Liberia: Senate Asked to Allocate US$100M for Roads

Flashback: The southeastern road corridor during the raining season. 

Grand Kru County Senator, Numene T.H. Bartekwa is seeking the indulgence of the Liberian Senate to allocate an amount of US$100 million in the 2022 National Budget  exclusively for construction and rehabilitation of primary roads in all of the 15 Counties.

Senator Bartekwa, in a communication to the Senate on Thursday, November 25, during its 10th Day Sitting of the Special Session, called on the Senate to allocate the said amount in the national budget, especially now that the budget is before the Legislature for Legislative action.

According to the Grand Kru Senator, most of the problems in the country are tied to deplorable roads that connect the various Counties.

The lawmakers further attributed the hike in prices of basic commodities and other services as a result of bad roads. He lamented that Liberians face extreme difficulty in commuting to the various counties. As such, the Senator stressed the need for the government to take decisive steps in addressing the road issues, especially in the rural areas.

“Look at what we go through getting to the South East, Lofa, Gbarpolu and other counties. It is almost impossible for people to get to these counties during the rainy season. So, as a government, we need to focus our efforts in this direction,” Senator Bartekwa said.

He however agreed that the proposed US$100 million may not be sufficient, but insisted that there must be a starting point, and that the said amount can make significant impacts.

Senator Bartekwa pointed to the growing wave of economic activities in the cities of Ganta, Nimba County and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as a clear benefit of good roads.

He said since these two cities experienced the connections of paved roads, there have been rapid developments and smooth economic activities. Senator Bartekwa, who is also chairman of the Senate Committee on Concession and Investment, concluded by seeking the indulgence of his colleagues to have a special consideration with respect to his request.

Following the reading of the communication, Plenary resolved that determination of the request be addressed upon a comprehensive report by the Senate Judiciary committee already investigating issues relative to the road funds. That Committee, chaired by Senator H. Varney Sherman, is expected to report to the Senate during its next sitting on Tuesday, November 30.