Ganta-Sanniquellie Road Project Progresses GANTA, APRIL 9, (NTV): Lack of road connectivity remains one of Liberia’s age-old problems, a situation that impedes the free movement of citizens and delivery of goods and services to some parts of the country at the peak of the country’s rainy season especially the southeastern region.
To mitigate this menace, the government of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf did everything in its power to source fundings from partners to construct major roads across the country in a bid to connect all county capital cities.
Though the second six year-term of Madam Sirleaf was challenged by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), her government made significant strides to implement some of the major road Projects earmarked with funding from partners, one of which is the Ganta-Monrovia road which was funded by the World Bank and implemented by a Chinese road construction company, CHICO.
However, the government was unable to implement other road projects earmarked, one of which is the Ganta-Sanniquellie project.
The construction of the stretch of road from Ganta to Sanniquellie was earmarked in 2007 as a birthday gift to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when Lakshmi Mittal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ArcelorMittal, visited Liberia.
Since then, the road works were placed for bidding, which the Senegalese Company, Compagnie Sahelienne Enterprise (CSE) won and began bringing into the country all the necessary equipment for the work.
However, the entire exercise later came to a standstill due to the government’s alleged inability to fund the project.
Earlier, ArcerloMittal (AML) had informed Nimba youths under the banner ‘Concerned Nimbaians’ that the money intended for the road work was given to the government but, prior to the end of Sirleaf’s tenure, the Government disclosed that AML was yet to release the US$40 million intended for the work as promised.
Considering road connectivity as one of his government’s priorities as contained in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), President George Manneh Weah in June 2018, pressed AML management to release money intended for the project.
Following President Weah’s visit to Nimba in that year, the road work resumed but continued at a slow pace until 2020 when the company began speeding up the work leading to the pavement of a considerable stretch of road.
With the level of work seen so far, it appears that CSE may likely complete the pavement of half of the road stretch between Ganta and Sanniquellie, before the end of 2021.
The Senegalese road construction firm has already laid asphalt (coal tar) onto the road between Ganta and Zuluyee.
The Ganta-Sanniquellie road is paramount to the citizens of Nimba owing to its economic importance.
Some residents of Ganta troop to Sanniquellie every Saturday for business transactions while young people who depend on bike riding for survival also commute between the two cities daily in order to meet the growing demands of life.
The road connects Yekepa where the world’s leading steel company, ArcelorMittal mines iron ore as well as Logatuo, a town that borders Liberia and Ivory Coast.
Logatuo is a major revenue-generating point.
The road, when completed will enhance the movement of citizens between Ganta and Sanniquellie and Yekepa and Karnplay by extension who find it difficult to ply the road during the rainy season.
The completion of the road will also boost economic activities in Sanniquellie, the county’s provincial capital, also best known as the birthplace of the Organization of African Union (OAU) now African Union (AU).
In July 1959, the Leaders of Liberia, Guinea, and Ghana (William VS Tubman, Sekou Toure, and Kwame Nkrumah) met in Sanniquellie to discuss African liberation and unity.
The conference was held in the then newly built Administration hall.
This meeting laid the foundation for the establishment of the Organization of African Unity in 1963.
The primary goal of the OAU was to promote the unity and solidarity of African States.
In 2002, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was renamed African Union (AU).