The Senegalese road development firm, “Compagnie Saheliamae D’Enterprises (CSE) has finally begun the pavement of the Ganta – Yekepa highway, which the government earmarked more than 10 years ago.
At present, the pavement work is progressing around Tondin Town along the stretch between Ganta and Sanniquellie, where the company is already laying asphalt (coal tar) onto the roadway.
The construction of the stretch of road was earmarked in 2007 as a birthday gift to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when Lakshmi Mittal, Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of ArcerlorMittal, visited Liberia.
Since then, the road works were placed for bidding, which the Senegalese Company won and begain bringing into the country all the necessary equipment for the work. However, the entire exercise later came to a standstill due to government’s inability to fund the project.
Earlier, ArcerloMittal (AML) had informed Nimba youths under the banner Concerned Nimbaians that the money intended for the road work was given to the government but, prior to the end of the Sirleaf’s tenure, the Government disclosed that AML was yet to release the US$40 million intended for the work.
In June, 2018, President George Weah pressed AML management to release money intended for the project in order to fast track the project.
Upon President Weah’s visit to Nimba in 2018, the road work resumed but continued at a slow pace until recently when the company began speeding up the work leading to the pavement of a considerable stretch of road.
With the level of work seen so far, it appears that CSE may likely complete the pavement of half of the road stretch between Ganta and Sanniquellie, before the dry season.
Efforts to speak with the construction firm, CSE, failed allegedly because under the terms of the contractual agreement between Government and the company, press interviews are forbidden, a source hinted this reporter.
“Only the government through Public Works can speak for the company, this is why all the difficulties they have been going through, they couldn’t call a press conference or speak on it,” a source, who did not want be named told this reporter.