House Summons Works Minister over Damaged Roads, Bridges

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Public Works Minister Mobutu Viah Nyenpan will be quizzed by lawmakers on Thursday, September 5th, 2019 on the increase of bad roads across Montserrado County.

Public Works Minister Mobutu Viah Nyenpan is expected to appear on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. before the full Plenary of the House of Representatives, having being summoned following reports of bad roads and damaged bridges in rural Montserrado County, specifically in Electoral District #1.

About 15,000 residents have been enduring the associated hardship due primarily to the bad roads, as well as damaged bridges for which they have appealed to the government for assistance to augment efforts the District Representative have over the years exerted to revamp the road networks.

Montserrado County District #1 Representatives Lawrence Morris.

The lawmakers invited Minister Nyenpan and his principal deputies to appear before that august body on Monday, September 2, 2019, which marked the 1st day sitting of the 3rd Special Day.

The decision by members of the House follows a communication from Montserrado County District #1 Representative, Lawrence Morris, over the refusal of Nyenpan after making assessments of the current condition of damaged brides in (Crozierville, Havephaet, Boiny, Bensonville/Nyehn and Koon towns) including the two bridges, Duala-Louisiana-White Plains via Harrisburg-Fendell-Monrovia.

Additionally, Rep. Morris reported to plenary about the Bensonville, the capital city of Montserrado, being ‘neglected.’

“In view of the above, I hereby request through your Honorable office to cite Minister Nyenpan and his deputies to appear before plenary on Tuesday, September 2, 2019 to provide explanations for the delay in rehabilitating the damaged bridge in Crozierville and its catchment communities.”

Ministry Nyenpan is also expected to clarify reports of alleged misappropriated US$27 million out of the US$48.0 million the government provided in the fiscal year 2018/2019, as insinuated by some segments of the media.

The US$27 million was allegedly the additional appropriation for infrastructural development, which should have formed the bedrock for sustainable economic growth and development.

A make-shift bridge erected over a cut road by residents of Crozierville, White Plains and Harrisburg, rural Montserrado County (Photo: Simeon Wiakanty)

The money was also intended to pave several community roads and the construction of bridges across the country.

It can be recalled that during the Joint Budget Committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate at the ongoing hearing on the draft national budget for FY 2019/2020, the Ministry of Public Works failed to account for US$27 million allotted for road construction and rehabilitation.

Thomas Fallah, Montserrado County Electoral District #5 Representative and chair of the Joint Committee, who appeared before members of the Committee on Monday, August 25, said it is “disappointing and embarrassing” for the Public Works Ministry, which heads the main pillar of the Pro-poor Agenda not to detail its expenditures.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Bridges must be properly maintained always. There should be bridge inspectors nationwide. In addition to having bridge inspectors, it would be nice if road technicians or inspectors are hired and posted throughout the country in order to inspect roads. The newly hired road inspectors will have the responsibility of informing the Ministry of Public Works about the conditions of bridges and roads.

    Inclement Weather:
    If some things are a marvel or a horrendous disappointment about Liberia, some things are constant. It rains heavily in Liberia from June until October or November. It’s an undeniable fact. Because it will rain like that in Liberia, it makes sense for roads and bridges to be observed and serviced. In fact during Liberia’s rainy season, the economy of our country suffers tremendously. This is an old movie all of us have watched. Why isn’t the Ministry of Public Works punctilious about this issue? How long can we endure this menace? Is it because of “no money”?

    A US comparison:
    Before it snows in America, the governors of state governments, the mayors of local governments, (how be it, small and large cities) usually rally their snow removal crew to get ready to work. It usually works. Maybe, the Liberian Ministry of Public Works can learn a lesson from the American people. I hope this is not an insult.

