit has been earmarked as one of the top priorities of the government.
Last year the government signed a similar credit deal worth US$34 with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa BADEA and the Islamic Development Bank IsDB for the construction of the first phase of the project.
Finance Minister Seedy Keita appeared before deputies earlier this week seeking approval and ratification of a US$15 million financing agreement between the government and IsDB for the widening of the Bertil Harding highway Project Phase II.
Minister Keita told NAMs that significant work progress has been achieved under the first phase of the project with almost 55 percent of the work activities completed but “due to budgetary constraints and the new adjustment to the initial work plan to accommodate improvements in the project design and scope, the government contracted additional loans under a new phase of the project to compliment the ongoing work under phase I and provide the needed funding to complete the construction of the pending project activities and improve the road user safety”.
He said the total cost of phase II is estimated at US$25.2 million of which IsDB will cover 61 percent with the government to make a remaining contribution of US$9.9 million.
Following contentious deliberations the agreement was approved by the lawmakers.