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US$50m needed for southeast roads

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-Deputy Speaker Koffa

Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa says at least US$50 million is needed to construct road corridors in southeast Liberia. He promises to vigorously lobby in the next three years of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change-led government with his colleagues to ensure budgetary allocation for roads in the southeast.

The Grand Kru County lawmaker said he will aggressively push for budgetary allocation, noting that with the estimated cost of US$1m for one mile of road, at least US$50million, which is equivalent to 50 miles, will be lobbied for in the national budget.

“We cannot wait for the big loan estimated at US$100million to address the long- time road challenge in the Southeast,” Deputy Speaker Cllr. Koffasays.

In his calculation, given the long stretch of road, US$50m can be directed to road initiative to tackle 50 miles annually with the total of US$150m for three years to construct 150 miles of roads.

In his first post-Deputy Speaker interview on state broadcaster ELBC/LNTV Monday, the Grand Kru County District #2 Representative pointed out that it will be a significant progress for the country’s development drive especially, roads when fully supported and implemented, which is a key focus of President George M. Weah.

Rep. Koffa explains when roads across the country are constructed; they will help facilitate economic growth, while improving local capacity, work and business opportunities, and livelihoods.
Liberia lacks reliable roads, especially in the southeast, which comprised five remote counties: Sinoe, Rivergee, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Maryland.

The southeast road is impassable due to seasonal heavy rains thus, affecting economic growth, as it prevents rural communities from accessing essential products and public services, such as education, healthcare, water, and markets to sell crops and goods.

Amid heavy downpours owing to climate change, the southeast road is usually difficult to ply on during dry season, and in the succeeding rainy season, it can be nearly impossible.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Koffa emphasizes that working in the common interest of the Liberian people will top his Legislative agenda as second in command in the House of Representatives.

He says though debates will be more robust on issues of national concerns with different political ideologies, but the people’s interest will remain paramount with the collective contributions of Speaker Bhofal Chambers and members of the 54th National Legislature.

He renews commitment to his district, county and the entire country in the discharge of his duties with competence, experience and effectiveness.

Rep. Koffa frowns that hundreds of Ghanaians engaged in illegal mining in Grand Kru and other parts of the country need strict measures to curb the activity.

According to him, hundreds of Ghanaians illegally entered Grand Kru, through canoe and other coastal counties which is becoming a serious problem.

He expresses frustrations over the influx of illegal foreign miners in the county and inability of officers of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) to curtail them because of lack of numerical strength.

–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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