Honorable Mabutu Vlah Nyenpan’s ambitious and costly intercounty-road network project is a key component of President Weah’s pro-poor’ government’s initiatives which cannot be overemphasized because Liberia indeed needs a feeder, primary, secondary, and major high ways have not been implemented due to systemic constructional neglect. Road construction in Liberia had been an embattled issue since Liberia gained its independence July 26, 1847.
There are accusations and counter-accusations as to why Liberia road network had continued to be a nightmare or unfulfilled dreams under most Liberian governments. In the perspective of Hon. Nyenpan, “the lack of roads networks in Liberia had been due to what he termed “neglect.” Though the Minister would be right, the road network issue can be associated with other more serious factors. Several of those factors will include but not limited to trust, corruption, lack of patriotism, lack of interest, lack of commitments on the part of a government, lack of initiatives by the benefactors of the roads itself and finally the issue of the misappropriation and the misapplication of road funds by a government over time.
Every Liberian government aside from the then Charles Taylor government included Liberia road network in their future deliverable but to no avail. But during President Weah’s inaugural speech he characterized his entire utterance with the concept of a huge inter-county road network as his government’s first and paramount priority.
It is due to this huge ambitious road network project, President Weah and his government may have entered into an agreement with International Monetary Institutions to secure almost a 1 billion-dollar loan agreement to fulfill his road network project at all cost. But road construction project, especially in Africa, is often susceptible to acute corruption, briberies, and persistent frauds.
These types of problems are three times prevalence in Africa where construction companies compete for road contracts from government and government in turn demands the usual 10% of the total road construction budget as bribe before contracts are awarded in earnest which is one acute problem that affects ongoing road construction in Africa with Liberia being no exception to rampant and corrupt business rules.
However, there exists (6) familiar acute manmade hurdles that lied ahead of Min. Nyenpan’s ambitious road network project which could easily undermine his ability to fulfill President Weah’s road construction dreams projects thus making the president a phytological liar in the next elections.
The most familiar Hurdles to road construction in Liberia
1. The will of the people is a big problem: The citizenry of the various counties who should benefit from these road networks should have the will to welcome these projects and provide their own support mechanism by providing free labor and protecting all the road equipment from a number of thieves.
b. In some areas, the practice of witchcraft can serve as a serious roadblock to the construction of road projects, where witchcrafts are known for demolishing pavement and or breaking time down bridges which would affect the road projects.
c. Road construction can affect a stubborn demon’s in some towns and villages, to the extent that constrictors will begin to die prematurely and the road equipment will remain unmovable Undivided minds: If all of Minister’s Nyenpan’s principle deputies and construction engineers have divided minds about the road network, it will destroy the road dream before it begins in earnest under the minister. The minister and his deputies will need to have one word and rally behind the minister proper
3.President Dr. Weah’s support:
a. The full support of President Weah will be key to the road network project if the Minister of Public Work should succeed to connect the various counties
b. President Weah can support the Minister by throwing officials in jail for corrupting and the laundering of road construction funds.
c. President Weah can support the Minister by not reallocating the road construction fund to other governmental projects.
d. President Weah can support the minister by not undermining his efforts but rather agrees with the implementation of the road’s agenda.
e. President Weah can support the minister by warning other government officials not to interfere with the public work road construction projects and funds
f. President Weah can support the minister by not having any special interest in any construction companies that will build the road network
g. President Weah shouldn’t entertain gossips from the minister principle deputies that will undermine the road project.
h. President Weah should insist reviewing contracts awarded by the minister to the detrimental of the road project, because the president will likely develop an interest in other companies that are dealing directly with him, thus undamming the minister which could affect the road construction projects
4. Transferring of the minister of public work
a. Political seats are musical seats. Ministers can be transferred at any time at the will and pleasure of the president who appointed him/her for no cause
b. The minister could also be transferred as soon the road funds hit the ground which often affects the entire planning process from scratch by the incoming minister who will want to renegotiable the contracts all over for his own aggrandizement
5. Corruption, corruption
a. Road work always attracts corruption from the government, the contractors and even from an official of the public work ministry. Other government officials will demand tips, bribes from multiple construction companies to be awarded a contract in the form of 10 percent which can lead to shadow work, poor construction and abandonment of contracts
6. Non-payment of contracts’ funding
a. The government withholding contractors’ funds and nonpayment or delay in payment can be serious hurdles in the road construction business, where the contractors can also begin to undermine the project indirectly.