The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has paid to the account of Grand Bassa County the sum of L$6, 437,077.50 for the implementation of development projects as resolved at the 10th County Council Sitting.
The disclosure was made in a quarterly report from the Project Management Committee (PMC) of the County chaired by Mr. Moses Gbehzohngar Henry.
Henry, in his report explained that the money released through a cheque represents 40% of US$100,000 that should have been released earlier, adding that the county nevertheless welcome the amount made available and anticipate the remaining 60 percent soon.
“Since the conduct of the December 7, 2018 County Council Sitting in Buchanan, this is the first amount paid into the County Account from the Finance Ministry,” the report stated.
Henry attributed the availability of the funds that comes from the County and Social Development Funds to the vigorous and consistent collaborative engagement of the County Legislative Caucus, the PMC along with the local administration headed by Supt Janjay Baikpeh with the Ministry of Finance.
The funds released have placed the county authorities in the state of using the scale of preference in deciding which project to prioritize amongst the projects named in the resolution of the County Sitting.
Prior to remittance of the money, the Bassa Legislative Caucus through its Chairman, Rep. Thomas Alexander Goshua, mandated the PMC to reduce its support staff from ten persons to one, who is the driver, a decision the report confirmed has been taken through a contract termination letter.
Henry also mentioned in the report that such letter terminating the support staff contract was written on grounds that upon the availability of money, the county would pay the staff one year salary arrears as captured in the 10th County Council Sitting resolution last year.
Stating challenges, the PMC quarterly report highlighted delay in accessing development funds from the Finance Ministry which caused projects to be undone, lack of fuel, stationery and other office equipment; causing the team to improvise and also hindering the PMC smooth operation.
The PMC via Chairman Henry recommended that the County and Social Development Funds be paid into the county’s account instead of direct deposit through central government and that the Legislative Caucus gives full support to the Fiscal Affairs Superintendent and the PMC to ensure that the county receives the full sum of what is due it.