    • F. Hney – All these bureaucrats care about is what they can steal for themselves. The country will never develop much less modernize if we don’t have capable people running these institutions. It’s a befitting job for good leadership, engineering, prioritizing, and sound policies, etc. Does Minister Mobutu Viah Nyenpan have these qualities? I don’t know, but what we do know is the result is always the same from one Minister to another. I don’t believe we have the brain power in country to solve these problems. When they build a bridge, it’s done haphazardly because someone wants to pocket the money. Nothing is done right in Liberia so long a Liberian is in charge. I hate to say this but it’s true. It’s a sad culture my friend. Our people are their own worst enemy.

    • A Public Works Minister in suit and tie looking overwhelmed! It’s all about show and no good results. The money disappears like dust in the wind and that’s the end of it. Next year, same thing. LOL.

  2. Compatriot F. Hney:

    This piece is heart-wrenching. It paints an extremely sad and distressing picture of our country especially when it comes to the issues of development. But no matter how it may be viewed by any critic or reactionary element, you said the unadulterated truth.

    Is there money for development purposes in Liberia? In my opinion, the government generates enough money to meet many of its developmental objectives, however the funds are channeled through the wrong conduit.

    One fatal thinking about this government is that revenues in Liberia are for the private bank accounts of the CDC establishment. Anything else that pertains to development, belongs in the international donors’ realm. The United States of America, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, China, and the other industrial powers must used their taxpayers’ money to build our country because “we are poor”.

    Worst case: the government can even forcibly transfer donor funds into private accounts, and it would be consider an internationally accepted best practice.

    I have over the years, listened to many opinions between both foreigners and Liberians alike concerning why Liberia seems not to ever progress relative to many of its African counterparts, and the answer that I have always received which is in fact more of a question than an answer is, “How can Liberia be so rich, and yet so poor?”

  3. My dear compatriots, Messrs Right. to. be. anonymous and Phil,

    You have laid it out better.. It’s the absolute truth you’ve told. Sadly, it hurts to see our country drift as it is.

    I visited a local association two weeks ago. I spoke to some of the members of the association and its chairman about ways in which human conditions can be improved. Something happened after I concluded the discussion. The chairman of the association (name withheld) told me two things:
    1. My man, we want to work with you. So, don’t forget us. I’ve got someone who can directly work with you and
    2. Come back and see us. We’re here.

    This of course is Liberia.

  4. All of you guys have spoken well about the issues confronting this country of ours (Liberia). It hurts to see how this country continues to go in a downward slope in spite of all we have. Some folks usually say that for Liberia to develop we need to pray harder. But what I do know is that it is not prayers that build nations, but patriotic, honest, hardworking and financial disciplined people. God has already blessed us with sufficient economic resources, as compared to some countries that are faring better than us. But because of greed, lack of love for country and so many other factors we still find ourselves lagging behind in development. I believe that it is time that the ordinary citizens start to take action by taking our government to the task. But as one of the commenters said, high illiteracy rate is also helping to worsen the problem. Once members of the hierarchy of the ruling establishment begins to badmouth and blame the past government for the condition of the country, the supporters tend to believe their leaders, and on and on and on………………….PATHETIC!

    • Lynda A. Thomas-James – I can’t agree more that prayers cannot fix the country because God has blessed us with every resource to succeed. The culture of corruption, greed, selfishness and impunity is what’s killing the country. Imagine in the 21st century, they’re killing kids and removing their organs to make voodoo for big jobs and what have you. What kind of primitive society is this? Our culture has fallen into the abyss. The country is like an elephant meat – you take your share, I take mine and to hell with development. The folks back home are their own worst enemy and they will have to endure the pain they bring upon themselves. God bless them.

  5. Miss Thomas-James,
    Like the fine gentlemen above, you have made some excellent valid points as well. One of the things you’ve mentioned is the issue of greed. Yeah. Greed is ingrained in the subconscious of “some people”. (I cannot be specific, you know what I mean by “some people). I anchor your last word without being reticent… Pathetic!

