The Bong County Technical College or BTC facilitates in Gbarnga City, Bong County is nearing total completion. The President of the Bong County Technical College, Dr. John Flomo, has dismissed claims of mismanagement at the college as far from reality, disclosing that ground and 1stfloors of the building would be dedicated by March this year.
“By February the floor will be ready and in March we as a college will be moving in that building and the rest of the building will be completed next year,” Dr. Flomo added. Speaking to reporters at his residence in Paynesville outside Monrovia over the weekend, he said following his appointment as interim chairman of the college on April 1, 2012, construction of the college came to a standstill.
Currently, the Bong Technical College is leasing the United Methodist William V. S. Tubman Gray’s campus in Gbarnga to conduct classes pending completion of its own facilities. The Government of Liberia initially spearheaded the construction along with the county until September 2015, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf mandated the Ministry of Public Works and authorities of the college to take charge of the construction.
Dr. Flomo said since then, his administration has spent US$2.8 million and the building is about 90 percent complete, adding prior to that, previous management had spent US$3.8 million with just
about 45 percent work done.
Facilities at the institution are expected to include a modern laboratory for mining engineering to be constructed by ArcelorMittal at a value of US$27,000. Dismissing reports that he hired unqualified lecturers, Dr. Flomo said all lecturers are master’s degree holders except the director for Computer Science. “Our instructors are much trained and professionals. All of them have master’s degrees in their field of teaching unless, the computer man, who is helping us with technical classes for the computer programming.”
He said the essence of establishing the college is to provide quality education to young people in the county and beyond, and there would be no compromise. The BTC president said his administration is closely following guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education at the Ministry of Education and the college’s board of directors has been constituted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Responding to allegation that he wastefully used the college funds to buy luxury Jeep, Dr. Flomo indicated that two vehicles purchased by the college were approved by the board of directors at the cost of US$45,000; not US$85,000 as claimed by his detractors.
“This jeep was bought from TOYOTA Garage and if in doubt, I can give you my receipt or you can call the dealers for clarifications.” Also speaking to reporters, the acting president of the student council government, Morris Wolobah of the agriculture department said, allegation of the college hiring unqualified instructors is false and only intended to attack the high credibility the institution is building through the leadership of Dr. Flomo.
Morris said courses enshrined in the college’s brochure are available and instructors are currently administrating them, adding, “The College promised computer engineering, modern agriculture technology, civil and mining engineering at first degree which we are doing. So I don’t know from where these allegations are coming. But again, there are some young people who believe in blackmailing only to extort money from the authorities, which I know will not happen here.”
Recently, it was reported that the college project was hit by corruption, bringing its activities to a standstill. Marvin Cole, a prominent citizen of Bong, accused Dr. Flomo and a Chinese contractor, Yaun Zou, of allegedly misappropriating US$4.2 million allocated by the county for the college construction.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne