Written by: Angel Morris/Bridge Radio TV Producer
The Government of Liberia is yet to reportedly settle its debts with several private hotels that are currently being used as quarantine centers for people suspected of having Coronavirus, Bridge Radio has reliably learned.
As part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, the government of Liberia entered into contractual arrangement with the management of several local hotels to be used as withholding centers for suspected Coronavirus patients.
Executive Inn, Kailondo, Palm Spring, Bless one, and John Gbessay are among several hotels the government of Liberia is using as quarantine facilities. Since the signing of the agreement with the management of these hotels, Bridge Radio has reliably learned that the Government of Liberia is yet to meet its full obligation in rental fees, causing distress for owners of the hotels.
Speaking to our Reporter in Monrovia, officials of some of the hotels accused the government of deliberately stalling their payments. “The contract I signed with the government of Liberia ended since April 13 and they are yet to settle their obligation knowing well I too have to pay people working under me”, the management of Kailondo Hotels lamented.
In a rather devastating tune, the owner of Kailondo Hotel told Bridge Radio that the situation has caused him delays in paying his over 50 staffs, who according to him are at this moment pressing for their salaries.
Kailondo noted that he has used all his money to pre finance and procured provisions such as food, detergents and other materials for the upkeep of the hotel, noting that he believes authority of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) is some showing powers.
“Right now as I speak to you, the money I had, have all been used to pre finance and settle some few things in the hotels, and I believe that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is showing power and muscles, but they shouldn’t forget that we signed an authentic contract with the government”, Kailondo further lamented.
Also speaking with Bridge Radio was the Manager of the Palm Spring Hotel, who disclosed that he has received just a small percentage of payment since the contract was signed between his hotel and GoL three weeks ago. Palm Spring Hotel is where the Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) spent his 14 days Quarantine period upon his return to the country from the United States of America.
When this media institution contacted authorities of MPDP for clarification, they declined to comment on the situation until further notice. It is not clear as to what is causing the delay in paying of the management of these hotels, but information available to the public reveals that the government of Liberia has been receiving some financial supports from the World Bank, Eco Bank and other donor institutions including a Chinese Billionaire to fight COVID-19.