Pavement works has abruptly stopped on the Gbarnga Broad Street of Bong County due to what is believed to be political struggle in the County.Our correspondent says the Gbarnga Broad Street pavement project is a part of several road construction projects ongoing across Liberia from the government’s agenda on roads connectivity.
Speaking in an interview with this paper on Wednesday, 9 January Harris Kennedy, a businessman in Gbarnga claims that some leaders in Bong County are obstructing the functions of the Ministry of Public Works.
According to Mr. Kennedy, the alleged action by the county authorities to stop the pavement is undermining the progress of the county.Kennedy says if the work cannot resume, there are plans underway to extend communication to the government.
But contrary to Kennedy’s allegation, the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Public Works Mr. Prince Toe Nagbe says the pavement was suspended due to the failure of the contracted company to adhere to the mandate of the Ministry of Public Works.
Mr. Nagbe states that the Ministry of Public Works took the decision in consultations with authorities of Bong County as it relates to the enlargement of the Gbarnga Streets.
The Sidani Holding Group was reportedly hired by the Ministry of Public Works to complete the pavement of 2.4 km stretch of road in Gbarnga, a project that was previously being undertaken by East International Group Incorporated.
Initially in 2016, the project started under the support of the county and social development fund project for Bong. The county should have paid US$1.35 million for the project from the development funds.
A turnover note that former superintendent Selena Polson Mappy presented to the current superintendent, Esther Walker, says the county had paid US$676,875, half of the total amount, to East International.
In March 2017, the project became stalled for the second time, with county officials citing “lack of funds” to pay the contractor as a factor for the delay.
Sidani Group Holding became the new company hired to continue the work and no new information has been provided about the whereabouts of the previous company or the status of the contract the company signed with Bong.
Mr. Nagbe however told reporters that their action to put halt to the continuation of the road pavement is directly from the Ministry of Public Works and not from any county officer.
He however appeals to citizens of the County to engage the relevant authorities whenever they have concerns about the streets’ pavement, rather than speculating.
However he did not disclose when the ministry will resume the pavement. President George Manneh Weah has instructed the Minister of Public Works to pave all feeder roads across the country.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited Winston W. Parley