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Contractor complains USAID

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A local construction firm named Semoh Group of Companies has complained to the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia that USAID allegedly advertised a Biomas project already signed and gave it to another company without due notice while the contract was still in effect.

In the complaint, Semoh Group of Companies’ Administrative Officer James Mator claims to have signed a contractual agreement for the construction of the Kwendin Biomas Electricity Pilot project on May 1, 2014 in the tune of US$296,535.56.

But the complainant alleged that the contract was modified on July 18, 2014 with an additional cost of US$82,507.80, allegedly increasing the contract value to US$379,043.37. The complaining company is alleging that the contract initially had a duration from May 1 to September 30, 2014; but claimed that due to the Ebola crisis here, it was extended to October 14, 2014.

Semoh claims to have obtained a Performance Security Bond from Africa Insurance Company of Liberia in the tune of US$59,307.13 in order to implement the contract, as well as an overdraft facility from the Afriland First Bank in the tune of US$150,000.

They claimed that Winrock International had told them to obtain overdraft from Afriland First Bank in the tune of US$150,000 in order to be qualified for the contract. “… And out of this amount, Semoh Group of Companies paid an amount of … (US$97,000.00) to All Power Labs (ALP) of USA as payment for three Gasifiers units in the contract,” the company alleges.

It says additional US$30,000 payment was made against US$78,757 for poles and cables from Richmond Company in Ghana. The company claims that the Kwendin Biomas Project was still under its control, and that they have deployed huge quantity of resources including man power who were carrying out the construction work when USAID “without” colour of right decided to advertise the contract without the consent of the plaintiff.

The complainant claim to incur huge debts as a result of the overdraft facility that they obtained from Afriland First Bank with the anticipation that upon completion of the project, the overdraft would have been paid to the bank.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited Othello B. Garblah

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