Members of the House of Representatives have unanimously voted to suspend the operations of the City Parking Regulations across the City of Monrovia.
The body took the decision after Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh failed to explain the yardstick used to derive at the L$50 being charged per hour for city parking around Monrovia.
Madam Broh was cited before the House Plenary Tuesday, following a letter from Grand Kru County Rep. Wesseh Blamoh, calling on the body to mandate her for clarification as to why the amount is being charged when there is no security for customers’ vehicles.
In his letter, Rep. Blamoh said the City Parking Management under the MCC teams remains adamant in considering the concerns of vehicle owners and customers. He said tickets issued to vehicle owners clearly state that their parking is at their own risk, something he said shows that there is no security guarantee for vehicle owners.
But in her clarification, Madam Broh said the City Parking was put into place to help create jobs for the youths of the county, making specific reference to university students.
She disclosed that after reviewing the proposals of two companies involved in the parking management- the Liberia Service Corporation and the City Parking Management, they were given the opportunity to kick up their operations after recommending L$50 for parking charge per hour.
According to her, the memorandum of understanding signed between the MCC and the two companies calls for 75 percent of funds generated to go to the companies, while the MCC receives 25 percent. She further disclosed that 15 percent of the MCC’s share goes towards capacity building of officers of the Monrovia City Police, and the remaining 10 percent allotted to the Ministry of Public Works for road maintenance in the city.
Members of the Lower House argued that the fee charged per hour by the companies involved is too exorbitant for average Liberians and needs to be reduced.
“The amount if calculated will sum up to US$150.00 monthly, something that is even higher than some civil servants earnings,” Rep. George Mulbah of Bong County noted.
Montserrado County Representatives Boimah Fahmbulleh and Acarous Gray described the action by Mayor Broh as a constitutional breach.
Rep. Fahmbulleh frowned on Madam Broh for single-handedly taking the decision to put into action the City Parking Regulations without a proper bidding process and the concern of the Monrovia City Council, while Rep. Gray cited Article 34-D1 of the Liberian Constitution which calls for the Legislative Branch of government to levy taxes and other incomes.
But the Acting Monrovia City Mayor maintained her stands that the fee is not high, suggesting to the body that those who see it as such should park their vehicles at the outskirt of Monrovia and ride the National Transit Authority buses to get to town.
The failure of Madam Broh to adequately address the issues raised by the lawmakers compelled the House to call for Executive Session, after which a decision was reached to suspend the operations of the City Parking for two weeks and a committee setup to probe into how the companies were hired and review the fee charged.
Meanwhile, members of the committee setup by House Speaker Alex Tyler to carry out the task include; Rep. Seku Kanneh, Chairman and Larry Nyanquoi, Co chairman. Other members are Rep. Jefferson Karmoh, Morna Pennuh, Garyah Karmoh, Marmian Fofana, and Ben Fofana. The committee is expected to report to plenary in the next two weeks.