Liberia: “NTA Has Not Received Any Money From MFDP”

…..Embattled NTA Managing Director  MacCauley says of US$2.1M budgetary allotment 

The controversial Managing Director of the National Transit Authority (NTA) has informed the Senate Committee on Transport that his institution has yet to receive the money allotted in the 2022 fiscal budget year.

“The NTA has not received any money from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning allotted to my entity within the 2022 National Budget,” Herbie MacCauley, the NTA Managing Director, said.

The Managing Director of the struggling NTA made the assertion on September 4, when he and his team went through intensive grilling from the Transport Committee, now chaired by Co-chairman Abraham Darius Dillon, during a hearing in the Senate Chambers.

MacCauley’s attempted clarification came after the Senate committee mandated he submit in one week a comprehensive report of the entity to include the budget performance report, contract with the University of Liberia, as well as an analysis of finances received from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in the current budget, among others.

The Senate Committee’s decision came as a result of McCauley's failure to confirm whether or not his entity has received from the Ministry of Finance the amount of US$2.1 million approved by the Legislature in the 2022 budget, even though the fiscal outturn report indicates that the entity received such amount. 

The appearance of the Managing Director and his team was prompted by a complaint raised before the Plenary by River Gee County Senator, Jonathan Boye-Charles Sogbie, who raised concerns over the unavailability of NTA buses in Monrovia and its environs.

Sogbie, in his complaint, contended that 45 buses were donated by the Government of India, but that those buses are not seen running in the traffic. 

But responding to the Senator’s complaint, MacCauley informed the Senate Committee that, out of the 45 buses donated, the NTA received 39 pieces and that only 15 of the 39 pieces are currently operational, while 24 have broken down. 

He attributed the breakdowns to the unavailability of spare parts within the country. 

He noted that spare parts have to be imported from India, but regrettably the MFDP has failed to give money to the entity to address such problems. 

According to the Managing Director, upon donation of the buses the India Government laid down guidelines for their maintenance, part of which requires that after three years, the buses must be overhauled in order to remain operational. 

At the close of the hearing , the Acting Chairman of the Transport Committee, Montserrado County Senator Dillon, indicated to the Managing Director and his team that they will remain under oath, and a subsequent hearing will be arranged in order to give the witnesses time to arrange themselves better to address several queries they failed to address before the Committee during the hearing. 

It may be recalled that a couple of years ago, the NTA facilities were destroyed by what appeared as a mysterious fire, which also burnt huge amounts of both United States and Liberian dollars reportedly kept at the premises of the entity.