Liberian Contractors Will Be Prioritized

Minister Nyenpan deliberating at hearing
Minister Nyenpan deliberating at hearing
Photo Credit: MPW Public Affairs
-Mobutu Tells Senate Committee On Public Works 
“We will give priority to Liberian construction contractors and dedicate resources to the building of their capacity so as to enable them fairly compete with other companies in the industry”.
A Liberian professional engineer and prominent politician who was recently nominated to the post of Public Works Minister, Mr. Mobutu Nyenpan has promised to prioritize Liberian construction contractors in the awarding of infrastructure contracts. 
Mr. Nyenpan spoke on Thursday, February 15, 2018 when he appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Public Works for confirmation. 
As part of his strategy, he said he will dedicate resources and find workable means in building their capacity so as to enable them fairly compete with other companies in the industry. 
According to him, his quest to empower Liberian contractors was in line with President Weah’s statement that Liberian will not be mere spectators in the renew  economic drive to domesticate the country’s economy. 
Consistent with this policy, the Public Works Minister designate said, when confirmed his administration will also seek a renewed partnership with the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors as well as the Engineering Society of Liberia and the Chambers of Architects and Surveyors.
He however told his former colleagues that, despite his willingness to empower Liberian contractors, he will equally not compromise value for money, adding, his administration will vigorously monitor all projects and if need be, defaulting contractors will be compelled to refund taxpayers’ monies. 
It can be recalled that as part of measures to empower Liberian contractors, the Ministry of Public Works with support from GTZ established the Contractor Classification and Certification System (CCCS). The purpose of this system is to create a database for construction companies with specialized skills and logistics. The objective of the CCCS is to maximize economics of skills and efficiency in public works procurement process and obtain the best value for public money for transport and social infrastructure by pre-qualifying construction contractors in line with standards. 
In addition, the department of CCCS is to promote economic development through competition, establish qualification requirements for contractors’ registration in a free and fair environment for all potential bidders, operate an electronic information system that will be accessible to the public, and to contribute to the growth of indigenous Liberian private sector by building capacity towards better construction performance and management of construction contractors.
As a follow up to this system, the Ministry developed a Policy On Capacity Building, Subcontracting and Contract Supervision which reads “All Ministry of Public Works road contracts that are valued at Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$500,000.00) and above will require that at least twenty percent (20%) of the contract value be contracted to majority Liberian owned small businesses or contractors.” 
It is also specified in that policy that all Ministry of Public Works road contracts valued at Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States (US$250,000.00) and above require the contractor to hire at least two new Liberian engineering graduates or graduating seniors from local universities in the capacity of interns and provide at least four hundred hours of hands-on practical training to them.