Home Governance Phebe Hospital’s US$500,000 Missing? …Senator Moye Wants Accountability, Audit

Phebe Hospital’s US$500,000 Missing? …Senator Moye Wants Accountability, Audit

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By: Stephen Tokpah
GBARNGA: Bong County Senator and Chairman of the Legislative Caucus, Prince Kermue Moye, has expressed disappointment over what he calls the dilapidation public facilities in Bong.

The Bong County Legislative Caucus accused past government of failure to take good care of the governmental facilities.

Senator Moye disclosed that under the past government, the presidential palace was reduced to home of domestic animals, instead of the home of visiting government officials and international guests.

The Bong County Lawmaker described the dilapidation of the Gbarnga Presidential Palace as a mockery and disgrace to the people of Bong County.

In 2006, the County, under the leadership of then-Superintendent, Ranney B. Jackson, Spent US$200, 000 to rehabilitate the presidential palace that got damaged during the civil war.

Senator Moye told newsmen in a press conference on February 15, 2024, that the Presidential palace, county superintendent’s residence, and other public facilities in the county are now in poor condition.

But, he assured citizens and residents of the county that the County’s Legislative Caucus will work with the local leadership that will be appointed by President Joseph N. Boakai, to provide financial support from the County Social Development Funds to refurbish or renovate the Gbarnga Presidential Palace and other public facilities in the County.
He believes that doing so will help maintain the County’s infrastructure.

The Bong County Senator further revealed that similar plans are underway for the Superintendent’s Compound which was abandoned by former Superintendents.

The newly elected Caucus Chair said on many occasions, the outgoing local leadership allowed the presidential palace and superintendent’s residence to be overwhelmed by grass.
On several occasions, the Gbarnga City Corporation’s outgoing leadership had used fire to clear the bush around the presidential palace and Administrative Building, the seat of the local county administration.
The Bong County Senator further underscored that the current leadership of the Caucus and local leaders that will be appointed will work hand in hand for the overall development of the County.
Senator Moye revealed that there is a plan underway to reinstate the ‘Madam Suakoko Scholarship’ for students in Bong County to acquire higher education at various Universities in Liberia.
Commenting on health, the Bong County Senator said they will work alongside with the current Health Minister of Liberia for the betterment of the healthcare delivery of the county and Liberia at large.
Senator Moye said as one of the biggest counties in Liberia, Bong continues to experience low support to health institutions in the county.
He stated that the Caucus remains obligated to help the local authorities’ and government to source funding through adequate budgetary appropriations to medical centers in the county, including the Phebe and C. B. Dunbar Maternal Hospitals.
Senator Moye maintained that Phebe must be given proper support to be able to perform as a referral hospital in central Liberia.
He said health workers in the county have already initiated a plan to elevate the status of the C. B. Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga to a comprehensive medical center
“We as members of the caucus, we are in full support of that and because we are in full support, the budgetary appropriation of US$500,000 was made available in the 2023 budget to address the expansion project.”
Senator Moye disclosed that as a legislative group that will engage in transparency and accountability, the caucus will ensure the audit of the US$500,000 and money allocated towards the expansion project of the hospital in the county.
He said members of the Caucus will work with the Ministry of Health, through the County Health Office for the provision of requisite support in a bid to restore and provide medical supplies and materials to clinics and hospitals in the county.
He noted that currently, some of the clinics are not functional due to lack of dwelling places for healthcare workers, electricity, among others.
Meanwhile, the Bong County Legislative Caucus Chair further raised an alarm over a clandestine move made by China Union to renegotiate the payment of the county’s portion of its Social Development Fund (SDF) with the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, without the involvement of the locals.
According to Senator Prince Moye, the move being made by the company is intended to deprive citizens of Bong their fair share of the SDF enshrined in the concession agreement the company signed with the government.
Senator Moye observed that the company has failed to sit with lawmakers to disclose the problems they are encountering to support the renegotiation of its concession.
Senator Moye added that China Union continues to hold unto the concession agreement signed with the government, while at the same time, renegotiating for the reduction in the amount being paid as SDF to the affected counties.
“For the past years, China Union has taken the back door in negotiating the Social Development Fund (SDF). The concession is a law and whatever negotiation China Union has made with the Finance Ministry to cut down the social contribution to Bong County; it will be looked at and be addressed adequately so that the county can get her fair share of what China Union supposed to pay to the three affected counties,” he added.
He maintained that though the county’s caucus does not have the authority to unilateral waive any funds to a concessionaire without the involvement of the entire Legislature, China Union, as the biggest concession company operating in Liberia, claims that it has not been operating at a full scale has no backing.
Senator Moye pointed out that the caucus will holistically standup with lawmakers hosting concession companies in their respective districts to ensure that “the dividends of those concessions are paid and the people can feel it base on their social development activities.”
“As we speak, there are lingering issues with China Union and the caucus is monitoring the result of the action,” Sen. Moye revealed.
He said lawmakers hailing from the county will ensure that China Union, MNG Gold and other companies operating in Bong live up to its Mineral Development Agreements (MDAs) signed with the Liberian government.
According to him, the operations of these companies will not be “business as usual.”
Senator Moye pointed out that the caucus is also concerned about the “slow pace” of the operations of MNG Gold mining company.
He said the current situation now stresses the need for the revision and amendment of the company’s concession agreement to compel it to live up to its Corporate Social Responsibility.
He vowed that the caucus will also remain engage with Arcelor Mittal, which has its railways passing through and an operating site in Bong.
Senator Moye assured that the caucus will exert efforts to ensure that the county is represented on the Board of Arcelor Mittal, noting that, “this is a right we have as a county, but it has been taken away from us for couple of years now.”
This, he said, will guarantee the payment of fair benefits to the county.
He assured that Representatives and Senators of Bong will not be serving as “mouthpiece” or found on the payrolls of any concession companies in the county
He stated that concessionaires and the caucus will work collectively for the benefit of the citizens.

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