Delay in Nimba Scrap Bid Results Continues

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Mr. Dennis Maneh at Daily_web.jpg

Concern is said to be mounting over the failure of the Nimba County authority to release the results of the scrap bid, which began in 31st December 2013 and expires in 60 days according to the PPCC.

Dennis Maneh, a concerned citizen of Nimba, told the Daily Observer at its Nimba Office that the delay in releasing the bid result displays a lack of fairness and raises suspicion of “foul play.”

“The delay is causing concern; we suspect foul play is the reason why it is taking such a long time for the results to be released,” he said.

“The scrap bid was put up on 31st December 2013. Until now, the result is yet to be released. Tell me what is really happening?” he asked.

Maneh explained that the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) stipulated 60 days for bidding. The bidding process in Nimba County has gone beyond that. This is why he demanded that the county leadership releases the results.

According to him there were many scrap companies that showed interest. Among them two were qualified; Western Steel, a Ghanaian Firm, and the North Star, a Liberian Firm.

The Nimba scrap yard—located around the ArcelorMittal Concession area in Yekapa— has been one of Nimba County’s most talked about issues.

Nimbaians had been in doubt over issues concerning the status of the scrap bid since it was published late last year.

“How can only two companies be allowed to bid for a multimillion dollar scrap contract? This is unfair,” claimed Mr. Francis Menwon, a local.

The scraps in question are the heaviest in Liberia compared to those from Grand Bassa, the contract for which was awarded to a Liberian scraping firm recently.

The scraps in Nimba are estimated to cost about US$30 million if ‘mined’ properly, according to statistics from some scraping companies. Exactly how Nimba will award it to a qualified company without it being stolen remains the challenge.

The scraps created a split between the 53rd Nimba Legislative Caucus due to a “conflict of interest” involving a Ghanaian scrap company.

Senator Prince C. Johnson accused the Nimba Caucus, specifically Representative Rick Toweh, of receiving a brown envelope from the Ghanaian company {which was not named at that time} to award them the contract.

Sen. Johnson’s statement was widely condemned by members of the caucus as a lie. They further explained on a local radio station that they were making an effort to contract with a company to build a mini factory in Nimba to create jobs for Nimbaians.

The argument led to the expulsion of Sen. Johnson from the caucus last year. Subsequently, the bid for the scraps was put up in late December 2013 to allow other companies to participate.

Last year, it was alleged that former Nimba Superintendent, Christiana Dagadu, and Nimba Inspector, Reginald Mehn, secretly visited Ghana to arrange with this same company on the same scrap deal. This raised serious concerns among some of Nimba’s citizens.

When the Daily Observer contacted the Assistant Superintendent of Development of Nimba County— also the head of the scrap bid evaluation committee— Mr. Teeko Yorlay, he said he was not the official spokesperson of the county. He told this reporter to contact the county superintendent, but all efforts to get the County’s Superintendent via mobile phone remained futile as his phone rang endlessly.   

Despite speculation around Nimba that the Ghanaian company is likely to be awarded the contract, unconfirmed reports reaching the paper says, the Development Superintendent Teeko Torzay  Yorlay has cancelled/disqualified the entire bid and new bid is set to be published soon.

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