Members of the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC) over the weekend elected new officers to steer the affairs of the institution over the next four years.
The election, which took place at the association’s head office on Weaver Street, opposite the Tubman United Methodist Church in Paynesville, brought to office Sackie Johnson, managing director of Quest Incorporated, as the president-elect.
Johnson defeated Wennie V. Duyenku, general manager of Regional Engineering and Development Services (REDES) by 105 to 32 votes.
The ALCC also elected Burteh T. Freeman of the Solokon Group as vice president; James Smith of CASE, Incorporated, secretary general; and Kimberly Toure of TUMARSI, treasurer.
Napoleon T. Chattah, chairman of the ALCC election commission, said “The notion about contractors in Liberia is that we are not performing, so we are trying to engage all the stakeholders, particularly those that give contracts, to ensure that we become part of the procurement process, so we can know how those people are vetted in order to create a very good environment for everyone to have fairness.”
He also disclosed that as executive members of the ALCC, they feel that contractors are being selected in the wrong way, as most of them complain that they do not have regular jobs, “so we want to make sure that we have a fair playing field for everyone to participate, and for contractors to have fair play in the construction environment.
Chattah told our team of reporters during the voting process that the current leadership of ALCC performed well for them, advocating on their behalf to ensure that the right things are done.
But their tenure has come to an end and therefore, “we need a new group to steer the affairs of this important organization.
“We want to say thanks to all of the contestants for their hard work, and also to the voters who made their way here to cast their ballots to elect new leaders for the next four years.
“Today, we have about 142 persons out of 400 membership of the association and the result was very impressive,” he added.
Chattah told the election observer reporters that the association has a membership of over 400 construction workers in both vertical and horizontal construction, of which five percent is owned by females.
The organization, according to the ALCC elections chairman, was started in 1977 by a group of contractors with the aim of bringing all the Liberian contractors together for mutual understanding and protection, “but as we speak the organization is responsible for all construction companies including foreign companies.”
Johnson said: “We tried to make it a good working environment for construction companies. So, this organization advocates for a good environment for our members.
“We are now working with one of our big partners – GIZ, which is our international partner, and are building the capacity of our members.”
In his acceptance speech, president-elect Johnson expressed gratitude to members of the institution who unanimously elected him, and called on them to give him their fullest support. He pledged to work hard to build on the foundation of his predecessor, Foday Kamara, who died in January.
He hoped that a “new generation” would help lead a new movement that was “founded on our old and enduring idealism.”
“That is the unity we can rally around, not simply a call for unity but around a renewed unity of purpose,” Johnson said.
The president-elect promised to lead the ALCC with honesty, integrity and transparency, adding: “To be thoughtful leaders, we must first earn the trust of all members of the ALCC, ordinary contractors of the community, and government officials and agencies we work with. We look forward to the challenges ahead.”
“I am ready to lead us forward. It is time to focus on the opportunities ahead,” Johnson concluded.