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Pres. Sirleaf submits Air Service Agreement to Legislature

Benjamin S. Taingay
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submittedan Air Service Agreement between the Liberian Government and the Kingdom of Morocco to the National Legislature for endorsement.

The agreement, signed on April 20, 2011, aims at promoting an international aviation system, based on the competition among airlines, to provide the right of each of the parties to fly across each other’s territory without landing.

According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), the agreement was presented to the legislature Tuesday at the National Legislature in Monrovia.

The agreement also provides the two countries the right to make stops over in each other’s territory for non-traffic purposes and make stops over in the other country's territory for the purpose of dropping and taking international traffic passengers, cargoes and mail delivery.

In a communication to the National Legislature, the Liberian Leader noted that the agreement is intended to ensure the highest degree of safety and security in international air transport and to reaffirm the country's concern about acts and threatsagainst the safety of civil aviation.

Also in the agreement, each party reserves the right to designate as many airlines as it wishes to for the conduct of international air transportation, provided such designatedairlines are substantially owned and effectively controlled by the designated party.

It says each of the designations specify whether the airline is authorized to use the agreed services on the specified route.

According to the agreement, each party will be allowed fair and equal opportunity for the designated airlines of both parties to compete in providing the international air transportation governed by the agreement.

Meanwhile, both houses of the National Legislature have forwarded the agreement to the relevant committees for further deliberation, following which a decision will be made relative to its ratification.

At the same time, the Liberian Chief Executive has reassured students of the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) of government’s commitment to completing the construction of the college's facility in Gbarnga.

President Sirleaf said the Government attaches serious importance to the empowerment of youth through quality education, and as such, her administration will do all it can to complete the BCTC complex.

The Liberian Leader gave the assurance Monday when she addressed hundreds of protesting students of the College during her visit to the facility.

For over seven hours under the blazing sun, the BCTC students held placards and chanted slogans of solidarity, calling on the President to intervene and to ensure the completion of the college.

She reiterated her commitment to providing the necessary conducive learning environment at the various technical colleges being established around the country.

The President, however, expressed disappointment over the delay in completing the construction of the college, despite the payment of over US$6 million to the contractor.

President Sirleaf told the students that she has mandated the college’s board to work along with the contractor and promised to ensure that the contractor completes the project.

She commended the students for the civility exhibited and encouraged them to always engage issues peacefully.

Speaking to reporters in Gbarnga recently, the head of the protesting students, Samuel Elliot, thanked President Sirleaf for accepting their petition statement for speedy intervention and hoped that she will take concrete action to ensure the completion of the college.

The Bong Technical College, with an enrolment of more than one thousand students, is currently being run at the William V.S Tubman Gray High School in Gbarnga with limited facilities to effectively cater to the students.


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