Liberia Refugees Reparation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) Executive Director Rev. Festus R. Logan says his commission has projected about US$2.6 million for the rehabilitation and resettlement of Zogoes and deportees here.
“We are currently lobbying for US$2.6 million for our streets brothers and sisters and that the money we are seeking for will be used to construct homes and training centers for them in order to bring them back to society,” Rev. Logan told this paper in a brief chat Monday, 7 May following a public hearing on Capitol Hill with the General Auditing Commission and the Public Account Committee.
Zogoe is an unofficial nomenclature identifying disadvantaged youths here or wayward folks in the Liberian society. Rev. Logan explains that the amount will be used to construct housing units, training centers and transit points for Zogoes and deportees.
According to Rev. Logan, there are 600 ghetto centers within the border points of the country, many of them in Monrovia. He says there are about 25,000 Zogoes, dominantly young men under the age of 35 years.
He adds that if nothing is done to reduce the numbers and subsequently rehabilitate them, Liberia will be heading for serious trouble in the near future.He narrates that there are about 11,000 refugees here that need government support and guidance and the LRRRC does not have a strong financial capacity to render the needed assistance to these refugees.
“As we speak, the number is huge and number is growing by the day. We only have about US$500,000 in the national draft budget of 2018/19. This amount is small for this kind [of] work we intend to do,” he says further.
The LRRRC boss says he will be engaging President George Manneh Weah and international partners to help generate the funds to make his dream a reality.
He had been summoned before the Public Account Committee (GAC) of both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Rev. Logan argues that previous administrators of the institution had problem with putting into place stronger internal control and proper mechanism, thereby allegedly creating some lapses that the GAC audit report captured.
Rev. Logan promises to build the capacity of his staffs so as to prepare them for the task ahead, adding, the LRRRC needs serious capacity building in that employees can meet the challenge ahead.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley