BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – Nearly nine months after taking office, Rep. Thomas Goshua of Grand Bassa’s fifth district has presented his first legislative report highlighting his work so far.
Goshua presented last weekend during a meeting with district residents in Gio Town. During the program, he explained several developments he had carried out in and outside of the district, affecting sectors such as education and health.
The lawmaker said he had prepared two bills that have not yet been submitted – one to create a magisterial area in Kpogblen clan. He also said he had prepared a bill to amend the act creating the National Commission for Higher Education. Additionally, he said he had submitted a bill to make sales of drugs a non-bailable offense.
“It is primary to me because research has proven that most, if not all our children referred to as ‘zogos’ are impacted negatively with drugs. For the record and information, this is a pending bill,” he added.
Goshua’s proposal to make the sale of drugs a non-bailable offense comes at a time when officials in the county have been working hard to decongest crowded prisons. The Buchanan Central Prison, which has a capacity of 47 prisoners, currently holds 85, 58 of whom are pre-trial detainees.
Continuing with his report, Goshua said he had advocated for 40 former employees of the Equatorial Palm Oil company to receive benefits they were owed. He added that the company had recalled 139 redundant staff since his intervention and 26 of the former employees had already started working.
He said he had also convinced the company to construct a bridge in Robert Town in addition to rehabilitating the New Cess beach road.
Goshua added that he had also settled a dispute among faculty, staff, and students at the Grand Bassa Community College.
In addition to his lawmaking and oversight duties, Goshua said he represented the House of Representatives in Abuja, Nigeria at the African Development Bank’s workshop on the role of parliaments in the fight against illicit financial flows in Africa.
The representative noted that he had spent L$174,500 (US$1,133) on education through scholarships and financial aid to district students attending universities, colleges, and high schools across Liberia.
He highlighted several construction projects that were underway, including the construction of a public compound that would serve as the headquarter for the district. He said 100 bundles of metal roofing sheets had been secured for the compound’s construction.
Goshua also said US$31,000 had been allocated towards the annual district development budget and noted that it would be directed to the foundation of a health center in the upcoming dry season.
“This gain is made because of our commitment to progressive development in the district,” he said. “We remain committed to the construction of the health center.”
Legislative reports are not required by the constitution and not every lawmaker makes such reports to their constituency. However, those that do often do it on an annual basis, unlike Goshua, who presented his first report after eight months.
After Goshua made his presentation, the head of women’s groups in the district, Justina Cee, said she was overwhelmed to see the representative present on his achievements within such a short time.
However, she drew attention to what she considered more pressing concerns – the lack of a high school or suitable roads in the district. She said district students had to travel to Buchanan and other areas to seek secondary and tertiary education.
Moreover, she said the lack of proper roads mean produce grown in the district were not marketable beyond the district.
Cee also challenged Goshua to work to improve the lives of women in the district: “We want to say within your six years’ time, we do not want to be beggars to our men in the district. We want for the women to be empowered so we can send our children to school tomorrow.”
Featured photo by Sampson David