Several pieces of earth-moving equipment for the pavement of the long awaited Ganta-Yekepa Highway in Nimba County arrived in the country over the weekend.
Compagnie Senegaise d’Entre-prises’ (CSE), a Senegalese Company with over 40 years of construction experience in several African countries won the bid for the road project to link the commercial city of Ganta to the mining Town of Yekepa through the county’s Provincial City of Sanniquellie.
The road project came about through the initiative of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when the steel giant, ArcelorMittal made available about US$40 million for the project.
At the ceremony for the arrival of equipment in Monrovia over the weekend, CSE Project Manager, Aliou G. Niasse, stressed the importance of quality road development in Liberia.
He added that “Road development is significant to Liberia’s economic growth and prosperity because the road sector plays a pivotal role in the country’s development agenda.”
Because shipping materials required for the project was a major factor due to the Ebola pandemic the country is faced with, Mr. Niasse disclosed that his company had to rent a war ship at the cost of US$500,000 “just to deliver the equipment to Liberia in time for the commencement of the project.”
“The equipment that you see here in Monrovia now is a quarter of the equipment needed for the project. They are a part of the equipment that will be used for earthworks and rock crushing which is the first stage of the project execution.
“We have already ordered more equipment for the other stages of work from Europe. We were facing problems with the shipping due to the situation with Ebola, but since things are relatively going on well, we expect that shipping from Europe will no longer be a problem.”
According to him, the aim is to complete the mobilization of the remaining equipment during the upcoming rainy season so that they will be in the country and ready to work for the next dry season.
The human resources aspect of the project remains cardinal to the success and viability of the work, and as such, CSE announced that it has instituted an achievable scheme in collaboration with the office of Nimba Superintendent, Fong Zuagle, in order to get the locals involved at every stage of the project.
“The Superintendent’s office has set up a commission to find Liberian workers for various positions on the project. If we are unable to find suitable candidates locally, we will then look nationally or internationally to fill the positions,” Naisse said.
For his part, Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, Sr. lauded President Sirleaf for the initiative.
Minister Moore further expressed confidence in the ability of CSE to construct “quality road” to benefit Liberians.
The hallmark of Public Works is ‘quality,’ Moore declared. He noted that providing quality roads to Liberia is a matter of importance to the his Ministry to the point that a South African firm has been hired to monitor the project to ensure that value for the money provided is realized.
This is CSE’s first contract in Liberia, the Public Works boss indicated, adding, “I’m happy that CSE is involved with this project and we expect CSE to produce quality.”
Nimba County Superintendent, Fong Zuaglae, the county’s Legislative Caucus Chair, R. Matenokay Tingban and Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County stressed the need for local content participation in the project.
In separate remarks, the officials maintained that the country takes seriously the issue of the participation of Liberians in these projects which they said will boost the local economy.
Founded 1970, the West African owned company has had footprints in several African nations since 1983 and this first Liberian project stands to pave the way for future projects based on performance.