Ganta City Mayor Amos N.G. Suah says the City Corporation has identified an office-building project that costs US$56,000; therefore, he is asking the central government to assist the city by allotting some funding in the national budget for the project.
The city government survives by municipal fees collected from business people as well as support from non-governmental institutions. Ganta is a city that has become attractive to businesses, given its cross-border trading activities.
Nearly 50,000 people live in Ganta, according to the 2008 national census, and its smooth business environment is facilitated by its central location that connects Guinea to the West Bank of St. John River, including the entrance from Monrovia in the south, La Cote d’Ivoire to the north, and the south-eastern region of the country. The road from Red Light to the Guinea border in that city makes transportation easier for traders.
However, Suah said many businesses are informal except for a few, including petroleum stations and banking institutions.
According to him, he took office when the former mayor had already collected the municipal fees for the year 2018, and the city corporation was left with huge liabilities to settle with people and institutions.
Mayor Suah, who described the project as worthy, said the building would contain offices and a city hall, something that is lacking in a large and populated city as Ganta.
He said because the current city office is not spacial, the city council is constrained to attach a portion that cost them US$4,110.
Mayor Suah could not state the exact amount collected in municipal fees, because, according to him, the previous administration had already collected the fees before he took over and that he is yet to conduct a similar exercise before taking a comprehensive inventory.
In this regard, Suah expressed the hope to get an inventory about municipal fees this year. He however said they have to be working while the collection process is ongoing.
He emphasized that considering salaries and wages of staffs and other casual workers, what is collected in municipal fees cannot address the project and the liabilities on hand.
Besides the office building project, Mayor Suah said that the city corporation has put in place a “Pick- up” program that will enable the residents to pick trash dropped by wind in the streets and dispose of them into nearby dustbins.
This will also discourage littering, according to Mayor Suah, and the council will take drastic actions against people who will make the streets filthy by dumping dirt there from their houses.
The new administration, buttressed by the Liberian National Police (LNP), has also established the city police, to help enforce city ordinance and the law.