Bad Roads, Spoiled Traffic Lights Due to ‘Lack of Money’

5
1917
Public Works Minister attributed the lack fiscal support to to the deplorable state of roads as well as damaged brides and traffic lights in the country.

— Public Works Minister Tells House of Representatives

In a rather annoyed tone, Public Works Minister Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan declared that it is the lack of money that is responsible for the failure of the Ministry of Public Works and Rural Development to repair (repair or reconstruct) the bad, bad roads throughout the country. According to him, out of the US$48 million allotted in the 2018/2019 National Budget, the Ministry had accessed or expended only US$21 million, meaning that US$27 million, equivalent to 60% was defaulted.

The Public Works Minister told members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 during its 7th Day Special Sitting that the US$21 million, which was 40% of the US$48 million, was mostly used to pay salaries, while the remainder would allow for some of the ‘bad, bad or troubled’ roads to be fixed.

He attributed the meager repairs to community roads, known as Pro Poor Roads, to some of the remainders from the 2018/2019 Budget.

In other words, the Public Works Minister is decrying lack of support from the Finance Ministry to repair the bad roads, damaged bridges and the spoiled traffic lights.

However, Minister Nyenpan described as ‘wrongful’ certain media publications blaming the Ministry of Public Works for accounting for US$21m instead of the US$48m.

The former Sinoe County Senator and Senate Chairman on Public Works was furious declaring the traffic lights would not be repaired due to the lack of money. According to him, after two separate vouchers were raised and submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) for payment, totaling US$132,600, up to present, the MFDP is yet to provide the money to fix the traffic lights to control, manage and avoid unnecessary traffic hazards.

Minister Nyenpan disclosed that the ‘Repairing of the Traffic Lights’ received a go-ahead from the Public Procurement Concession Committee (PPCC) and underwent a Tender procedure which kicked off on July 23, 2018 and was subsequently and formally won by a Liberian firm and an agreement signed on October 9, 2018.

“Considering the urgency of the traffic lights and the need for mobilization to be given to the Liberian contractor, two vouchers were raised, on January 8, 2019 and February 21, 2019 but, up to this moment, none of the vouchers have been transformed to check and the Ministry of Finance has not given a dime for the works.”

Minister Nyenpan also told the House Plenary that following negotiations with the Liberian contractor for pre-finance, on June 4, 2019, two of the nine traffic lights were changed and installed, specifically at Capitol By-Pass/Bassa Town Junction and the Vamoma House/Airfield Junction, but the contractor could no longer continue, owing to the lack of money.

Sinoe County District #1 Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh, following debates on the essence and the absence of the Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, proffered a motion that the issues on the repair of the traffic lights be tabled and the Public Works Minister be summoned again along with the Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah.

Meanwhile, on the bad roads and damaged bridges in Crozierville and Clay Ashland in Montserrado County District #1, following complaint from the constituency’s Representative Lawrence Morris, Minister Nyenpan told lawmakers that assessments have been made and that the indicative cost for the Crozierville Bridge is US$318,000, and for Clay Ashland is US$225,000.

“The No Objection Request has been sent to the PPCC for the Bid Tender Process to begin and, if the PPCC replies, the process will begin. And then, when the 2019/2020 [National Budget] is approved, the bridges will be constructed,” Nyenpan said.

Rep. Morris in his debate as the progenitor of the communication, said thousands of his residents are going through hardship as a result of the damaged bridges.

“We are asking the Ministry of Public Works if we can have bailey bridges to alleviate the hardships in the meantime, while await the PPCC approval and then the Tender Bill processes to reconstruct the bridges,” Rep. Lawrence said.

In response, Minister Nyenpan said that, upon the approval of the PPCC and awarding of contract, the winner within the contract will be mandated to construct detour bridges, but it is not possible to erect bailey bridges.

He pointed out that in the 2019/2020 Budget the Ministry of Public Works’ is expected to receive an allocation of only US$32 million, a reduction of US$16 million.

“If we receive the US$32m, it will be used correspondingly,” Min. Nyenpan stressed.

It may be recalled that the House of Representatives summoned the Public Works Minister and Principal Deputies because of communications from Grand Bassa County District #3 Representatives and Montserrado County District #1 Representative Lawrence Morris, on the spoiled traffic lights across Montserrado County, being responsible for unnecessary road accidents, as well as damaged brides in District #1 Montserrado County.

5 COMMENTS

  1. No amount of money can ever result in good roads in that country because you guys are just too corrupt. Liberians are too dishonesty!!

  2. Good roads also needs continuous maintenance especially after rainy season, sadly, Liberia lacks the expertise and road maintenance equipment . Insincerity and Corruption amongst citizens and govt official is Liberia nightmare.

  3. No Government initiated projects can work in Liberia. The only way out will be through continuous foreign dependency and assistance. And even with foreign assistance, the countries making the direct investment will have to monitor their capital from start to end otherwise, their effort would be a futile one.

    Whichever way one judges the performance of the actors in this circus government, the result is still the same. If it is Tweedledee then it gotta be Tweedledum and vice versa. No way to tell any differences.

    If the government is unable to institute programs and expend resources to clean-up the nation’s capitol, will it be able to allot money to maintain vital roads and bridges?

    What this administration is good for though is to continue to blame the past while continuing on the same path (corruption and abuse of the nation’s resources). Liberians have heard and continue to hear from Weah over a zillion times that Ellen destroyed the country. But yet still, the people watched him invite other African leaders to come and dedicate her achievements on July 26.

    Another thing this government is renowned for is plotting vicious acts to kill its political opponents and inflict massive destruction on their infrastructures. Violence waged against Ms. Telia Urey and her supporters a few weeks ago is a testimony to this fact. Have the public learned any information of any on-gong probe as to why Weah’s CDC committed such acts?

    I wonder If Weah and his CDC supporters do not understand that, they are reverting Liberia on a slippery slope of destruction by these acts?

  4. Which way to go, Liberia. 172 years is not 10 years. Liberia was 120 years old when other African Nations were fighting colonialism. At the birth of Liberia, in 1847, there was no nation on the planet called China, India, Cuba or even Vietnam. Today, we are importing engineers and doctors from these nations to help us build our roads and take care of our sick people. We are giving law makers $15,000.00 every 30 days; leaving our students to attend un-equipped schools and ‘universities’, that are not training them anything.

    Corrupt and bribery laced mind set, are the sole of our problem. Every body wants to go into government to ‘eat’. Not to develop the nation.
    That’s the way it is, in Liberia and most Sub-Saharan Nations, we have become the ‘sick man’ to the rest of the world. We’re receiving medications and treatment everyday, but our ‘health’ is not improving at all. No amount of medication and treatment can do us any good if we are not taking them according to dosage and prescription regiment. On the contrary, it will add more oxygen to our illness. We cried for money, money every time, when it is given, we squander it, not thinking to improve health care, educations, transportation etc.

  5. What kind of degree does he has?

    The best educated are NOT empowered. Therefore we will always have these problems.
    We the real educated with the Know-Hows will wait.

    Public works should be the one building those bridges?
    Every engineer that did properly studied would want to do something himself?
    You should be giving contracts to public works so Liberian can be trained to do the work? Are those contract takers qualify?

    Anyways, Liberia said, education was NOT important.
    We will wait.

    God bless.

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