Liberia: Grand Bassa County Authority Declares County Bankrupt
Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – Grand Bassa County administration headed by Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh announced on Wednesday, July 4 that it has inherited a “broke county” just like the administration of central government.
J. Daniel Willie, Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs, said the “new county administration did not meet any money in the county’s account”.
Willie added that computers, printers and other logistics that the former administration claimed to have procured are nowhere to be found.
“We want to let the people of Bassa and Liberia at large to know that barely two months after we took over, there have been no financial statements or report from our predecessor; therefore, we requested all banks statements of Grand Bassa County Accounts,” he said.
And the bank accounts show that the County Social Development Funds US dollar balance is $1,262.00 and Liberian Dollars is $ 23, 207.12 LD; the County Service Center Account balance is $ 0.00 USD, while the County Scrap Escrow Account balance was US$ 20,995.00 USD.
Willie noted that US$20,000 transferred funds from the Grand Bassa County’s Escrow account to the CDF account through a resolution was signed by the 54th Legislative Caucus of Grand Bassa County.
“This is the only money the new leadership has used and it was used on the payment of the project management Committee workers, purchasing of fuel oil, purchased of office equipment, bank charges and the Bassa Sports Association for the just ended county league,” he explained.
“We are also working to see how some of the air conditional can be reconditioned because 85% of the County’s own access is in a deplorable condition.”
Janjay Baikpeh, the County Superintendent, lamented that it was saddening to know that a single computer could not be seen to start work with.
“When we took over as young leaders, we had to use our own money sometimes to get fuel before we work. I met no computer in my office as a superintendent. My office air conditional and chairs are all in deplorable condition,” Baikpeh said.
The pronouncement made by the county leadership is generating dissenting views about the integrity of the outgone administration which was headed by Levi Demmah.
The former Chairman of the scrap committee, Eddie Williams, upon turning over to his successor announced that US$$400,000 was in the County’s Scrap Account, with additional US$ 20,000 worth of scrap sold by his predecessor identified as Jerry Garyeazohn.
Levi Demah, despite several attempts by journalists to ascertain the status of the account after Williams was replaced on the committee, refused to comment on the status of the account or the scrap sale.
It is still unclear how much money has been spent on the scrap account for education as was instructed by former President Ellen Sirleaf.
Report by Elton W. Tiah, FPA Contributor