The Chairman of Ganta City Council (GCC), Amos Gbatu, has disclosed plans to honor the business community for their cooperation with the ongoing infrastructural development activities affecting the city.
Mr. Gbatu, told the Daily Observer in an interview in Ganta recently, that members of the business community headed by Madison Gausi of the Wingus Business Center, have demonstrated a sense of ownership toward the infrastructural development currently ongoing in Ganta.
He said the Council through the former City Mayor, now Nimba County Development Superintendent, Dorr Cooper, designed a policy requiring businesses on Ganta’s main street to transition from ground-level units to flat roof storey buildings as the newly dedicated road from Gbarnga to the Guinea border signifies the importance of modern structures in the city.
The business community, Mr. Gbatu said, has adhered to this policy and has gone the extra mile, erecting storey buildings along the main street.
It may be recalled that while the recently dedicated road from Gbarnga to the Guinea border was reaching Ganta, the council announced a policy compelling every property owner on the main street to build flat roof buildings when the road enters the city.
Members of the Ganta Business Community at the time were hesitant to accept the policy because most of them were leasing the parcels of land their businesses were occupying.
They also argued that resettlement packages offered by government, for the demolished structures, were claimed by their landlords and as such they could not risk their capital to further invest in the business.
However, when the City Council and the City Corporation persisted and warned non-compliant businesses to leave the main street, business owners finally consented.
In his acknowledgement to the business community, Mr. Gbatu said, “It was not easy for us to convince the business people about this costly venture, but Mr. Madison Gausi (also known as Gausi Boy) first took the bold step and erected his flat roof and others began to follow.
“In fact,” Gbatu added, “they are going beyond our imagination and most of them are building storey buildings here as you can see, and we the Ganta City Council members together with the Mayor and city corporation are planning to publicly appreciate the business community for this tremendous work.”
According to the GCC Chairman, the business community has made Ganta a model from which other Liberians can learn to foster development.
He said though the venture is capital intensive, these local investors are highly motivated do it now because they are seeing the impact. The council, also realizing the progress, needs to show gratitude to them by giving them public recognition.
“When the President came here to dedicate the road, she was shocked by the level of development here and began to tell people in other places in Liberia to see Ganta and learn from it. It’s all because the business community adhered to our advice and are carrying on this development, and we will surely give the public recognition for their patriotic and nationalistic approach to development,” he emphasized.
City Mayor Doopkah expressed support for the Council’s idea, calling it “important”, because cooperation from the business community and the residents of Ganta is enormous.
Madison Gausi said in a telephone interview that such recognition will not only be for the business community, but for all Liberians living in Ganta and making meaningful contributions toward the development of the municipality.
He said though it is financially burdensome to do what they are doing, the Ganta City Council and City Corporation also did well to bring out the proposal and enforce it.