Rivercess Senator Calls for Review of ELWA-RIA Road Construction Contract

Capitol Building, Monrovia – -River Cess County Senator Wellington Geevon-Smith is calling on the Liberian government to review the Pre-Financing Agreement with East International Company, the company that is currently constructing the ELWA-RIA Road.

According to him, the US$116m cost for the pavement of the ELWA-RIA Road is not practical.

The agreement said the road corridor leading to the Roberts International Airport to the ELWA Junction totals 45 kilometers with the cost of US$116 million, something the senator said needs revision.

Speaking to legislative Reporters Tuesday at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, the former Superintendent of Rivercess County now Senator stressed that based on the report and recommendations from the Ministry of Public Works, the Liberian government should recheck the contract.

The Rivercess County Lawmaker’s call is in reference to Public Works Minister Ruth Cooker-Collins’ admittance before the Senate that East International, the company lacks the capacity to implement said project.

Minister Cooker-Collins made the startling revelation on Monday when she appeared before the Senate’s Committee on Public Works to provide status report on the construction of the RIA highway.

He added that one of the key recommendations contained in the Minister’s report submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Works was the Ministry’s observation which gathered that the company does not have both the financial and technical capacities to implement the road.

Senator Geevon-Smith calculated the 45km road which costs US$116 million that each kilometer costs US$2.5 million, adding that such a contract is not practical void of political sentiment.

“I recommend to the Government of Liberia to review the East International Company due to the statement from the Minister of Public works” he said.  This one is no politics inside’’ he noted.

The Rivercess County Senator has however predicted that failure on the part of national government to review the Pre-Financing Agreement with the contractor, the ELWA-RIA road corridor will take many years instead of the projected 2024 to be complete.

Earlier Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon had raised the red flag seeking the review of the contract awarded to East International for the construction of the RIA highway.

According to Senator Dillon, it is visible that East International lacks the financial and technical capabilities to construct such a major road.

The ELWA-RIA road which connects the Roberts International Airport with Liberia’s two metropolitan cities of Paynesville and Monrovia, is the busiest road corridor in Liberia. Liberians celebrated the announcement of its construction to a modern four-lane road by the Government of Liberia.

However, they have been huge public disenchantment over the ongoing construction project, with has been described as a death trap.

By Emmanuel Toe

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