— Says Public Works Minister Nyenpan
The Public Work Minister Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan said that Liberian construction companies can do better if the requisite support is given for empowerment purposes. The Minister is of the greatest assurance that local contractors can compete with others if only they have access to available opportunities.
“We are confident that Liberian construction contractors can do better if they are given the opportunity,” he said. Minister Nyenpan made the statement on Saturday, November 16, 2019, when he joined a group of Female Construction Contractors along with the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC) management, who were carrying out a clean-up exercise in Monrovia.
The exercise was aimed at repairing potholes, cleaning and identifying critical points, beginning from the intersection of Carey Street and Capitol Bye Pass, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOF).
It was also part of the ALCC’s activities to ensure that adequate awareness is created about the competencies and potential of females in the construction sector of the country.
It brought together a group of ten female trainees from the Road Maintenance and Construction Training Program (RMCTP), which began in September 2019 at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County; the project was initiated and supported by the MPW and the ALCC.
Minister Nyenpan, in brief remarks, said it is important to note that, for most of the community road projects across the country, there are about nine contractors, seven of which are Liberian contractors. “This is impressive, but we need to do more,” he said.
He acknowledged the strong and good working relationship between MPW and the ALCC adding, “MPW and ALCC have signed an MoU some time ago and we are doing all to ensure that all provisions of that MoU adhere.”
He further stressed the need to empower women who are into the construction industry of Liberia; “we must take affirmative actions that would help our women to grow in the construction industry, and to this! MPW is committed to ensuring that women are empowered.”
Nyenpan: “I have already informed the contractors that at least 10% of the contract value be given to Liberian construction contractors.”
According to Minister Nyenpan, there are “about 12,000 kilometers of roads in our networks, of which only 5% of those roads are paved while most of them are in the bad shape.” He adds, “Let us do our best let us give support to our own.”
“We have come to inform the female construction contractors of Liberia that the MPW is in full support your activities; we believe that the women of Liberia, especially the ones who are in the construction industry, once they are better organized, more can be done in bringing transformation to our country.”
He acknowledged while it is a truth that times are difficult and all of the contracts may not come like before, yet, even the little ones that are coming we will ensure that you are a part because that is the only way we as a country can make significant progress in the construction industry.
“Today we will be signing a major construction agreement here in Liberia; the Government of Liberia will sign a construction contract for the pavement of the road between Sanniquellie and Logatuo, this road is 47.1 kilometers and the funding is coming from the African Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank,” he said.
Mr. James M. Strother, president of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), said Liberians must be ready. Ten years from now, we can see Liberian contractors taking over their own if they work together for the common good of the country. “This is a new dispensation take advantage of every opportunity and do not be a spectator in your own economy as the President stated earlier.”