More than a month ago since the passage of the ‘lucrative’ 2012/2013 National Budget, circumstances surrounding the perpetual delays in completing the structure proposed to host Chiefs, Elders and Zoes of Liberia otherwise known as Chief Compound at the corner of Camp Johnson Road and McDonald Street in Monrovia remain unclear.
This paper could not receive any clarity, regarding explanation for the delays from authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs following nearly a week long follow-ups on Capitol Hill and by mobile contacts.
However, when contacted finally last weekend, the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr. Varney Sirleaf told this paper that he could not speak to the facts on grounds that he met the project at its current (incomplete) stage.
According to Minister Sirleaf, he received unofficial reports that there was no allotment made in the 2012/2013 National Budget so as to make progress and complete the stalled chief compound construction project. The project has only gone 30% since September 28, 2011.
“I don’t have the facts to comment on the matter; I understand there is nothing in the budget for the Chief Compound; so I must first get the facts from Finance Ministry before I talk to the press,” said Minister Sirleaf.
Though the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister promised since last Friday to address the matter upon receiving the relevant information regarding the project, he is yet to make any further clarity to this paper up to press time.
Beside the Minister’s brief comments, neither the administration nor the National Traditional Council has provided any information regarding the level of progress on the project since its commencement. The surroundings of incomplete structure continue to be used as a garage, while other parts are nearly dumpsite and latrine.
An initial amount of US$20,000.00 payment was reportedly made last year to a construction contractor company referred to as the Royal Eagle Construction Inc. hired by the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to facilitate the repair, maintenance and purchasing of materials for the project.
Since the government approved the 30% completion of the project, including the clearing and cleaning of the site, as well as the layout and casting of the foundation last year, the project has since stopped.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new Chief Compound was performed by the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, Sr.