The government of Liberia’s decision to slash Nimba County’s budget is hampering ongoing development initiatives in the county, resulting in the grounding of some earthmoving machines that had developed minor mechanical faults.
The County Superintendent, Dorr Cooper, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the national government cut the county’s social development fund to US$700,000 from US$2 million, “and also cancelled the county development funds.”
He said the US$700,000 the government allotted to the county is not enough to meet its development needs; and for that, the county authority is appealing for the budget to be increased to US$1.4 million to enable the county to clear some outstanding bills and fast track new projects.
According to Cooper, when he took over as Superintendent, Nimba County had only US$1,000 in its coffers, but that he negotiated with the government to provide an additional US$300,000. The amount, he said, was part of the debt the Ministry of Public Works owed the county since 2012.
“The US$300,000 is what we are currently using to undertake some developments across the county,” he said.
Since September last year, development activities across Nimba have been at a standstill including feeder roads. Some of the county’s earthmoving machines, including a caterpillar, two compactors, and three trucks, have been down since last year.