Acute budgetary constraints are said to be hampering development initiatives in Nimba County since the last County Council sitting in April 2013.
Speaking on a local radio station in Ganta on the 28th January, the Secretary of Nimba’s Legislative Caucus, Nimba Electoral District # 7 Representative Worlea Dunah said the Government of Liberia has owed Nimba County US$ 3.8 million since 2011.
He said the delay in releasing the budget is causing problems in the implementation of the projects that were earmarked during the last Nimba County Council Sitting.
Rep. Dunah quoted the Minister of Finance as saying the said amounts were in the government’s escrow account; and added that and it could be released at any time.
“We have outstanding debt owed to us from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 budget years totaling US$ 3.8 million; members of the caucus have been advocating tirelessly to the government. We believe that this amount will be released soon,” he said.
He quoted the Minister of Finance as saying that the national budget shortfall doesn’t affect the US$ 3.8million and that it was safe.
There was a budgetary allocation for development last year in the County Council sitting, but most of the projects, including the scholarship scheme for Nimba students attending universities and colleges in Liberia, allotment for the disabled and other key projects remain in limbo.
Last year, Nimba County Council Projected a US$2.8 million budget; within the projected budget around 23% (US$644,940) would go to development projects in the nine electoral districts of the count. Another 10% (US$ 305,000) goes to scholarships, youth and women’s empowerment, projects for the disabled, the county meet and the renovation of the chief compound in Sanniquellie.
In a recent development, Nimba County’s infrastructural development project has begun the opening of streets and alleys in the city of Tappita, lower Nimba County.
The project, which started a few days ago, is said to be destroying property built closely to the streets.