Liberian Government Hands Over Ducor Hotel Structure, Gbarnga Rubber Project Site Premises To LAICO

Thursday, 20th January 2011
Vice President Boakai makes remarks at the event.
Vice President Boakai makes remarks at the event.
Photo Credit: Office of the Vice President

Monrovia, Liberia - The Liberian Government on Thursday, January 20 handed over the Ducor Hotel Structure and premises as well as the Gbarnga Rubber Project site to the Libyan African Investment Company (LAICO), an investment arm of the Libyan government, for redevelopment.

Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, who served as proxy for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, handed over documents of the two projects to Dr. Etayeb Elsafi Etayeb, President of the Board of Directors of the Libyan African Investment Company (LAICO), who is a heading a high-powered Libyan delegation to the country.

The colorful ceremony which was graced by officials of government, the business community, members of the diplomatic corps, and civil society, was held at the premises of the Ducor Palace Hotel on Mamba Point.

In remarks, Vice President Boakai described the ceremony as an important occasion for post-war Liberia, and thanked President Johnson Sirleaf for her courage in ensuring that development comes to Liberia.

He also thanked Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi for his long-time interest in ensuring that development comes to Liberia.

He thanked the Libyans for the patience they exercised in the wake of delays, to see the project reach this stage, noting that Liberia is going through renewal and that the government puts its citizens first in whatever it does.

He described Ducor Hotel as a historic monument that has a future for every Liberian, noting that in its heydays, Ducor was a place that every visitor to Liberia wanted to see. He added that upon completion, the hotel would restore Liberia’s image.

Vice President Boakai thanked President Johnson Sirleaf for the generosity to provide resettlement fees to tenants, pay school fees for students who will be relocated and compensate property owners, noting that the President did this for the national good.

He then called on all partners and stakeholders to work together for the rebuilding of war ravaged Liberia.

Also speaking at the ceremony, LAICO Board President, Dr. Etayeb said Libya is considering investing in Liberia in several areas, including the communication, mining, tourism and agriculture sectors.

He assured that the two projects already earmarked would commence very soon to create jobs for the post-war country, adding, “Thank God for the peace and security now enjoyed in Liberia”.

In remarks, the Liberian Government Representative of LAICO, Mr. Eugene Peabody said the Ducor Palace redevelopment project and the Gbarnga Rubber Processing Plant project will cost US$65 million.

He said upon completion, the Ducor Palace Hotel will comprise of 151 rooms including suites, several restaurants, a conference facility, tennis court, a shopping center, exercise facilities, bar, as well as a casino, and that it will provide jobs and training when it becomes fully operational.

The rubber processing plant, he said, will produce tyre grade rubber for export at a capacity of eight tons per hour, as well as provide training in rubber culture and extension services for farmers to improve their output.

The Ducor Palace Hotel which was constructed in 1959 as a four star hotel, was destroyed during Liberia’s protracted civil conflict and now lies in ruins.