Two Chinese companies operating in the country have expressed their commitment in ensuring that they construct durable roads and contribute meaningfully to the country’s reconstruction efforts.
CHICO and CICO, addressing a joint news conference during the weekend also denied reports of bad labor practices and reiterated that they are operating in line with the country’s labor laws.
For his part, the General Manager of CICO, Mr. Fu Liang Quan said, “In the past few months, we were publicly accused of bad labor practices towards Liberian employees. Despite clarifications through several newspapers, the accusation still remains. Today, we make this clarification again.”
The CICO Boss said his company is paying their employees far above the minimum wage set by the Government of Liberia via the Ministry of Labor. He also noted that labor cost in their contract price is guided and based on the minimum wage regulated in Liberian labor law.
He said apart from the cash salary the company’s Liberian employees receive, they also have various remuneration which include house allowance, food allowance, free medical services and on the job training program.
“Right now, we have a total of 572 Liberian employees who are benefiting from the paying package. We will continue respecting the labor laws of Liberia as well as honoring all specifications in the contract agreement with the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public works,” Mr. Quan said.
“Labor issues impact both the employer and the employee; concerns attached to these issues which were raised by different parties, and which were carried and published by the media will greatly influence the public opinions,” he stated.
He further said, “CICO will always endeavor to provide good road construction services while creating job opportunities for Liberians. We shall highly appreciate if we will be allowed an amicable social environment to enable us to concentrate on our work. We always welcome you to visit our construction sites.”
The CICO Boss added, “CICO appreciates the effort contributed by the company’s Liberian employees. We also know that without their contribution, it will be difficult for us to make tremendous progress in the on-going project. Of course, we shall continue to provide training opportunities for our Liberian employees, because we remain committed to the rebuilding of Liberia, and after all, it is good to give a man fish; however it is better to teach him fishing.”
Also speaking at the news conference, CHICO’s Administrator and Media Relation Officer, Mr. Joseph N. N. Swen said since CHICO’s inception in Liberia 2007, the company has significantly served as a true partner in the rebuilding of the war-torn Liberia.
He said due to CHICO’s professional design capacity, strong technology and outstanding construction expertise and its liberalization policy of prioritizing the total involvement of its Liberian Staff, CHICO has become a household name in the construction, engineering and infrastructural business area in Liberia.
He said for this Liberia can now boast of an internationally standardized and approved road precisely the Cotton-Buchanan Highway which Liberians and other users continue and would never stop praising as the best road ever in the history of the country.
“Prior to this latest project, CHICO as Liberia’s true partner in infrastructural development, was tasked with the responsibility to provide emergency remedy for the deplorable road condition in and outside of Monrovia which seriously and unbearably impeded the smooth flow of vehicular traffic, and as a result created an economic sabotage during the early stage of post war Liberia. Projects when successfully done, gave the City of Monrovia and its environs a laudable facelift, citing a free flow of vehicular traffic and sense of relief to commuters,” Swen stated.
Mr. Swen further said, “CHICO, being the best amongst the rest in road construction, continues to embark on innumerable projects. CHICO has timely completed the Highway between Cotton Tree to Buchanan City. Also at the verge of completion are the SKD Boulevard and Clara Town projects.”
He said with the standard of professionalism and modernization, CHICO has applied on the various projects, there is no doubt that Liberians would wish CHICO wins and be contracted for all future road projects in the Country.
“Evident to this, Liberians and their development partners could not hold back their sentiment of satisfaction when CHICO partook and eventually announced as the winner (Lowest Evaluated and Responsive Bidder) of the bidding process of the Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea Road Rehabilitation and the Caldwell Bridge Construction Projects respectively within the period of one month,” the CHICO Media relation head said.
Touching on the company’s Corporate-Social Responsibility, Mr. Swen said due to its post-war infrastructural development, the Society for the Promotion of Peace, National Reconciliation and Reunification in Liberia, a pro-democracy peace building civil organization recognized the massive contribution CHICO continues to make in Liberia, and awarded CHICO a Certificate of Recognition.
He also noted that Beijing River of Grace International Church appreciated and awarded CHICO for their partnership in helping the Children of Faith Orphanage in Grand Bassa Country, Liberia.
“CHICO had and continues to immensely contribute to numbers of orphanage homes in Liberia, notable amongst the many, is the Children of Faith Orphanage Home in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. CHICO on major National Holidays, contributed food items to communities in which it operates in appreciation of the locals’ apparent cooperation,” Mr. Swen disclosed.
He said with its quest of infrastructural development in Liberia, CHICO believes that not only should Liberia achieve infrastructural development but that Liberians should be educationally developed and prepared to minimize if not eradicate their sole and or over reliance on foreign expertise as it yearns toward post-war socio-economic and infrastructural revival.
“It is in this light, CHICO is astronomically and willingly contributing and has become a greater financier to the Liberia society as part of its corporate-social responsibility to an ongoing scholarship scheme involving other Chinese entities doing business here in Liberia, a scheme which is footing the sponsorship of hundreds of Liberian students at various tertiary and universities.