LDI Acting Executive Director Harold Aidoo
By Agnes M. Tarr
The Liberia Democratic Institute (LDI) has raised concerns over the Government of Liberia’s alleged continuous wastage of public funds on “poorly constructed and rehabilitated roads in Monrovia and other parts of the country.”
Making the assertion at a news conference on Monday, the LDI Acting Executive Director Harold Aidoo described the alleged waste of public funds as tantamount to causing financial loss to the state.
“We have followed with keen interest, and noted that within the past three to four years; nearly all the roads that were reconstructed or rehabilitated in Monrovia and its environs have either worn out, and deplorable though we keep investing scarce public resources over and over again on these same roads at a time when the country is faced with several competing challenges,
Director Aidoo said the alleged wasted resources could be used to address or reconstruct roads and other public facilities elsewhere in the country.
He alleged that the LDI is of the strong opinion that the reconstruction and rehabilitation of substandard roads in the country is due to poor monitoring and oversight, citing corruption and pure incompetence on the part of the contractors and the Ministry of Public Works.
“We also want to draw the attention of the government that given the effects and impact of global warming which is a reality we need to find ways to address the issue of roads rehabilitation or else Liberians will continue to sing the same song in the next 100 years because climatic conditions are not going to get any better,” LDI Acting Director stated.
The civil society group named roads in the A.B. Tolbert, S.K.D. Boulevard, and Duport Road, Mombo Town and Jamaica Road communities as some of the roads that so much money was used to construct and rehabilitee and within two to three years after the implementation of these projects, all have been damaged.
According to him, from 2008 to 2009 the government spent a huge sum of money for construction services: US$2,448,352 for highway maintenance, US$ 2,768128 for rural road construction and among others.
He added that from 2009 to 2010 on construction services alone the total amounted to US$14,925,175 with highway maintenance amounting to US$7, 276855 while rural road construction was US$13,461,070.
“For the year 2010-2011 on construction services the total amounted to US$110,169,90 while highway maintenance was US$61,663,74 and rural road construction only amounted to US$1,000,64.40”, he added.
Mr. Aidoo narrated that LDI is of the strongest conviction that this is the only way Liberia can create the needed enabling environment for private sector growth and reduce the unemployment burden and place the country on a trajectory for sustainable development and prosperity among citizens.
At the same time, the LDI Director stated that the ongoing economic stimulus initiatives by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for providing US$5 million for entrepreneurs, LD$ 250,000 for capacity building development, US$ 1.5 million stimulus package to enhance the agriculture sector all of which speak to the defragmented approach to resuscitating the economy.
He affirmed that due to the lack of policy coherence the country will evolve on a logical course in the absence of coherent programs.