Liberia: Deputy Speaker J. Fonati Koffa to Push for US$50M Annual Budget Allocation for Southeastern Corridor
MONROVIA – Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa says he will vigorously lobby in the next three years of CDC-led government with his colleagues to ensure budgetary allocation for roads in the Southeastern region of Liberia.
The newly elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives stated with the estimated amount of a mile road costing US$1 million, at least US$50m which can construct 50 miles would be aggressively lobbied for inclusion in the national budget.
“We cannot wait for the big loan estimated at US$100million to address the long-time road challenge in the Southeast,” Deputy Speaker Cllr. Koffa averred.
According to his calculation, giving the long stretch of road, US$50m can be directed to the road initiative to tackle 50 miles annually with the total of US$150m for three years to construct 150 miles roads.
In his first post-Deputy Speaker interview at ELBC/LNTV on Monday, the Grand Kru County District #2 Representative pointed out that it will be
significant progress for the country’s development drive especially in the area of roads when fully supported and implemented, and a key development focus of President George M. Weah.
Rep. Koffa intoned that when the road is constructed, it will help facilitate economic growth while improving local capacity, work and business opportunities, and livelihoods.
Liberia has a lack of reliable roads, especially in the Southeast, which comprised the five farthest counties: Sinoe Rivergee, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Maryland.
The southeast road is impassable due to seasonal heavy rains, and thus affecting the nation’s economic growth, as it prevents rural communities from accessing essential products and public services, such as education, healthcare, water, and markets to sell crops and goods.
Sometimes because of heavy downpours of rain owing to climate change, the Southeast road can be difficult to travel on in the dry season, and the succeeding rainy season, it can be nearly impossible.
Meanwhile, also on ELBC/LNTV, Deputy Speaker Koffa intimated that working in the common interest of the Liberian people will top his Legislative agenda as second in command at the House of Representatives.
Deputy Speaker Koffa said even though the debates will be more robust on issues of national concerns with different political idealogies, but the people’s interest will remain paramount with the collective contributions of Speaker Bhofal Chambers and members of the 54th National Legislature.
The Grand Kru County lawmaker said he is committed to renewed Legislative commitment to his district, county and country in the discharge of his duties as per his new portfolio owing to his competence, worth of experience and effectiveness.
He frowned that there are hundreds of Ghanaians who are engaged in Illegal mining by Ghanaians in the county, and is suggesting strict measures.
The Deputy Speaker said hundreds of Ghanaians entered the county, through canoe, and other coastal counties which is becoming serious problem.
He expressed his frustrations over the influx of illegal and foreign miners in the county and the inability of officers of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) to curtail the miners because of numerical strengths.