— Deputy Speaker Koffa commits to lobby for appropriation
Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa says he will vigorously lobby in the next three years of CDC-led government with his colleagues to ensure budgetary allocation to fix the bad roads in the Southeast. He said he will commit himself to aggressively push for budgetary allocation to address the major challenge of road connectivity in the Southeast.
The newly elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives stated with the estimated cost of a mile of road construction at US$1 million, which amounts to at least US$50 million for 50 miles, will be lobbied for to be inculcated in each fiscal annual budget.
“We cannot wait for the big loan estimated at US$100 million to address the long-time road challenge in the Southeast,” Deputy Speaker Koffa averred.
According to his calculation, given the long stretch of road, US$50 million can be directed to the road initiative to tackle 50 miles annually with the total of US$150 million budget for three years to construct 150 miles of roads.
In his first interview as Deputy Speaker on ELBC/LNTV on Monday, the Grand Kru County District #2 Representative pointed out that it will be significant progress for the country’s development drive, especially in the area of roads when fully supported and implemented, and a key development focus of President George M. Weah.
Rep. Koffa intoned that when the road is constructed, it will help facilitate economic growth while improving local capacity, work and business opportunities, and livelihoods.
Liberia has a lack of reliable roads, especially in the Southeast, which comprises the five of the remotest counties: Sinoe, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Maryland.
The southeast road is impassable due to seasonal heavy rains, and thus affecting the nation’s economic growth, as it prevents rural communities from accessing essential products and public services, such as education, healthcare, water, and markets to sell crops and goods.
Sometimes due to lack of maintenance, the Southeast road can be difficult to travel on in the dry season and, the succeeding rainy season, it can be nearly impossible.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Koffa intimated that the common interest of the Liberian people will top his Legislative agenda as second in command at the House of Representatives.
He said even though the debates will be more robust on issues of national concerns with different political ideologies, the people’s interest will remain paramount with the collective contributions of Speaker Bhofal Chambers and members of the 54th National Legislature.
The Grand Kru County lawmaker said he is committed to renew Legislative commitment to his district, county and country in the discharge of his duties as per his new portfolio owing to his competence, wealth of experience and effectiveness.
He however frowned at the fact that there are hundreds of Ghanaians who are engaged in illegal mining in the county and is suggesting strict measures.
The Deputy Speaker said hundreds of Ghanaians entered Grand Kru and other coastal counties via canoe, which is becoming a serious problem. He expressed his frustrations over the influx of illegal and foreign miners in the county and the inability of officers of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) to curtail the miners because of numerical strength.