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Bong Bridges In Limbo

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Bong County Representative Edwin Juah has accused the Ministry of Public Works dreadfully botching the construction of two bridges in the county, one connecting Liberia and Guinea, while the other, within his electoral district on the basis of “mere done care attitude toward the developmental initiatives.”

One of the bridges is in Panta and the other is in Zota. They have reportedly been abandoned by the private companies Morweh Group and General Engineering Group, two local contractors hired by authorities of the Public Works Ministry through the Public Procurement Concession and Commission (PPCC) procedures.

Both companies separately won the contract respectively in early 2010 with Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the people of Bong County and the Government and Morweh stipulating three months for the completion of the project, but up to present, nothing has been done by the company to live up to its side of the agreement.

Representative Juah said Morweh Group, in the absence of completing the work, has already retrieved its equipment from the project site, but officers of the joint security assigned in the county confiscated the equipment. They were later release after an investigation.

According to him, he personally wrote the Public Works Ministry to inquire reason for the delay in the project implementation when resources needed for the construction are provided, but on three occasions, he said Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods claimed responsibility and promised that the work would have been completed in July 2011 but again the “honorable minister did not live to his word.”      

Rep. Juah noted that the two bridges are valued at more than US$1.3 million, saying that resources were taken from the coffers of the County Development Funds (CDF). He said due to the unbearable stoppage in the construction exercise, citizens of Bong are mounting intense pressure on their lawmakers and local officials about the whereabouts of the funds since the construction exercise had failed.

He demanded that Minister Samuel Kofi Woods should position himself to provide concrete and accurate information on the delay to the people of Bong County or face the wrath of plenary of the House of Representatives. “We are making formal communication to plenary about the action of the Public Works Ministry, and plenary in its wisdom will come down with a position”, he said.

When Minister Samuel Kofi Woods was contacted via mobile phone over the weekend to provide clarification on the project, his phone rings endlessly.

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