The Plenary of the House of Representatives recently passed a bill seeking to create a new political capital in Central Liberia.
The Act, according to the Joint Committee’s report, was scrutinized and thoroughly studied before bringing it to plenary for passage.
Montserrado County Representative Moses Tandanpolie who crafted the bill cited infrastructural Destruction during the 14 years of civil conflict, in conjunction with population explosion and the influx of people as some underlining reasons for building a new capital.
Honorable Tandanpolie said the influx of people into Monrovia has rendered Monrovia vulnerable to vice and social ills and that the cost of repairing Monrovia will be more costly than initiating a plan to establish a new, well-planned and laid out city.
The Montserrado Representative asserted that such city must be centrally located and meets international standards.
Representative Tandapolie envisions a Municipal styled government that would consist of a Mayor and a City Council.
To all of this, we say bravo to the Honorable for his farsightedness, although this is not a revolutionary thinking, it’s been said before by both Tolbert and Doe.
What is interesting about this one at this time is the approach and the amount of work and money that needs to go into its planning process alone.
Liberia is just surfacing from a self imposed civil conflict that left deep scars on everyone and everything.
In light of this, there are greater and more pertinent questions that need to be asked; in what should we invest, a new capital city, several school buildings, better salaries for public school teachers, a network of farm to market roads, agriculture projects or better transportation system?
While the Honorable Body was thinking in the right direction to have passed the bill as submitted by the plenary, we think they are putting the cart before the horse on this one;
We are of the mindset that it should have been the other way around;
A Technical Committee comprising of Engineers, Aeronautical Planners and Engineers, City Planners, Financial Experts, Environmentalists, Specialists, Legislators, Civic Organizations, International Partners/Donors and others should have preceded the passage of the bill.
Such Technical Committee if it were would have done detail feasibility studies of several mitigating factors that go into building a modern city.
Now that a bill has been introduced, studied and passed, what would happen if the committee determines that central Liberia as proposed is not ideal or too expensive a location?
We therefore call on the Senate to do the right thing by putting the horse before the cart and not follow the example of the Lower House when it put the cart before the horse.
We think most, if not all Liberians agree that there’s a need for a newer, cleaner, well planned and laid out city that would make us all proud’
But doing it the haphazard or LIB way is not the way forward.
For once, let’s focus, and do it right this time, maybe for a population of ten million people.