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Demolition begins at “540”

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The Government of Liberia has begun demolition of the unfinished defense ministry popularly referred to here as “540” situated in Oldest Congo Town. outside Monrovia for the construction of a Ministerial Complex.

A team of journalists who visited the demo site on Monday, 24 October said already, part of the rear side of the building has been detached by a huge crane. Although, no official of the contracted firm executing the project was willing to speak to the press, but multiple sources said the entire exercise may take between twelve weeks and three months for completion.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China has approved US$60m for the erection of a Ministerial Complex that will accommodate nearly all Liberian government ministries.  Sources said bricks from the demolished structure would be used to fill a valley near the site to create enough space for the pending Ministerial Complex.

The unfinished defense ministry was a project initiated by the government of slain Liberian President Samuel Kanyon Doe, which was being implemented by an Israeli company. Its demolition has received public condemnations here with some saying the current administration should rather locate somewhere else for the proposed Ministerial Complex project rather than bringing down another President’s dream.

But Liberian authorities maintain that the building, constructed in the 1980s, has depreciated due to serious corrosion, so based on engineers’ advice, it was expedient to have it demolished.
Sources said due to the ongoing demolition, residents of surrounding areas, including the Pease Island Community have been advised to stay clear to avoid destruction of lives and properties.
Report says the Government of Liberia has earmarked about US$4m to demolish the building and make way for the construction of the Ministerial Complex.

Several Liberians, who spoke to this writer, and other reporters, said the proposed complex will enable government to save huge sums of money being spent on renting private buildings for offices.

By Emmanuel Mondaye -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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