FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

4 February 2014

Liberia: 'Cleverly Bankrupting' - Liberians Disenchanted With LTA Amidst Scam

Monrovia — In the aftermath of a FrontPageAfrica investigation, which uncovered That over one million United States dollars was given by the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) to a Chinese landlord for rental fees for a three-year upfront payment, Liberians have been expressing their dissatisfaction about how government continues to spend money on private buildings while its own facilities are lying in ruins.

VOICES

FrontPageAfrica sampled the views of several Liberians regarding the recent lease agreement signed between the biggest regulatory body of telecommunications in Liberia (LTA) and a Chinese landlord in which about US$385, 000 is to be paid annually in rental fees.

"I think this money is intended to bankrupt the entire economy of our country because this money is not being used in the rightful manner. It baffles us a lot to see such a huge sum of money being spent by the LTA when the lives of the ordinary people living on less than a dollar a day is not being improved.

Take into consideration you pay ninety six thousand two hundred and fifty dollars per month which amounts to three hundred eighty-five thousand dollars per year to a Chinese company than what becomes of the ordinary people. There is a need for the LTA to desist from such an attitude and see how best they can put some money in the Liberian people coffer than to be spending money to people that will not benefit the Liberian people.

I believe that Angelique Weeks she's part of every agreement and maybe, probably, I am afraid this money in itself is not going all to the Chinese people, that's the reason why she has been Necodimusly ensuring that this agreement is signed. But I strongly believe that a true Liberian will not go and give a Chinese company three hundred and eighty-five thousand for a year leaving the Liberian people in abject poverty. I think Madam Weeks needs to resign because she's not in the interest of the Liberian people for the fact that this lady can give such huge money to a Chinese company not even a Liberian company."

"I think this is a dark day for the government of Liberia and its people for such money to be left like this to a Chinese company. I think the head of the LTA should do the honorable thing by resigning because she is not working in the interest of the Liberian people.

Besides that we are spending huge amount of money on the internet and other telecommunication system in Liberia and I think that money could be spent to even improve our fiber optic cable where we could have a better internet service. The government has a lot of vacant land so they can try and build their own structure than spending one million plus just for three years."

"I do believe that the LTA is in error and what I think is best for LTA to do is to try and reverse that agreement. By spending such a huge amour of money on building that belongs to a foreigner, I think this government is in error. That money should have been used for provisions of public utilities that will help to improve the lives of the masses. Vast majority of the population doesn't have access to basic necessities.

So, I think that amount would be used to improve some of those areas. The LTA has been doing extremely well in terms of Telecommunications regulation, but spending this kind of money now is kind of irrelevant. They should be the one helping to boom our economy by enforcing the rightful decision to help generate funds that will boom our economy.

"I see the spending of this money as a complete form of corruption. In recent times, we monitored a situation where the government of Liberia spent over two hundred million on foreign public relations that which is very much disastrous for a country that is considered to be poor in Africa.

The one point one million dollars can be used to improve our educational sector, especially the laboratories. So to hear that this sum of money is being used just as rental fees, and especially is being given to the Chinese people, I feel its very mush ugly for our economy. To hear this kind of news it fuels tension in a country like ours. Because the layman will ask, but we live in poverty and we see government spending this kind of huge money?

One thing I want to make very clear is that the government of Liberia needs to build her own buildings. The government spends huge sum of money annually on the issues of renting of buildings and mind you those monies we pay leaves the country. So the government should construct her own buildings that can be used to carry out her activities.

Government over the years has been spending very unwisely as it relates to the issue of buildings and I think this is not healthy for our economy. Our economy is graduating from the background of backwardness. The money they are using is depriving government of needed development. That money can be used to improve the telecommunication sector so that people in the leeward counties can communicate with their people here."

"I want to use this medium to tell madam Angelique Weeks that by Wednesday, we will gather our men and women to go to the National Legislature to call madam Weeks for questioning, why she should use the Liberian peoples' money in that manner.

Can you look at somebody spending ninety six thousand two hundred and fifty USD monthly to a Chinese man? We feel that money is just a waste.

Madam Weeks does not mean well for the Liberian people. Liberians are living in abject poverty and that's the reason why we told Madam President that she is not corrupt, but the people you have around you are all corrupt. They are not ready to improve the lives of the ordinary Liberians. I am seeing the spending of this money as more than harm to the Liberian economy." "I think the LTA is posing a serious threat to our economy by spending this kind of money. For one Angelique Weeks to be spending a huge sum of money monthly to a foreign national under a canopy of paying a rental fee, I think this is a complete disservice to the Liberian people.

Madam Weeks would use such money to renovate public buildings because we saw it in past time when the government owned whole lot of buildings around here. You could use that money to renovate some of those dilapidated buildings to accommodate the LTA staffers and its equipment and then government can shift the remaining one to improve other sectors that will enhance the living standard of many Liberians."

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