Legislative Support Project: Impacting or Failing?

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The issue regarding the Legislative Support Project (LSP) and District Project Funds created by the 53rd National Assembly is yet to be made known to the common people the lawmakers represent.

That is to say, almost five years since the members of the 53rd House of Representatives were sworn in, some of the projects have remained by name or are non-existent.

To prove this, the Daily Observer Nimba County Correspondent reported that it is still uncertain to many across the county whether the LSP is being used for its intended purpose or being used unilaterally by the members of the Legislature without the consent of the constituency they represent.

In Nimba County Electoral District #1, 2 and 3, several projects, including three schools, a market building and hospital, have been erected and dedicated, while a mini football stadium in Karnplay since the election in 2011 has remained untouched.
What is not clear is whether monies reportedly used on these projects are part of the district project funds, which fall under the LPS or are self-sponsored developments led by the representatives of these districts.

In Districts #4, 5, 6 and so forth, there is no tangible development that the representatives of these constituencies can boast of as some of their so-called deliverables since they were elected in 2011, and sworn in 2012. Rather they are constantly distributing bags of cement, bundles of 14 gauge zinc, and undisclosed amounts of cash to organizations and churches as a means of identifying with the people.

Some of the lawmakers had been boasting of telephone towers built by GSM companies in their districts as some of their deliverables, with nothing mentioned about the LSP/DPF, for which every member of the lower house is reportedly receiving about US$72,000 annually, while each members of the upper house are reportedly receiving US$330,000.

Recently, the Daily Observer visited the border town of Buutuo, where the bloody uprising of Liberia began. It was observed that the road is so bad to the extent that the wooden bridges lie in ruins and there is no tangible development ongoing that the citizens can point to as part of the LSP.

At one of the local meetings held in one of the towns in February this year, Representative Samuel Korgar pointed out that the mini police station built in Buutuo and the Lonestar Cell tower as some of his personal developments, making no mention of the LSP/DPF.

The Buutuo Central High School is yet to be modernized. It lacks a laboratory, library and good seating capacity, but the LSP continues to flow every year into the hands of the lawmaker.

The compound of the chief of Tappita remains incomplete, since the project was started in 2013 by Representative Rick Toweh. The project is said to be part of the Legislative Support Project, a prominent citizen of Tappita told this reporter, but the status as of present is poor.

Saclepea is one of the areas where it is speculated that two lawmakers were said to have collaborated to underwrite the theater at the Comprehensive Health Center, but the project is yet to be completed. Representative Worlea Dunah and one of the lawmakers of Nimba have reportedly partnered with others to do the project, a source told this paper.

The construction of the Flompa High School annex is ongoing in District #8, which is represented by Larry P. Younquoi. Youngquoi too has in recent times distributed cement and zinc to organizations and churches, something the residents believe have not impacted the district.

District #9, which includes Gbi and Dorlu as well as Yarwin Mensonnoh is believed to be one of the most underdeveloped areas.

It is in this regard that the Zekeh High School and health center in the area continue to be in poor condition, while the road condition also remains a challenge to motorists.

In May this year, Senator Thomas Grupee called on local officials of the political districts to come out with their development plan, during which time he divided his portion of LSP/DPF to carry on some projects.

He admitted receiving over US$300,000 for development, but said, due to the size of the county, he was dividing it among the districts to complete some projects.

However, the issue pertaining to the LSP/DPF remains a confusing talk among citizens, as we again approach another election come 2017.

The construction of GSM towers in any locality has now been politicized by most of the lawmakers as so-called deliverables.

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