Preliminary statistics updated on the web-based monitoring portal hosted by the Liberia Media Center (LMC) says about fifty nine (59) Public Sector Investment Projects (PSIP) listed in the 2012/2013 national budget have stalled out of a total of two hundred and one (201) listed for implementation by sixty four (64) ministries and agencies of government.
According to the LMC, about sixteen (16) sector projects have been completed for this budget circle, though the LMC says it is still monitoring the performances of ministries and agencies. Forty one (41) projects are rated as ‘in-progress,’ fifty seven (57) commenced, twenty eight (28) not started.
Among the sixteen (16) projects that are said to be completed, is the renovation and refurbishment of Agricultural and Industrial Training Bureau’s office building for which US$ 78,293 was disbursed by the Liberian government out of an allocation of US$78,468.
Two others are the ‘rehabilitation of the Forestry Training Institute’s facilities, development of its curriculum and provision of logistics including training tools, equipment to enhance the creation of jobs and incomes; and the renovation and furnishing of the National AIDS Commission's offices for which $33,000 was equally allocated and disbursed.
The LMC explains that these projects stalled because there was no disbursement made towards them by government. The Center has calculated the total monetary value of these stalled projects at US$ 38,941,253.
The Center maintains that though the Infrastructure and Basic Services Sector received 28.1% of government’s total allocation towards PSIP, so far the highest percentage, it bears the highest number of stalled projects.
According to the LMC, the Ministry of Public Works alone has thirteen projects, out which it partially implemented only one.
A US$ 400,000 worth renovation of the MVTC building is currently in progress with a disbursement of US$ 139,467 while eleven (11) remain stalled because of either no disbursement by government or diversion of project funding towards other priorities.
An example of this, the LMC says, is a US$ 2,000,000 disbursed and intended for ‘Feasibility studies and preparation of bidding documents on major roads across the country. The Center says it has been informed by the ministry that it diverted the funds towards the rehabilitation of existing roads.
While the LMC appreciates the Ministry of Public Works, through its Assistant Minister for Planning and Programming, Samuel Nagbeh, for cooperating with it during its PSIP monitoring, it remains baffled by the diversion of the above project fund since in fact the Ministry of Finance has confirmed that it disbursed US$ 7.4m out of an allocation of US$ 7.5m for the ‘Maintenance of roads and bridges nationwide.’
One of the projects by the MPW that did not receive funding from government but was implemented is the ‘Rehabilitation and maintaining of the Lofa River bridge in Gbarpolu County. According to Min. Nagbeh, the project has been rehabilitated at 100% with funding from China Union.
Meanwhile, the Liberia Media Center (LMC) has alarmed the lack of compliance to disclose project information by implementing ministries and agencies. It promises to release the listing of non-compliant ministries and agencies that continue to impede its function.
Beginning now, the LMC says it will continue to provide update on its budget monitoring activities.
Liberia Media Center
Listing of STALLED PSIPs As Of June 24, 2013