PYJ Defends By-passed Procedures -In Controversial Earth-Moving Equipment Procurement

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Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson has called on Liberians to express gratitude for the procurement of 285 earth-moving equipment by the Liberian government, despite the processes being by-passed. In his sermon at Christ Chapel of Faith Ministries in Paynesville on Sunday, July 7, Senator Johnson justified the bypass, citing the opposition-dominated Legislature’s potential resistance had proper procedures been followed. During his Sunday address, Senator Johnson emphasized the unprecedented scale of the procurement, contrasting it with the previous administration.  “It is the first time in our country for the government to import 285 earth-moving equipment. We are thankful that what the CDC government did not do, this regime is doing. We are thankful that the yellow machine didn’t go through the right procedures because the CDC controls the Legislature,” Johnson stated. Legal Framework and Bypassed Procedures The Public Procurement and Concessions Act (PPCA) of Liberia outlines specific procedures for public procurement to ensure transparency and accountability. According to the PPCA: Section 45(2): Open Bidding states: “The open bidding process requires the procuring entity to publicly advertise the invitation to bid in a manner that ensures wide dissemination and access by potential bidders.” Section 47: Procurement Approval Authority states: “Procurement of goods, works, and services above the thresholds specified in the regulations shall be subject to the approval of the procurement committee and, where necessary, the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission.” By by-passing these procedures, the procurement process for the 285 earth-moving equipment did not adhere to the legal requirements, raising concerns about transparency and accountability. Legislative and Public Response Nimba County District #7 lawmaker Musa Hassan Bility and other members of the Liberian Legislature have voiced concerns over the procurement. Bility emphasized the need for constitutional adherence in his official Facebook post: “Esteemed members of the 55th Legislature (HoR), the current situation demands that we fulfill our elected duty to safeguard our democracy. With an impending decision on a questionable loan for the procurement of machines, we must carefully consider the impact on our nation’s best interests. While the need for infrastructure improvements is evident, the terms of this particular deal do not align with our constitutional responsibilities. It is essential that we reject this proposal to uphold the integrity of our constitution and act in the best interest of Liberia. This is our moment to demonstrate unwavering commitment to our country.” Government’s Position During the administration’s first cabinet retreat in Monrovia last May, Minister of State without Portfolio Mamaka Bility announced the procurement of 285 equipment, including yellow machines and trucks, which were en route to Liberia. The announcement was met with applause, indicating support from the cabinet. A video showcasing earth-moving machines adorned with President Joseph Boakai’s photos and the Liberian flag, captioned “Handover ceremony – Presidential infrastructure program – President Joseph Boakai,” features Minister Bility, Sylvester Grisby, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, and Roland Lafayette Giddings, Minister of Public Works, praising the deal with SANY Global, a Chinese-based heavy machinery manufacturer, and the Guma Group based in South Africa. Over the weekend, the government unveiled the first batch of 285 earth-moving machines and dump trucks at the National Port Authority (NPA) compound. Minister Bility led the ceremony, showcasing the equipment to the public amidst growing concerns over the transparency and legitimacy of the acquisition. Lib Latest News231/By Jeremiah Mulbah

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