By Charles B. Yates
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works will shortly install a weighbridge on the Buchana Highway. The weighbridge will boost the government of Liberia’s revenue generation process.
A weighbridge scale is a large set of scales, usually mounted permanently on a concrete foundation, which will be used to weigh entire rail or road vehicles and their contents. By weighing the vehicle both empty and when loaded, the load carried by the vehicle can be calculated.
This paper has hinted that the company which was awarded the contract to purchase the weighbridge and install it has worked out all the modalities and is ready to carry out the installation but is waiting for the government to give the go ahead. The technicians have arrived in the country already to construct the weighbridge.
Recently there have been media reports that the procurement process for the awarding of the contract of the weighbridge was characterized by malpractices but investigation conducted by this paper has revealed that the process was transparent. The government of Liberia in its project budget allotted about US$195,000 for the construction of a weighbridge for revenue generation.
According to the INQUIRER’s investigation, there is only one company in Liberia with the expertise to construct a weighbridge and that company is a Liberian owned company. Based upon that, the Ministry of Transport wrote the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) requesting that the contract be single sole to West Africa Construction. This is the same company that constructed the weighbridge at the Free Port of Monrovia where revenue is being generated hugely.
Our investigation further revealed that all arms of the government of Liberia with oversight to the process including the Ministry of Finance, Justice and Transport signed the contract based on a bank guarantee provided the G. T Bank on behalf of the vendor. “This indicates transparency and accountability, so how can someone claim corruption? The ball is now in the government of Liberia’s court; once they can identify the spot to install the weighbridge the company will begin the construction exercise,” the Transport Ministry source asserted.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Railroad, Abu Kamara, has clarified that at no time did he participate in any procurement process to award the weight bridge contract to the vendor. “I am not on the procurement committee. I am a senior management team (SMT) member so I attend meetings and this is how I know about these things. We meet and make decisions for the ministry,” Minister Kamara explained.
He said people are trying to be personal and political because of a person’s interest and that those who are spreading the lies have sinister motives not related to the weighbridge contract.