Kakata, Margibi County – The National Transit Authority (NTA) bus station construction project in Kakata, Margibi County is currently lying abandoned.
The NTA bus terminal construction project, according to reports, begun in early 2013, but the construction was interrupted in 2014 due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The terminal located on the outskirts of Kakata City is expected, upon completion, to serve as a bus depot for NTA passengers commuting between Margibi and Montserrado Counties.
Since 2014, the bus terminal project remains incomplete, thus claiming the attention of Kakata residents and authorities of Kakata City Corporation.
Kakata City Mayor, Eddie Murphy, whose attention has been drawn to the abandoned project, said that it is discouraging to see the project lying in ruins and abandoned without any reason given to the Kakata City Corporation for the delay in its completion.
Mayor Murphy noted that the NTA bus terminal is a significant project which, according to him, is anticipated to have several compartments including a restaurant and local motel to cater to passengers who need overnight accommodation.
Mayor Murphy called on the Authorities of NTA to recommence the project in order to avoid the traffic congestion being caused by NTA buses in the streets of Kakata.
When contacted via mobile phone recently, the Public Affairs Officer of the National Transit Authority (NTA), Robert Wilson, told this reporter that the NTA is not the sole financer of the abandoned NTA bus station project but the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is a financer as well.
Mr. Wilson revealed that in early 2013, the National Transit Authority (NTA) saw the need for the construction of several bus terminals across the country and sought the needed finances to sponsor these projects.
He said after the NTA lobbying and engagements for funding, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) consented to finance the construction of three bus terminals, in Bo Water Side, Kakata and Gbarnga, respectively.
The Public Affairs Officer of the National Transit Authority further explained that NOCAL then notified NTA that it could do the procurement and bidding for construction companies with preference given to Liberian- owned contractors.
The Kakata construction project was won by a Liberian construction company, the Dougbor Construction Company.
“During the construction of the NTA terminal in 2014 when the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak struck the C.H. Rennie Hospital, all the workers of the Duogbor Company left Kakata and since then, the project has delayed” Wilson narrated.
He said the delay recently triggered the NTA management to engage the Dougbor Construction Company to ascertain reasons for the prolonged delay in the completion of the project.
Wilson said Dougbor Construction Company, after the NTA’s intervention, requested NOCAL pay the balance funds it owes the company in order to resume the project.
The Public Affairs Officer of the National Transit Authority (NTA) then threatened that the NTA would not hesitate to report the Dougbor Construction Company to the Ministry of Justice if it failed to have the project completed in time upon the payment of the balance funds by the National Oil Company of Liberia.
However, Wilson said he did not know the amount that needs to be paid to the Dougbor construction company. Additionally, he said he was unaware of the remaining time it would take to finish the project. He referred all such inquiries to NOCAL.
Meanwhile, the bankruptcy reported at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) now leaves many Margibians pondering over how the completion of the NTA terminal project will be realized.
The National Transit Authority (NTA) was established by an Act of the National Legislature on March 24, 2009, with a mandate to establish and implement an effective and efficient transport system in Liberia.
Report by Yawah Jaivey in Kakata, Margibi County