By Ethel A Tweh
The Minister of Public Works-designate, Roland Giddings says the ELWA-RIA corridor is complicated and requires an audit to dig deeper into some reported issues surrounding the project. The corridor provides access to the nation’s Roberts International Airport in Harbel, Margibi County.
Since winning the contract under the former Weah administration for the expansion of the highway, there have been multiple concerns about the contractor East International’s ability to implement the multimillion-dollar contract, especially in the absence of equipment.
During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Public Works on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, Mr. Giddings said there have been issues about the ongoing construction of the major route inherited by the Unity Party administration.
He told the committee chaired by Senator Albert Chie of Grand Kru County that if confirmed by the Liberian Senate, a visit to the project site would be one of his first engagements to examine the complicated nature of the exercise.
According to him, the construction work has been very effective and speedy since the conduct of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, expressing hope that the quality or standard of the corridor is seriously considered.
The nominee promised to initiate a comprehensive audit to fully understand what the project really is and digest all of the issues it is surrounded by.
“I hope that the quality or standard is taken seriously but we will audit the project and see what that project is; there are some issues but I don’t have all the details so if you get me confirmed as minister, I will come back to you with what the project looks like and provide some of the details that you are asking for”, he promised.
EAST International is implementing the construction of a 45km four-lane road from ELWA Junction to the Roberts International Airport, costing up to US$101 million.
At the close of the hearing, Committee Chair, Senator Albert Chie, thanked the nominee for appearing before the august body. Editing by Jonathan Browne