    I have problems with a specific group of high salary recipients who care less about the shaky condition of our country. The high salary people are self-centered. Their self-interest rides over the interest of the nation. But it should be the other way around. Imagine this if it’s worth your while. Some people take home $15 to $16,000 per month. But at the same time bridges are crumbling.

    I went to White Plains a few weeks ago. I drove over a bridge that was waiting to fall apart. Miss Thomas-James, that specific bridge in Crozierville has fallen apart. The Daily Observer Newspaper photographed the Crozieville bride last week. I actually drove over the bridge. Our Lord Jesus Christ is my expert witness.

    Common problems:
    Our public schools are overcrowded. Teachers are not being paid well. Almost everywhere you turn, there are unregulated private schools. If you live in Liberia, take a tour of Paynesville to see the private schools that are run by the proprietors. The so-called proprietors (as they prefer to be called) set their own guidelines or agenda, if you will. Some of the teachers have all kinds of problems. They teach regardless of that. A guy who claims to be a director of a parochial school was overheard saying the following, “I didning go there last week. I werk at that school three years, no increase. (Phil don’t laugh).

    I cannot say a whole lot. I believe we or all of us can make a difference.

  6. Brother Hney, all of the problems you mentioned supra are as perennial as the grass and I try to grasp why folks like you are disappointed when our country is going topsy-turvy. I am not in any way blaming you or others who constantly voice their disdain and disappointment at our so-called leaders. YOu love your country thats why you are hurt and disappointed at what is unfolding. But I can tell you, Brother Hney, you will be hurt and disappointed for a very long time, because, sorry to say, nothing is going to change.

    The comparism you talked about between the USA and Liberia about bridge maintenance is not even worth it. Money are allocated for such and there are oversight committees who ensure that the funds are well spent for the intended purpose and proper accountability is observed. But here in Liberia, where is the committee
    and even if there is a committee, can they do their job diligently? Not even worth talking about.

    We all know what happened to then superintendent of Montserrado county Beauty Barcon the the caucus. We all know what transpired between the two. that is what is happening with all of the committees. I wait.

  7. …Yet still, the same legislators will approve another budget or allotment subsequently for these same roads just as with previous outlays that were never implemented. And the so-called oversight sham continues!

  8. Mr. Joe Moses,
    Welcome to the show once again. As always, your absence is unappreciated. So don’t try to stay away for long.

    Like me, you’re frustrated as well. In essence, you’re saying that corruption is like a tree that’s planted in the corridors of the government which fails not to yield it’s venomous fruits. The fruits contain venom. Once eaten by the men and women in that club, (the club consists of elected and appointed individuals) they become tainted with corruption of unimaginable proportions. Example, some of them bring home as a paycheck $15k per month. But at the same time, some government Ministries do not have flushable toilets. Isn’t that corruption?

    Joe, what we shouldn’t do is to keep quiet, stay mum and go about our personal chores. If all of us fold our arms and zip our lips, we would have been defeated. No kidding my dear brother. Please, let’s not give up.

  9. Liberia do Not have the engineers to anything:
    1) If the money is there but nobody has the KnowHows; to move Liberia forward.
    2) Liberia needs good hospitals but Liberian do not want to get into the medical fields?
    3) Liberia needs good roads but we do not have civil engineers, etc?
    4) Liberia needs clean water but we do not have chemical engineers, etc.
    Look, without any of these experiences, no Liberian will be successful in moving the country forward.
    Most of us have done liberal Arts studies but believe we can take on engineering decisions or direct engineering projects.
    Cummings, Ellen, Boikai, etc don’t have any of these experiences to develop Liberia.
    Again, it is us needed best educated who needs to come forward.
    I am ready to debate my experience with any Liberian including any of the people you may consider your Leader.
    God bless you.

  10. Correction:
    1) If Liberia has the money but nobody has the KnowHows to move the country forward.

    Note:
    We mainly didn’t studied in the interest of helping our people.

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