The Head of the Unit conducts two daily briefings for Her Excellency. These briefings center on updates of the priority projects in the above-listed sectors, depending on the various timelines that are to be met. The briefings also routinely involve apprising Her Excellency of existing or anticipated risks to timely delivery of major milestones, and provides options to mitigating these risks. Presidential intervention is also requested, where necessary. Additionally, the entire Unit presents to Her Excellency on a bi-monthly basis, all of the projects in detail, including milestones, bottlenecks to be addressed/overcome and project timelines. The Unit is comprised of several project managers who are assigned to specific projects, and work directly with line ministers (deputy and assistants), project implementing units, contractors, as well as Heads of Agencies and other relevant stakeholders within their assigned portfolios.
Specifically, the PDU sets out to influence the timely delivery of projects which lead to the rehabilitation, upgrading, construction and modification of public social infrastructure which multiply the benefits across the country by providing:
Timely and accurate information to the President on the implementation of projects in priority areas through regular briefings;
Practical support to implementing ministries/agencies to unblock untimely impediments to the President’s priorities;
A ‘constructive challenge’ to ministries/agencies to stimulate mobilization through advice and support to aid delivery; and
Public information relative to the implementation of these priority projects.
The PDU works in partnership with line ministries, agencies, and institutions with a focus on ‘unblocking blockages’ on a selected number of priority initiatives of the President. The Unit’s ability to focus and target resources on priority items increases productivity in projects and inter connectedly effecting change/progress in other sectors. For example, the provision of electricity leads to more local entrepreneurs and increases productivity in the private sector.
Some priority projects followed by the President’s Delivery Unit include, but are not limited to:
With the Mt. Coffee Hydro scheduled to become operational in December 2016, the Government, in order to address the immediate and long term demands of power generation, also embarked on the construction of three Heavy Fuel Oil (HFOs) generators which will provide an additional 38 megawatts of power by August of 2016. The first 10mw power plant was built through a loan from the World Bank and completed in January 2016, thus providing the estimated 33,000 connections to the grid with more stable and reliable electricity. Following the completion of the World Bank 10 mw project, another GoL-funded 18mw will be in operation by April 2016. This will be followed by the 10 mw JICA (Japanese) plant that is scheduled to come online by July 2016. The goal is to ensure that the total of available capacity that the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) currently produces is increased to 126 mws by July 2017.
Transmission and distribution is divided into four corridors: Monrovia Consolidation (58,000 connections), Bomi corridor (36,800 connections), Paynesville/Kakata corridor (26,000) and RIA corridor (9,000 connections). This is intended to bring electricity to different sections of the country. In totality GoL intends to have, at minimum, 130,000 new connections with the completion of the four corridors listed above. The LEC board has approved the formation of a Project Management Unit within LEC to work along with the PDU in carrying out the basic function of overseeing all other projects for the LEC including Transmission & Distribution projects. A working group comprised of donors and LEC has been established to ensure that GoL has a more robust approach to the T&D sector. This will be ongoing until a Project Management Unit (PMU) is set up within the LEC.
Fuel Unloading Facility – Freeport of Monrovia
In October 2012, the Government of Liberia through the Infrastructure Implementation Unit (IIU) of the Ministry of Public Works, signed a contract for the construction of a new Fuel Unloading Facility at the Freeport of Monrovia (also known as an oil jetty). The project is financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) through the Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (URIRP). The existing oil jetty which is more than 50 years old, is the only facility the country depends on for the delivery of petroleum products which serve the entire economy of Liberia. The jetty has outlived its lifespan and could collapse at any moment resulting to negative economic consequences. The scope of the project involves the construction of a new unloading platform, access trestle, breasting and mooring dolphins, catwalks, and a pump house.
The project is being undertaken by Technofab-Gammon JV (contractor), and is supervised by Seamar-Roche (monitoring consultant) and the IIU. The project is expected to be completed by December 2016, at a cost of approximately US$14m.
FUF Contingency Plan
To ensure continuous supply of petroleum products to the economy in an event the current oil jetty collapses, which would undoubtedly lead to a crisis of severe economic impact, the National Port Authority (NPA) and the Liberian Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) jointly agreed to finance a contingency plan.
This plan involves the construction of two (2) contingency discharge lines (one for JET product and the other for both PMS and AGO products) beginning at NPA Berth #3, running parallel to LPRC’s shoreline and connecting to the manifold at LPRC’s Petroleum Storage Terminal/Tank farm. The contingency plan was completed in October 2015 by a Liberian contractor at a cost of approximately US$730k.
Port of Greenville Rehabilitation Project – Kuwaiti Fund Loan
In April 2014, the President signed the Act to Ratify the Loan Agreement (Port of Greenville Rehabilitation Project) between the National Port Authority and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development. The amount of the loan is US$14.5 million, and the project includes, among other things, procurement of new marine craft and cargo handling equipment to include a log loader, forklift, reach stacker, patrol boat, tug boats, and pilot boats. The loan also covers the procurement of navigational aids.
Freeport/Somalia Drive Rd: - This road runs from the Freeport of Monrovia to the largest single commercial district in the country, Redlight Market, in the heart of the city of Paynesville. It is proposed to intersect with the ELWA junction – Coca-Cola Factory road, which is now under consideration for widening by the World Bank. To this end, a procurement process for the feasibility of this road is now in advance stages and will consider major traffic exchange devices at the ELWA Junction and the Redlight intersections.
