Construction work on the Ganta-Yekepa highway in Nimba County commences shortly as equipment needed to jump start the project have arrived in the country ready for operation, CSE authorities have said.
Compagnie Senegaise d’Entre-prises’ (CSE), a Senegalese company with over 40 years of construction experience in several African countries won the bid for the road project to link the commercial city of Ganta to Nimba’s Capital Sanniquellie on to the concession and border entry of Yekepa to the rest of the country.
The project, which is not captured under the National Budget and Arccelor Mittal concession, came as an initiative of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s promise in association with Arccelor Mittal.
Speaking at the arrival of the equipment in Monrovia, CSE Project Manager, Mr. Aliou G. Niasse, stressed the importance of quality road development in Liberia, adding; “Road development is significant to Liberia’s economic growth and prosperity and, of course, the road sector plays a pivotal role in the country’s development agenda today.”
Though shipping materials required for the project was a major factor due to the Ebola pandemic here, Mr. Niasse however disclosed that his company had to rent a war ship at the cost of US$500,000 “just to deliver the equipment to Liberia and in time for the project.”
“The equipment that you see now is a quarter of the equipment needed for the project. It’s the equipment that will be used for earthworks and crushing of rocks, which is the first stage of the project execution”, he said, and added: “We have already ordered more equipment for the other stages of work from Europe. We were facing problems with the shipping due to the situation with Ebola, but since things are relatively going on well; we expect that the shipping from Europe will no longer be a problem.”
According to hi, the aim is to complete the mobilization of the remaining equipment during the upcoming rainy season, so that it will be here and ready to work for the next dry season.
The human resources aspect of the project remains cardinal to the success and viability of the work, and as such, CSE announced that it has instituted an achievable in collaboration with the Office of Nimba County Superintendent in order to get the locals involved at every level.
“The Superintendent office has set up commission to find Liberian workers for various positions on the project. If we are unable to find any suitable candidates locally, we will then look nationally or internationally to fill the positions,” Naisse declared.
Relative to the issue of sub-contracting local firms in said direction, CSE disclosed that it has already sub-contracted ADI Contractors, a Liberian-owned firm to collaborate in executing the project.
For his part, Liberia’s Public Works Minister, Gyude Moore, Sr., has lauded President Sirleaf for the initiative.
Minister Moore expressed confidence in the ability of CSE to construct “quality road” in the country.
The hallmark of Public Works is ‘quality,’ Moore said, and stressed that providing quality roads to Liberia is a matter of importance to the Ministry to the point that a South African firm has been hired to monitor the project to ensure that value for money is realized.
This is CSE first contract with Liberia, the Public Works boss indicated. “I’m happy that CSE is involved with this project and we expect CSE to produce quality.”
On behalf of the Legislature, Senator Oscar Cooper stressed the need for local content participation in the project. He maintained that the Senate takes seriously, the issue of Liberians’ participation in these processes; something he said will boast the local economy.
Founded 1970, the West African owned company has had footprints in several African nations since 1983 and this first Liberian project stands to pave the way for future projects based on performance.
The company has left its marks in Burkina Faso, Mali, The Gambia, Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Benin and most recently in next-door Guinea and Sierra Leone and is now making its long-anticipated entry into Liberia.
In Mali, the company is credited with the construction of the Manantali dam, which serves Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, prompted the Malian government to award the company the Markala/Niono road.