Golden Opportunity for Liberian Contractors

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the signature of Minister Augustine Ngafuan, has announced the opening of a bid for the renovation of the chancery of the Liberian Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

A chancery is the diplomatic office of an Ambassador and his official staff.

We see this announcement as a golden opportunity for Liberian contractors. We urge Liberian Architectural and Civil Engineering contractors to bid boldly and put forward their best efforts to ensure that one of them, or a consortium of contractors, will win this bid and do the work.

They must put forward their best efforts, knowing fully well that the Liberian chancery is right next to the chancery of Great Britain. We are talking about one of the oldest and greatest European Nations whose embassy is in the immediate diplomatic neighborhood of Africa’s oldest independent Republic.

Minister Ngafuan’s Bid Announcement sets some high standards for the interested contractors.

First of all only a corporation, a partnership or group of companies are eligible to bid and not individuals. These contractors must have a Current Business Registration, Current Tax Clearance Certificate, a minimum of average turnover of US$50,000 within the past two years, and be able to obtain work permits to perform the contract work in Freetown.

We trust that eligible Liberian firms obtained the complete set of bid documents last Monday, September 14, and will be able to submit their bids on time Monday, September 28, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. at the Public Works Ministry on Lynch Street, Monrovia.

It must be made clear that architects, engineers and businesspeople need not apply. Public Works Minister Gyude Moore explained to the Daily Observer this week that in case of default in the execution of any contract, the Liberian government should be able to sue not an individual, but a registered business entity that can sue or be sued.

This is part of the rules of engagement with which Liberian contractors should always be able and ready to comply.

Liberian contractors should also realize that the advertisement of the bid was most likely published also in the Sierra Leonean media. So this bid is of an international nature.

That explains why firms from La Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal have competed and won bids in Liberia for road construction and other works.

There will be many such bids in the future. It therefore behooves all Liberian contractors to learn quickly and comprehensively the rules of the bidding process. This will enable them to compete successfully in any bid.

If and when a Liberian firm is successful in winning a contract, that firm must work diligently, efficiently, honestly and professionally to meet ALL the requirements of the contract, to the utmost satisfaction of the customer, be it an individual a company or agency or the government itself.

This is the only way a company gains its reputation and rating. Oh, that Liberian contractors would perform to the utmost satisfaction of their customers!

Whichever contractor earns such a reputation will not have to look too hard for work. Customers will always come looking for the firm. We recall that several Liberians and other contractors have failed in their work. The Jallah Town Road in Monrovia and the Belle Yealla Road come to mind.

Despite her age of 168 years, Liberia is considered one of the world’s least developed countries. So there is a lot of work to be done in this country. We need all the technicians and engineers we can get. This is why the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MOTC) are so important.

We hope that the managers of these institutions will do everything in their power to give their students the best possible instruction and training, so that they will be ready for the urgent task of nation building.

The Liberian government is called to prioritize education in general, especially vocational and technical education.

Needless to say, the government at this critical time needs to prioritize education at all levels – from nursery through university. This is the sine qua non (essential action, condition or factor) to national development.

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