With grant financing from the Government and people of the Republic of Japan, the road stretches over a 13km length. Its current design shows that the road will consist of a dual carriage way (four lanes) with a middle separation of 3.5m. The construction process is expected to be broken into two Phases: the first phase will consider the construction of a new road on the north side of the existing road. This will include the construction of a new bridge parallel to the existing Stockton Creek Bridge and the strengthening of the existing double bridge. Phase two will consist of the replacement of the existing 2 lane road.
The cost of the construction is US$50million the construction timeframe, for both phases, is November 2015 to Dec 2018.
Fishtown – Harper Road: - This road, 130km in length, links the political capital of Rivergee and Maryland counties as well as with Ivory Coast. This remains one of the most difficult regions for travel nationwide. The total cost of the road construction project is US$110million. It is projected for completion in February of 2017. The actual works on this road consider pavement, using asphalt, of the stretch of road between Harper, Maryland County and Kawheaken, Rivergee County. The remaining stretch from Kawheaken to Fishtown will be maintained as a laterite road.
Phase two of this project is proposed to commence from Karwheaken to within 15km of Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. The economic benefits from the construction of this road range from easing the mode of transport, to facilitation of trade and commerce, inclusive of a reduction in business transaction costs in the region. The entire project will be financed through a loan from the African Development Bank.
Gbarnga-Mendekoma: - The 270km road from Gbarnga to Mendekoma connects Lofa County, an area of important economic potential also called the country’s “bread basket”, to the rest of the country. Lofa County hosts a large proportion of Liberia’s cocoa and oil palm cash crops, as well as being excellent for horticulture and aquaculture production. The road extends to the border with Sierra Leone and serves as a trade link to both Guinea and Sierra Leone. It is strategically important for regional integration and security. Thus far, the Government has secured US$84 million in concessional loans for the section from Gbarnga to Salayea (81km). It is expected to be completed by 2020, with a construction start date in quarter three of 2017. The remainder of the road to Mendekoma, estimated at roughly US$300million, is still unfunded. Government has, however, begun discussions with potential funders to address this funding shortfall.
Redlight-Gbarnga-Ganta: - Connecting the capital Monrovia to the economically important north of Liberia, the Redlight-Gbarnga-Ganta highway is one of the most crucial road links for the country. With funding from the World Bank, the European Union and various European donors, the Government is currently paving the nearly 250km stretch at a cost of roughly US$240 million. The section from Gbarnga to Ganta is now complete with a dedication date of March, 2016. Completion of the Redlight to Gbarnga section is expected for mid-2016.
Agriculture is critical to Liberia’s economic growth and development and the foundation for the transformation of Liberia into a middle income country. The Ministry of Agriculture’s approach is to promote close collaboration between Government and the private sector to ensure gradual export growth in an otherwise slow-growth agricultural sector. H.E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf set up an Agriculture and Agro-Processing Task Force to develop strategic action plans for moving the agriculture sector forward in the short and medium term. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) who has taken lead on this initiative, with support from the PDU, has developed short and medium action plans for the agriculture sector, with emphasis on the following priority commodities and their respective value chains: Production and processing of rice, cassava and cocoa, Horticulture production and processing and fisheries including aquaculture and marine. The MoA is also focused on livestock production and processing, oil palm production and processing as well as the cultivation of rubber downstream products such as rubber wood and ribbed smoke sheets.
Water and Sanitation
White Plains Rehabilitation: This project, which is financed by a loan from the African Development Bank is intended to rehabilitate and restore the White Plains Water Treatment Plant to prewar status and production levels. At present, the plant’s output is 1.4 million gallons per day. This rehabilitation will lead to the connection of tens of thousands of new homes and businesses to the nation’s water delivery grid, providing, when completed, a total of 16 million gallons per day to 1.1 million people within and around Monrovia.
Three Towns Water Supply and Sanitation System Rehabilitation and Expansion (Buchanan, Kakata & Zwedru):This project will produce 1.99 million gallons of water per day serving a population of 101,598 people within the three cities. The project will also provide up to 90,000 residents in these counties with safe sanitation system.
There are several vertical structures/buildings that are to be constructed, or have already commenced. To name a few: the Samuel K. Doe (SKD) Sports Complex (estimated at a cost of US$15m) and the Ministerial Complex and the Capitol Building Annex (estimated at a cost of US$60m). Refurbishing works at the SKD started March 2015 and is expected to be completed July 2017. The first phase of the reconstruction is to be completed before the start of the 2016 rainy season.
Groundbreaking for the Ministerial Complex and Capitol Building Annex are expected to take place sometime during the second quarter of 2016. The contractors are expected in country in March, with groundbreaking shortly thereafter.
Manufacturing has the potential to diversify Liberia’s export potential, modernize the economy and create jobs. One of the major activities of the taskforce that will enhance the country’s economy is the development of the Monrovia Industrial Park. Illegal structures have already been demolished in the targeted area of the park. The park will accommodate investors with the sole purpose of creating “Made in Liberia” products. There are several other initiatives being undertaken under the Manufacturing Task Force which include, but are not limited to, the amendments of the Revenue code, passage of the Special Economic Zone Act and reforming and streamlining inspection procedures at ports and borders.
Community Health Workforce Program: This is a national program intended to deploy 4,000 community health workers (CHW) in every remote community in the country. Nearly 1/3 of Liberians (approx. 1.2 million) live beyond 5km of a health facility that is out of reach of the Community Health Volunteers who work only within less than 5km of a health facility. The Government’s vision for Liberia’s National Community Health Services is a coordinated national community health care system in which households have access to life-saving services and are empowered to mitigate potential health risks. CHW services in remote areas.