-In Grand Bassa County
By Alexander Musa, Jr.
As it is necessary to consult direct beneficiaries before implementing a project in a particular location, a well-furnished National Transit Authority (NTA) Bus Terminal constructed by Dougbor Group Incorporated has been abandoned by citizens in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County saying the location of the Terminal is not suitable for them.
The aggrieved citizens of Grand Bassa County explained on various radio stations in Grand Bassa County that they were not consulted prior to the construction of the Terminal in ‘Own Your Own Community,’ outside Buchanan.
Their arguments have centered around the loneliness/isolation of the location where the Terminal is built and the amount someone has to pay before accessing the terminal 4:00am in the morning.
They have asserted, due to the distance and the loneliness of the area, some motorcyclists charge exorbitantly because the terminal is far away from Buchanan and the road leading to it is dangerous.
“Motorcyclists usually charge 200 to 250$LD to carry passengers there, but most often don’t agree to carry passengers because according to them, the place is fearful in the night/early morning,” one of the callers said on a local radio station.
Soliciting the views of motorcyclists, Paul Karr, Prince Joe, Abraham Garkpah and others explained that the NTA Terminal location is the epicenter of criminals which scare them.
Prince Joe further recounted that his motorbike was stolen from him in 2017 in the evening hours after he carried a girl who he referred to as ‘Zogo’ to the terminal.
He said he took the girl from Big Market in Buchanan not knowing that she was one of the Zogos.
“Upon arrival at the terminal, four unknown guys surrounded the bike, beat me up and took away my brand new TVS Star motorbike that I bought US$875.00 a week later,” he expressed.
Joe added “due to the criminal rate, I resigned to carry any passenger to where the terminal is, even if the person has a million dollars to give me,” he added.
Voicing his concern on Wednesday June 27,2018 about the Terminal, Assistant Secretary General of Bassa Youth Caucus (BYC) G.Gerald Nickerson stressed that the NTA Terminal erected in ‘OWN Your Own Community’ is a complete waste of public funds because the place is isolated and lacks social activities.
He described the terminal as a waste of public money that supposed to benefit citizens.
Nickerson stressed the abandonment of the NTA Terminal should serve as a conduit to the local authority of Grand Bassa County to consult citizens before erecting a project for them in a locality.
He cautioned NTA Officials to sell the terminal in order to have it relocated to a place that will be accessible to travelers.
When quizzed by Radio Dukpa reporter in Grand Bassa County, NTA coordinator Roosevelt Jacobs said the terminal was constructed by directive of NTA officials in Monrovia.
Jacobs said in two weeks they used the terminal but no passenger turn out to ride on the bus which left them with no alternative but negotiation with the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (FRTUL) Bassa chapter to allow them use their Parking on Kilby Street in Buchanan.
John Sweegaye president, Bassa FRTUL said the institution agreed to allow NTA use their facility with agreement of maintaining the toilet and the parking at large.
In an interview with NTA Corporate Communication Officer Tybalt S. Jimmie admitted the agency had abandoned the terminal, but blames the Karmo Ville administration for calls authorizing the project in the isolated area.
Jammie said NTA past administration failed to observe the environment, and involve stakeholders of Bassa which has led the terminal being abandoned, adding the current administration will decide on what to do with the building in subsequent time.
The contract was awarded to Dougbor Group Incorporated represented by its Operations Manager James D. Varney on the 30th of April, 2013 by the National Transit Authority (NTA) through its former Managing Director Karmo D.Ville in the tune of US$97,219.44.