LACE Executive Director Warns Contractors against Sluggishness

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The Acting Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, (LACE) Marian D. Varfley, has warned contractors that won three school projects in Nimba, to work in accordance with time or face the consequences of their sluggishness and delays in meeting the terms of the contracts.

Speaking in Sanniquellie on April 12, during a ground-breaking ceremony for the school projects under the Legislative Support Project, Mrs. Varfley said LACE, as an implementing partner to government, is conscious of its credibility in meeting up with deadlines for implementation of projects, and as such, they will not relent in following contractors’ activities.

The contractors: Sanniquellie Mahn Construction Firm, New Liberia Engineering and Construction Company, and Liberia Reconstruction & Development, have contracted to construct an annex of the Sanniquellie Central High School in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, a building for the Kpiaplay Public School in Gbehlay-Geh District in Nimba, Garplay Public School in Gbehlay-Geh, and a market building in Ganta, Nimba County.

She estimated the cost of the projects—including the market project in Ganta—at US$235,296.85 will come out of a US$1.1 million outlay in the national budget for Legislative discretional use for rural projects.

Disclosing how payment of contractors would be done, Mrs. Varfley said LACE would periodically pay contractors according to phase (segments, stages).

“The work is divided into three phases.  We will pay contractors 30% of their money after completing 30% of the first phase, make the second payment after they complete the second, and the 30% after they complete the third,” she explained.

“We call on all contractors to work hard and take note of the contract period.  Unnecessary delays will cause a termination of your contract,” Mrs. Varfley stressed.

She cautioned contractors to avoid anything that would cause a delay in meeting the deadline of the contract.

Mrs. Varfley also called on the Ministry of Finance to ensure that requests for payment are expedited as quickly as possible in order to avoid delays in implementing the projects.

The ceremony in Sanniquellie on April 12 was graced by scores of county and local authorities and the student community.

Speaking during the ceremony, Bain Garr District Commissioner, Shirley Brown, reiterated that LACE and government closely supervise the contractors—since, in many instances, projects fail due to their (contractors) failure to take the work seriously.

Speaking to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview, the Principal of Central High School, Edwin Dehmie, said the influx of students to the institution has seriously affected the space to accommodate them.

He said constructing the annex will therefore be a great help in easing the tension arising from the lack of accommodations for students.

Other local authorities, including Ganta Mayor Dorr Cooper and Nyan Taylor Guannu of the education sector, lauded government for the projects. They both called on contractors to be sincere with government and LACE to ensure that they complete the projects on time.

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