Gov’t, CICO Sign Agreement For Ganta–Saclepea Highway

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(Seated, from left) Acting Public Works Minister Collins, Finance Minister Tweah and a CICO official sign the road construction agreement as a Chinese Embassy delegation, led by Amb. Ren Yisheng (rear) look on.

The Government and the Chinese Road Construction Firm Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) have reached an agreement for the construction of the 39-kilometer stretch of road linking Ganta and Saclepea.

The document was signed by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah; Acting Public Works Minister, Ruth Coker Collins; and a CICO official at the highway groundbreaking ceremony held on Wednesday, December 2, in Ganta. A Chinese Embassy delegation, led by Ambassador Ren Yisheng, was also present.

In the overview, the Acting Minister Collins said in early 2018 the government engaged the World Bank and the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund for the mobilization of financial resources toward the upgrading of the southeastern corridors, comprising the road segment from Ganta to Tappita (100km) and Tappita to Zwedru (125km), from an unpaved to an asphalt road, connecting these key commercial cities of the Liberian hinterland.

According to Minister Collins, in December 2018, the result of the engagement between the government and World Bank was a formulated program of the World Bank for the implementation of the southeastern road. The Ganta to Tappita section will be implemented through a public-private partnership arrangement with the cost of US$118 million for the road upgrading works and maintenance.

Given the COVID-19 global pandemic, in August 2020 the government, looking at the deplorable condition of the Ganta – Zwedru Road, decided to fund 39km of the road — from Ganta to Seclepea — in the amount of US$30.3 million and the remaining 61km under the funding of the world bank.

The Ministry of Public Works explained the upgrading of Ganta to Seclepea road section, 39km of the Southeastern Road corridor, is the first of the two lots of the stretch of road from Ganta to Tappita, which is 100 kilometers.

The MPW projects the duration of the construction/upgrading works at about 22 months, beginning December 2002, with a defects liability period of 12 months.

Accordingly, the road will be upgraded from an unsealed gravel road to a road paved with asphalt with a carriageway width of 7.5 meters, with 1.5 meters shoulder on either side.

President Weah breaks ground for the Ganta-Saclepea road construction as other officials of government, including Sen. Prince Y. Johnson, look on.

“The upgrading works will begin in Ganta at the intersection of the Suakoko Highway and end at Saclepea,” Acting Minister Collins said.

“Several cross-drainage structures, including culverts, bridges, over streams and rivers are to be constructed along the road, with the design life of 20yr and operational speed of 80 kilometers per hour,” she said.

The ministry also said the second lot, covering Saclepea to Tappita (61km), which civil works will be financed by the World Bank and the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund, will be launched in the first quarter of 2021.

However, Minister Tweah said the funding for the construction came from the Government of Liberia through the National Road Fund and about US$5 million will be released to CICO as the first portion of the funding for the upgrading. The work is expected to begin this month.

President George Manneh Weah, in remarks, reiterated the concern of his adminstration to improve their lives through road construction, citing the Ganta the Yekepa highway, the Seikiepah to Loguatuo Border Road and now the Ganta to Zwedru highway.

He said the government will do all it can to improve the roads to boost economic activities across the country in line with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Speaking for the 54th Legislative Caucus of Nimba, Rep. Johnson Gwiakolo hailed the government for the road and said the construction, when completed, will surely boost economic activities in the county and the country at large.

“When this road is completed, it will reduce the dependency syndrome of begging, because the people will be selling their goods and making their own money,” he said.

“We told you in 2017 let’s vote the CDC led government and we will see more developments that will impact our lives and this is what exactly happening now,” Senator Johnson alluded.

The World Bank Country Manager, Khwima Nthara, reaffirmed his entity’s commitement to working with the Government of Liberia in the completion of the phase-one corridor of the southeastern road, which Saclepea to Tappita road, as well as the phase-two, which is the Tappita to Zwedru road.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The citizens are ready to go to the polls and vote on the referendum among other things to vote a proposition for dual citizenship. At times the arguments are made that the country will eventually experienced major changes in developments, growth in the economy through the private sector, and especially with diaspora Liberians returning home from the cold with western with education and with productive ways of managing and doing things.
    But the question is asked, how long has the Chinese company been operating in that country ? Just how long ?
    Lets take a walk to the Ministry of Public Works as to determine its administrative work force. Including that of its engineers in every capacities of that word, Engineers. How many are from the diasporas ? After working with the Chinese company, and receiving trainings, reading blueprints and knowledgeable of roads construction, isn’t it about time to tell the Chinese that this particular road being constructed is your last ? From here on we as engineers in this country we Got This One.
    That is what the citizens of that country actually wants to see. Liberians doing their own work. The politicians know how to mobilize the people to vote for them. To campaign for them. But after working alongside the Chinese and have the opportunity first hand to see these kind of woks carried out, after 14 years or more and counting, it will be good to take charge, and stop signing over millions of borrowed money to the Chinese. Got to have some confidence in your self. Got to try an error and be willing to learn from your errors. But signing over millions or hundreds of millions borrowed money to the Chinese and not learning nearly anything from them, but waiting to be sent oversea, then it is fair to say that the Chinese would have built all the roads in the country.
    There are some with the knowledge in the diasporas, but still lacking the experience in terms of hand on the job.
    Of course there are diaspora Liberians at the Ministry of Public Works, do they know what it will take to have those with some knowledge to be trained along side of the Chinese. Got to plan and take advantage of any opportunity and learn from that.
    When the diaspora Liberians come from the cold, they be bring all the western ideas and knowledge and skills and experiences with them. Keep on day dreaming. And keep on borrowing hundreds of millions US dollars to give it to the Chinese or French African countries or Ghanaians. The Chinese are approaching almost 20 years of road constructions. It is about time that the Ministry of Public Works informed them saying, We Got This . We Will Take It From Here.
    American companies in China must hand over the DNA or the blueprints to any new technology. They refused to be who want work in their country. They refused to just be hand me that tool. Approaching 20 years, and the Chinese are still building roads. Almost like sitting in a classroom for 20 years with nothing.
    In the case of that God Forsaken Country, it is possible. Cause it is happening right before the eyes of the citizens. So it is living in the cold for 40 years and returning . Change the ways your do things over there.

  2. The Way To Success Are Through Brighter Minds.

    Mr. James David, you are 100000% right about giving engineering contracts to our people to built roads,bridges and other infrastructures. However; do we have the advance training to undertake such delicate projects? Most of our institutions do not provide advance training to adequately meet the need for modern infrastructures buildings. Chinese are trained in Chinese Institutions. Majority, or all of them do not speak English. Those Chinese engineers around the world building bridges, airports, seaports hydro dams etc, are all trained in Chinese institutions. They are also equipped with the knowledge and technical minds to compute with any Western Train technocrats. It is just because they do not speak English. That’s the opposite with us. If it is anything, we suppose to have an edge over them. We must always leave and seek knowledge outside. How long will this continue. We need to have a policy in place wherein, plans and vision have to be laid out for long term goal.
    Students graduating from BWI or other vocational or technical colleges, have to go Germany, Switzerland or present day China to get advance training to come and operate a machine in Bong Mines, Firestone or LAMCO. The Chinese are not the cause of our problems. We are the cause of our own problems.

    Some of us have to leave by all means possible in other to enable us to even pen our ideas. That shouldn’t be the way for everyone. Huge investment have to be made in man power development, that will gradually wipe out obsolete ideas to give way to modernity. The Chinese didn’t receive a ‘Marshall Plan”, but toady, they are moving on top with envy eyes blinking on them.

    Thank you Sir.

    Mamadu Bah

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