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Bong’s US$4.2m college project in rigmarole

A US$4.2 million technical college project in Bong County has reportedly been hit by corruption, bringing the project to a standstill. Marvin Cole, a prominent citizen of Bong, is accusing the president of the Bong County Technical College, Dr. John Flomoand a Chinese contractor Yaun Zou, of allegedly misappropriating the US$4.2 million allocated by the county for the college construction.

According to him, the college is currently being operated in squared by squared makeshift building, which hardly accommodates500 students. Cole narrates that two years back, the county embarked on the college project with an estimated cost of US$4.2 million and subsequently, the money was allegedly provided to a Chinese company via the leadership of the college, but up to present, the contractor has failed to complete the construction of the building, while Dr. Flomo is again requesting for additional US$2.9 million to complete the structure.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleafrecently instructed Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore to conduct technical assessment of the facility. According to report compiled by the Public Works Ministry, the structure does not value US$4.2 million as claimed by the Dr. Flomo administration.

The report validates the county’s claims that funds allotted for the construction have been mismanaged, calling on President Sirleafto speedily intervene. Mr. Cole, who is Assistant Secretary General for the National Patriotic Party or NPP, further claimed Dr. Flomo presented workplan to the people of Bong with promise to have introduced Computer Science in the undergraduate program, including agricultural technology and mining engineering, among other disciplines, but up to present, the college does not even have qualified Mathematics instructors.

He also accused Dr. Flomo of extorting money from students under the pretext that his administration is capable of providing these educational services. He recalled that the 2005 elections, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleafpromised improved education for the people of Bong as evidenced by the donation of US$10,000 to the SuakokoScholarship Foundation established Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor.

Cole warns that if the President failed to intervene, her dream of making sure the people of Bong have better education would not be achieved, especially under Dr. Flomo administration. He called on Dr. Flomo to honorably resign and leave activities of the college with the people of Bong and the government.

Cole also cautions the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to not release a penny to Dr. Flomofor the college. Meanwhile, when Dr. John Flomo was contacted via mobile about the allegation of corruption, he declined to comment on grounds that the college’s public affairs department will issue a press statement subsequently.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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