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GeneralLiberia news

Public Works Minister apologizes to Senate

By Ethel A. Tweh

Public Works Minister Ruth Coker Collins on Thursday, 20 July 2023 apologized to the Liberian Senate after being charged with contempt along with her team.

She also pleaded for extra time to enable her to review the roads.

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman said the Senate has accepted Minister Collins and her team’s apology.

However, Cllr. Sherman said the Public Works officials remain under oath as they go and review the roads to come back to plenary for the assessment of their performance.

Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence also said the minister and her team should detail their work plan so that the Senate can be able to track the workings of the road.

Recently, the Public Works Minister was held for lying under oath and risked being held in contempt for providing contradictory accounts.

The Liberian Senate cited the Public Works Ministry authorities to a contempt hearing. 

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Last week, the plenary of the Liberian Senate invited the Ministry of Public Works with managements of various companies that were awarded contracts with funding for the construction and maintenance of roads in Liberia.

They were also invited to speak on the deplorable road conditions in the country coupled with contracts awarded with payment made to companies that have failed to live up to the intent and obligations of said contracts.

Those who appeared included Public Works Minister Ruth Coker-Collins, Deputy Minister for Administration Joseph Todd, Deputy Minister Amos Barclay, and Assistant Minister for Operations Kaustella Kialain-Sarsih. 

Meanwhile, during Tuesday’s public hearing, Minister Collins disclosed that the road between ITI to Greenville, Sinoe County is about 83% completed by the Desire Construction.

But Senate Pro-tempore Albert Chie termed the information provided by the Minister as a blatant lie and deceit, threatening to detain the Minister for fabricating.

Contrary to the Minister’s claims, he said the road in question is not pliable and he was baffled to have heard her lying under oath and deceiving the Liberian people when nothing has been done on the road. 

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