By Lincoln G. Peters
Main opposition Unity Party (UP) says the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government has told ‘complete lies’ that it has paved three 300 kilometers of roads across the country.
Addressing a press conference at the UP headquarters Wednesday, 5 July 2023, Mr. Roland L. Giddings, a former Public Works Ministry official, suggested that the CDC regime has not come close to constructing that many roads as claimed.
Giddings said Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah’s assertion is disingenuous and reckless that the CDC administration has done more economic and social infrastructure far better than any other government.
Giddings urged Minister Tweah and his government to disengage from spreading ‘bold faced lies.’
“Stop being disingenuous and reckless to the Liberian people. The total roads that this government has paved in their first year is two hundred and thirty-seven instead of the three hundred Minister Tweah claimed that he has clarified,” said Mr. Giddings.
He argued that Minister Tweah previously told the nation that his government had paved six hundred kilometers of roads.
When Tweah was challenged to provide the facts, Giddings said, the Minister claimed that he had been provided misinformation by the Ministry of Public Works.
“But I say no. He intentionally [did] that because he wants to be disingenuous,’’ said Giddings.
According to Mr. Giddings, the UP government paved two hundred and ninety-three kilometers of roads across the country in its first term.
He said his government did that while also looking for fiscal space, setting government and system for a country just returning from war.
He argued that the only primary road that the CDC-led government has started on its own is the Roberts International Airport (RIA) road project.
But Giddings described the CDC initiated RIA road project as a major disaster and a death trap on grounds that the engineers lack the capacity and technical knowledge.
He insisted that the CDC government inherited three hundred and fourteen kilometers of roads that the Unity Party government already secured financing for before leaving power.
He warned that it’s very disingenuous for the CDC to say demeaning things against the UP government for various roads that the former ruling party secured funding for.
According to him, the CDC government till press time has not identified one corridor that it secured real funding for except the Tapata to Toes Town Road which is not approved up to present.
“Government is continuity, but UP will not sit down and watch CDC to provide misinformation to the public about what we [have] done and that they have done more roads than any government or all put together,” he said.
“When we came to power, we met a road network to construct about 12 thousand kilometers of roads, and they were not paved due to the war,’’ Mr. Giddings explained.
He said the UP government also fought and got a debt waiver for over five billion United States dollars debt burden.
“After paving and connecting Monrovia, we identified [an] economic corridor which included the construction of the road from Ganta to Guinea border, ELWA junction through RIA to Buchana, Gbanga to Sierra Leone border,” he said.
“We also renegotiated the [ArcelorMittal] deal for Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties which got them ready to do full scale production for export,” he said.
Giddings noted that paving the roads into the port city was important and the UP government did it.