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CSO Lambasts Minister Nyenpan -Over ‘Road Project’

Following recent comment made by the Minister of Public Works, Mabutu Vlah Nyenpan that the Doe Community to Clara Town Road project has been taken away from the original contractor East International Group Incorporated in his own words “Due to the company’s lack of commitment to construct the road and that the company will not be allowed to hold the development of Liberia hostage, and Ministry of Public Works was reviewing options for the termination of the pre-financing agreement,” a local rights advocate, the Liberia Infrastructural Development Watch says it is appalled and taken aback by the comment of the Minister.

Public Works Minister, Mabutu Vlah Nyenpan

In a press statement issued over the weekend, the group said, “While we applaud President George Manneh Weah for being thoughtful for the construction of the Doe Community to Clara Town Road, it also important to note that the road forms part of a thirty community road project in Monrovia and its environs that was ratified under a pre-financing agreement by the 53rd Legislature of which both sitting President George Manneh Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor who at the time served as Senators of Montserrado County and Bong County respectively,” the statement noted.

It further disclosed that the Pre-Financing agreement upon being ratified was approved by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and subsequently printed into handbill by authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thereby substantiating its legality.

“We wish to state categorically clear that Minister Mabutu Vlah Nyenpan is completely out of order and has provided misinformation to the public that East International Group Inc, demonstrated lack of commitment in constructing the Doe Community road and other roads captured in the pre-financing agreement. Investigation conducted by the Liberia Infrastructural Development Watch has discovered that contrary to Minister Nyenpan’s assertion against East International citing lack of commitment, the company was rather engaged in a very rigid loan negotiation with the African Export and Import Bank in Cairo, Egypt where 98% of the negotiation has been completed indicating that the road work is in sight.”

“Our investigation has also discovered a double standard posture on the part of Minister Nyenpan. Minister Nyenpan realizing and recognizing East International’s legitimacy to the Doe Community Road construction by means of concrete pavement allowed a memorandum of understanding to be signed between East International and SSF for SSF to do an asphalt pavement in order to remain in the three months deadline given by President Weah since indeed the original concrete pavement that should have been done by East International will take more than three months. It is the same Minister Nyenpan who is now citing lack of commitment by East International to do the road, is this not a broad day Double Standard?”

“Let the word go forth that the manner and form in which the Works Minister is proceeding in the handling of the pre-financing agreement signed between the government of Liberia and East International Group, Inc is purely strange in the conduct of government business especially where a concession was legislated by the Honorable National Legislature and approved by the President. Minister Nyenpan therefore is not clothed with any authority to terminate the pre-financing agreement in his capacity as Minister of Public Works, what he could do is to revert to the National Legislature if he has any qualm with East International and the National Legislature will in return cite East International to a hearing. In the absence of this, Minister Mobutu is merely putting up a big bluff to showcase that he is working in the interest of the country”.

“The Liberia Infrastructural Development Watch will use this medium to state for the record that gone are the days when government officials will undercut legal instruments in a bid to satisfy their personal whims. Minister Mobutu Nyenpan’s clear display of double standard in the handling of the Doe Community to Clara Town road construction speaks volume to the vulnerability that will be associated to the awarding of future contracts as government pursues its infrastructural development plan. Additionally, the Liberia Infrastructural Development Watch strongly believes that Minister Nyenpan’s premature comment on the Costa Morning Show has the proclivity to undermine Chinese interests in Liberia thereby provoking a diplomatic roar between the government of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China. We therefore call on Public Works Minister Mabutu Nyenpan to refrain from making utterances that may have legal and diplomatic consequences as President George Manneh Weah continue to make strides for the achievement of the Pro-Poor Agenda of the government of Liberia.” The statement signed by the group Secretary General T. Emmanuel Toequie concluded.

Efforts to contact Minister Nyenpan via mobile phone and several visits at the Ministry to ascertain the facts regarding this allegation proved unsuccessful. However, our investigation continues.

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