The youthful Public Works Minister-designate has told the Senate Committee, which assures its functions and activities that he and his team of officials will work assiduously to ensure that the Ministry of Public Works becomes “a more functional entity.”
Minister of Public Works-designate William Gyude Moore, 37, yesterday eloquently informed members of the Senate Committee on Public Works and Rural Development that he has familiarized himself over the past years with the Ministry and all of its signature/flagship infrastructure programs.
Mr. Moore who, together with Deputy Minister for Administration-designate Roland Layfette Giddings, 40, appeared before the Senators, said from his previous area of work — Ministry of State and Presidential Affairs — he has followed projects from feasibility studies to loan negotiation and ratification.
If confirmed, both Moore and Giddings promised to continue the program to successfully complete ongoing road projects across the country; and to this end to pursue and propose innovative ways to finance and repair roads, bridges and other public infrastructure, while at the same time ensure that roads remain pliable and bridges remain accessible across the country.
The two nominees further assured the committee headed by Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper that they will work with the country’s multilateral and bilateral partners, the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, SIDA, GIZ, European Commission, USAID, the Chinese Government and JICA to ensure that their respective infrastructure projects are on course and completed on schedule.
To continue with the country’s Liberalization policy, Moore promised that under his tenure, all Public Works contracts valued at US$500,000 or above “will require that at least 20 percent of the works be contracted to a majority Liberian-owned small business or contractor. The primary contractor is required to submit the names of their 20 percent contractor, who will then receive contracts directly from the Ministry of Public Works.”
As a means of building capacity, the Min-designate said the Ministry will continue its policy that all contracts valued at US$250,000 or above will require the contractor to hire at least two new engineering graduates or graduating seniors from local universities, who are Liberians, as interns to provide practical experience.
However, he said that despite the Ministry’s best plans and intentions, it will require adequate appropriation in the national budget to close the country’s infrastructure deficit.
Moore concluded by assuring the committee members and the well-attended hearing by saying: “I believe I have the requisite training, experience, credibility, integrity and most of all the confidence of the President to competently provide leadership at the Ministry of Public Works.”
He continued: “I intend to establish and maintain relationship with the engineering society, the Chamber of Architects and the Association of Construction Contractors, as well as take advantage of technical assistance from development partners and, in the process, preside over a Ministry of Public Works that demonstrates integrity in the contract award process and quality in the roads and bridges we build, obtaining value for money on behalf of the Liberian people.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Public Works Senate Committee yesterday openly informed the nominees that despite their beautiful presentation he was not impressed, noting that for the past three years in his position, Ministers to that institution have proven failures.
He, however, expressed the hope that with the exuberance to serve and age in their favor, he and his committee will not be called upon again to confirm another team of Minister and deputies to that Ministry soon.