Politician, GOL Engineer Spar Over Roads
By Ballah Kollie, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, March 26 (LINA) – A former Liberty Party candidate for the House of Representatives in the 2011 Presidential and General Elections and a government road engineer, have differed on efforts by government to improve roads across the country.
Opposition politician James Saybay says the Unity Party-led government is not doing much to expand and upgrade roads in the country.
“Government’s inability to construct farm-to-market roads has left citizens with the challenge of making personal interventions like using their bare hands to construct roads for themselves,” said Saybay.
He told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) after his return from the dedication of a five-mile handmade road connecting Gou and Gbansue in Sanoyea and Zota Districts at the weekend, that citizens have been turned into “yellow machines” by using their hands in response to their quest for a motor road.
However, Bong County Resident Engineer Emulus Toliver said though connecting all parts of the country with roads remains a challenge for Government, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) is spending over US$15 million to construct, rehabilitate and maintain feeder roads in the county.
He said government through the World Bank is also implementing the US$166 million Red-light to Jor-bridge Road project, while the partners and government are doing the Jor-Bridge-to-Ganta road project and the Gbarnga-Mendicorma Road, as well as other road projects around the country.
He said Mr. Saybay’s criticism of government’s lack of willpower to improve the living conditions of citizens should be taken with a grain of salt, because in Bong County, like in all 15 counties in the country, majority of the schools are owned by the government.
Engineer Toliver added that government has also put in place a policy for counties with concessions to benefit from the Social Development Fund, from which Bong County raises nearly US$2 million annually.