Liberian Senate Ordered Audit Over US$10m RIA Fund

MONROVIA, LINA—The Liberian Senate Tuesday mandated its Public Accounts and Transport Committees to probe the Ministry of Transport over the alleged abandonment of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) runway.

The decision stemmed from a communication dated March 4 from Senators Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, Dallas Gueh and Henry Yallah of Montserrado, River Cess and Bong Counties respectively.

According to the letter, the senators want the ministry to account for the US$10million appropriated in the 2013/2014 national budget to refurbish the RIA runway.

“As we might be aware, since the allocation of the funds, the runway has not been restored, nor has the ministry submitted any report on the project status or the amount,” the letter indicated.

In the letter, the senators noted that repair of the airport will ensure the country’s full compliance with international civil aviation standards and create the atmosphere for more investments.

The U.S. Government built the airport located about 56km from Monrovia during the Second World War as its logistics base. The runway is about 11,000 feet long.

In 2012, the European Investment Bank agreed at a meeting in Washington attended by Finance Minister Amara Konneh and Central Bank Governor Mills Jones, to provide a US$27.3 million twenty-year loan facility for the rehabilitation of the airport, according to the Ventures Africa October 2012 report.

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