The collection of revenue at the Loguatuo port of entry in Nimba County is being hampered due to the deplorable condition of a stretch of road that connects Karnplay with Loguatuo near the Liberian/Ivorian border. Three days of heavy rains have affected the road network so much so that travelers from the commercial hub of Ganta to the southeast via Saclepea (central Nimba) are now spending sleepless nights along the road as their vehicles are often stuck in the mud.
Presently, the condition of the Ganta–Saclepea-Tappita road, as well as the road that connects Bahn with Buutuo in the northeast, is so appalling that it poses a danger to travelers. One of the worst areas is the main operational area of the port where, regardless, security officers and other authorities carry out their routine duties.
Acting revenue collector Shelton Lah told the Daily Observer in an interview that the poor road condition is obstructing the free movement of goods and services.
“When the road is in good condition, we collect huge revenues, but the rainy season has made the condition so bad to the extent that it is now weakening the movement of traders,” he said. “This is the major entry point of agriculture-related produce and other goods to Liberia, but the bad road condition is hampering the collection of revenues. During the dry season, we collect huge revenues here.” As a result of the heavy rains, several vehicles are stranded in the middle of the mud, while other sections of the road are still deplorable.
Meanwhile, the bad road condition is also affecting the free movement of goods and services on the Ivorian side of the border. “We have spent over a week on this highway, including the Ivorian side, because of the road condition,” said tomato trader Miatta. She decried the condition of the road, which she blamed for damaging her goods.
The Loguatuo border is about 49 kilometers from Sanniquellie, Nimba County’s political capital. The bad road network is a yearly problem, and traders and others want something done about it. “Nearly all our basic commodities, including cattle, are transported through this border, but the road condition has never changed,” said a quarantine agent from the Ministry of Agriculture assigned to the border.
Apart from the Karnplay/Loguatuo road, some road networks across Nimba have also deteriorated, posing major challenges to commuters. The situation has resulted to increases in the price of basic commodities, especially rice and gasoline, in nearly all the affected districts.