14 February 2013

Liberia: Money Noise

Gbarpolu Superintendent Allen Gbowee and the County's Legislative Caucus are said to be at loggerhead over the implementation of the development funds and projects earmarked in the county.

Gbapolu County Legislative Caucus recently sent a communication to Finance Minister Amara Konneh and the Project Management Committee (PMC) of the county mandating them not to release fund to the office of the Superintendent for development purposes.

According to the communication, the Gbarpolu Caucus explained that they are disappointed with the administrative practices of the current leadership of the county, and as such, the Finance Ministry and the PMC should halt disbursement of fund to the county.

The Caucus maintained that projects such as the layout of Bopolu City, electrification and the construction of the county's mini- stadium should be halted until consultations are held with the citizens and the County Legislative Caucus.

In support of the caucus' decision, Gbarpolu County District #1 Representative Alfred G. Koiwood told reporters that putting halt to the county development fund and ongoing projects is in the interest of the citizens.

He said the company currently carrying on the city's layout lacks the capacity, equipment and got the contract through a fraudulent means, a claim the company has since rejected.

However, Superintendent Gbowee told this paper that citizens of Gbarpolu County welcome the ongoing development in the county.

Superintendent Gbowee said local officials in the county were working in the best interest of the citizens.

He said since the formation of the county during the regime of former President Charles Taylor, Bopolu City has been operating with three streets, adding "we are doing everything to ensure the city have several streets."

He dismissed reports that ongoing development work in the county was done singlehandedly. He said the Caucus, City Mayor and citizens of the county were informed.

He noted that they have purchased 100 light poles and three generators for the electrification of the city.

Superintendent Gbowee explained that Renewal Liberia Incorporated, a local construction company has agreed to layout Bopolu and construct a mini stadium that will cost US$300,000, an amount he said, several companies rejected on ground that it was inadequate.

The Superintendent stressed that ongoing development work in the county will go ahead because they want to complete the projects before the Independence Day celebration in Bopolu, Robertsports and Tubmanburg.

The implementation of county development projects and usage funds have been sources of confusion in various counties since it was introduced more than five years ago.

Recently, Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpan and the Legislative Caucus were embroiled with similar controversy over the usage of development funds.

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