Liberia News: ‘Weah Met Most Of The Projects’

-Public Works Minister Reignites Projects Inheritance Claims B/w UP-CDC

Monrovia-The ruling Unity Party is unrelenting in its claims that most of the projects executed by the former government under President George Weah were earmarked during its time in office, from 2006 to 2018.

Far before assuming power for the second time in six years, the Party had pushed the argument about projects beyond proportion, and with just six months in office as government, they are not bowing down with reechoing the age-old chorus of being the architect and progenitor of most of the projects the Weah government took on.

Public Works Minister Roland Giddings made the push once more when he appeared on OK FM morning show, insisting that the Weah government inherited most of the projects they ran with.

Projects contested as having started are the Coastal Highway, Robertsfield Highway, Ganta-Swedru Highway, Pleebo-SwedruHighway, Gbarnga-Mendikoma Highway, Redlight-ELWA, and many more.

“This is no reason why we don’t say what the past government did or may have done. Government is continuity. The last government inherited several projects from us,” Mr. Giddings said, naming the project from Sanniquellie to Logatuo in NimbaCounty. “We have done all the designs, got the funding and what have you. They inherited that project,” he emphasized.

During one of his trips to Nimba County, specifically in Logatuo, President Weah acknowledged that the project was started by former President Sirleaf, but that he made significant intervention to get it going during a visit to former Senegalese President Macky Sall, then Chairman of ECOWAS.

“From Gbarnga to Salayea, they inherited that project, but the project did not end, and we are going to end it. We started it and did more of the funding, the designs and getting all that was needed,” the Public Works Minister, a staunch member of the UP bragged, and added that some of the projects had contractors already before the CDC –led administration came in.

The Minister also said had the CDC government done a “good job” on the Gbarnga to Salayea project, the project should have been completed by now, eventhough he did not provide further elucidation as to what was not done right by the government or the contractor.

However, he said the project was delayed for about two years because of what he called “route payment,” which is to say financially taking care of those with properties along the corridor.

“Those projects should be ended, and now have come back as Unity Party to end them. They have picked up certain things, and they didn’t end it,” Minister Giddings asserted.

For the Redlight to ELWA Junction project, he also said it is the UP administration at the time that started the project, paid for everything and so for, recalling also that during the groundbreaking ceremony, the President of CICO for West Africa reminded the Weah administration that groundbreaking had already been done for the project.

“That project will be dedicated in July. We secured the funding, we earmarked and designed it, everything, and they came and took over. In my mind, it should have been done ever since, maybe it was about route payment again,” the Minister claimed.

For the ELWA project, he also disclosed that the UP administration at the time conceived it, but admitted that they did not secure funding for it, but heaped praises on former President Weah for taking a bold step to have the project done despite the different issues associated with it.

According to him, the project under their watch has been turned into positive development, in terms of the changes/adjustments made. On the failed overhead project, Minister Giddings also said it was conceived by the Unity Party, and that they did the design of it.

“We had the EU to do the study; they did and designed it, before it was approved by the Chinese. Elections came and it was stalled, and now it has been reverted to us. CDC came, they never ended it and we are going to complete it,” the Public Works stated, trying to impress that the Unity Party deserves credit for initiating the project.

Minister Giddings also stated that the UP-led administration at the time conceived the Coastal Highway project, went ahead with the feasibility studies, but admitted that they did not secure any funding for the project.

He announced that the CDC government was able to secure funding for the Coastal Highway Project beginning from Grand Kru belt. “Kudos to the government; where they stopped, we are going to begin from there,” the Minister indicated, acknowledging that government is continuity and that they will endeavor to fast track the projects.

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