By Omari Jackson
The National Housing Authority (NHA) said it is awaiting a report from its Board of Arbitration on the entity and C. J. Construction Incorporated before it will release US$22, 295.43 to the company.
In an interview with Mr. Prince A. Wreh, NHA’s Deputy Managing Director (DMD), on Friday in Monrovia, he said he was surprised to read a local media report quoting C.J. Construction that the NHA has refused to release the amount in question, which is meant for the completion of eight estate units at the
NASSCORP Village in Brewerville.
Quoting a letter to the NHA from T. Dempster Brown, Legal Counsel for CJ Construction – a copy of which is with the Daily Observer – dated September 1, Wreh revealed the nomination of Mr. Peter Smith as CJ Construction’s representative to serve on the Board of Arbitration.
Mr. Smith’s nomination, the letter reads, is in “keeping with Clause XII of the agreement and also based on the ruling of the Debt Court to exhaust Clause XII of the Agreement administratively.”
Cllr. Brown said, “Therefore the Court declined to hear the case awaiting the outcome of the Arbitration proceeding.”
Wreh said while both parties are involved in the arbitration to enable the NHA to act on its recommendations, C. J Construction in a media report sought to cast aspersion on the NHA concerning its position.
“By law it is only the Deputy MD for Technical Service who is charged to inspect contracts done for NHA and once satisfied in keeping with the agreement, he will go ahead and issue clearance that the job is satisfactorily done and funds are then released,” Wreh said.
He noted that during inspection, the eight units constructed by C.J. Construction showed some defects; and as per the agreement, gave the company 90 days to get the job done.
“We are working with 27 Liberian owned and managed construction companies to build middle income houses at our various locations in Brewerville and Marshall and therefore we expect everyone to stick to the agreement to ensure quality jobs for our people,” Wreh.
He admitted that out of the number, only C.J. Construction has had some defective issues and when they were found the NHA requested CJC to complete them, as per the construction agreement.
Wreh said since agreements with construction companies have arbitration clauses, the Debt Court recommended that the two parties handle the matter administratively, of which the NHA is very much supportive.
DMD Wreh commended Liberian construction companies for living up to the task of doing quality jobs, and encouraged CJ Construction to work within the agreement to satisfy both parties.
The NHA has completed three phases of middle income estates, with the fourth phase yet to begin.