It has been exactly one year on January 22, 2019 when a former soccer legend, leader of the largest opposition political party in Liberia for 12 years, Ambassador George Manneh Weah, was inaugurated as the 24th President of Africa’s oldest republic, the Republic of Liberia after he overwhelmingly emerged winner of the 2017 presidential race as standard-bearer of his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) against former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party. That single event marked a momentous beginning for Liberia and Liberians as this was the first time in the history of the country that an opposition political party wrestled power from the ruling establishment through the ballot box. With the ascendency of President Weah, there were those who prophesied and doubted his ability to lead Liberia to prosperity and development. Notwithstanding, President Weah announced to the world during his inaugural address that during his six year of administration, he should not be judged by the eloquence of his speech, but by the successes and quality of his decisions. He then declared that infrastructural development, especially roads connectivity would be the first priority of his administration. With one year gone and five more years to go, it is an inarguable conclusion in many quarters that roads connectivity is the success story of the CDC government as the nation joins the Weah administration to celebrate the first anniversary of the CDC-led government. The Analyst therefore, in this story, looks at some of the achievements of the Weah Administration in the infrastructural development sector and also provides a pictorial and road works activities over the government’s one year in office.
Following the inauguration of the CDC government, the regime initiated its all-about-road works policy with its first official delegation visiting Tokyo, Japan to negotiate, finalize and sign a contract agreement for the construction of phase-2 of the Somalia Drive Road Project. The government’s delegations including Public Works Minister Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan and other officials left the country in search of financial resources to blow the whistle of Liberia. Also during that trip, the delegation successfully negotiated for the continuation of bilateral assistance to the new Government of Liberia from international partners.
The CDC government, during its first year in office, also dispatched another delegation to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia where Liberia benefited as recipient of grants for roads work. Besides, GOL delegations went to Hong Kong, Istanbul Turkey, Dakar Senegal and Accra Ghana all in pursuit of funds for roads work in Liberia. Additionally, Public Works Minister Mobotu Nyenpan who is the overseer of the road connectivity project of the Pro-Poor agenda of government attended the 2018 Forum on China and African Cooperation FOCAC Submit and was part of the president’s entourage to Dakar, Senegal.
With no uncertainty, the forerunner of the government’s road agenda – Public Works Minister Nyenpan, has executed the mandate of the president very well in ensuring the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda through roads connectivity. For this reason, the first year of the CDC government remains focused and dedicated. The Minister with support from His Excellency, the President, is now pursuing the construction of major corridors of roads in various regions of the country. Some of these projects include the road from Ganta through Tappita to Zwedru which is expected to start in the first half of 2019 with funding from the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund.
Also the Coastal Corridor of roads earmarked includes the Buchanan-Greenville, Sasstown-Baclayville to Pleebo, which project is also expected to commence in the first half of the second year of the CDC government with initial funding from the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development. The Gbarnga-Salayea to Voinjama highway has already begun. The Ganta to Yekekpa is also in progress whereas the road between Sinniquelle and Logatuo kicks off early 2019.
Furthermore, The Analyst recalls the mandate of President Weah to the Public Works Ministry to identify 85km of community roads in and around Monrovia as well as Buchanan and Gbarnga for pavement. This led to the jumpstarting of the present massive community road construction works and pavement that are presently underway across the country including Gbarnga, Bong County and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
In Monrovia area, the Coco Cola Factory to ELWA project is in progress. It is important to note that several pavements reflective of monumental infrastructural development have been finalized by the government. These projects include the Barley Island Project, which entails the construction of an ultra-modern Mahatma Ghandi Convention Center with funding from the Government of India.
The construction of two (2) modern overhead interchanged bridges with funding from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to be constructed at the ministerial complex in Congo Town and the S.K.D Boulevard intersection in Paynesville respectively. This includes the construction of Kesselley Boulevard which connects Sinkor by way of another modern bridge.
What is also noteworthy is that most of these road contracts are being executed by Liberian construction contractors, a positive departure from the past, something that alludes to President Weah’s statement during his 22nd January Inaugural Speech when he said “Liberians will not be spectators in their economy”.
Hence, not only are roads being built in various communities but employment opportunities are also availed to young people – both skilled and unskilled- in various communities as of the inauguration of the CDC government community roads pavement initiative. An inspection of the works on these roads shows that substantial progress is being made in project implementation with Asphalt pavement and Concrete pavement already laid on some of these roads.
One of the reasons responsible for the success of the road building agenda of government is the motivation provided to a workforce with about 800 persons by Minister Nyenpan who has successfully managed the workforce, maintained homogeneity amongst the senior management and at the same time elevated the image of the government, and also the president’s routine visits of construction sites to ensure that works are progressing.
Some observers who have been tracking the works of the CDC regime’s first year in office expressed graved appreciation to the government under the leadership of President Weah, which they said deserves this commendation. “We congratulate the government and urged the CDC regime to do more in the years to come. Thoroughly indeed, President Weah has made road connectivity a fulcrum of his Pro-Poor Agenda, whereas the road between Sinniquelle and Logatuo kicks off early next year.
All of these achievements in the infrastructural development sector are just in just 12 months. Many are applauding that Liberians have had a President who, though confronted, but achieved tangible results from development initiatives, key among them been the pavement of roads.
Nearly a billion dollars have been secured to pave thousands of miles of roads linking capital cities upcountry and bringing to end epic journeys into the countryside. That’s marvelously unusual.
For tacit verification, go to Doe Community and Clara Town. Go to Tusa Field and St. Michael School Community. Visit Vokar Mission and Chucky Community roads. Take a tour to Johnsonville Township and Pipeline Community.
Or simply go the Kakata or go to Buchanan or Gbarnga or Sanniquillie. Scores of laterite roads are turning into tarmac pavements. Many dusty and muddy roads that afflicted so many communities and citizens are turning, some already turned, into asphalt pavements.
Already, Mr President have additional secured enormous loans and grants for several countryside road corridors known from time immemorial for their epic travel records due to their bad states of condition in this country. These corridors include Buchanan through River Cess to Sinoe and to Maryland through Grand Kru. Another one is Ganta to Zwedru through Tappitta and to Rivergee, all bagged by this administration during the CDC government’s first year in office.