CICO Sets Record Straight

Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO), which is a specialized engineering performance in road network building and bridge construction, says its attention have been drawn to a series of negative articles published in the Front Page Africa newspaper, including its Monday July 14, 2014, Vol 8 No.635 edition, titled “Stormy Rainy Season Puts CICO, others Contractors Under Scrutiny,” suggesting that contractors have been “Exposed.”

In a press release issued yesterday, the company clarified that all projects awarded the company by the Government of Liberia and others international partners through the Ministry of Public Works were straightly and successfully carried out in line with specifications spelled out in the contract agreements.

The company described as “false and misleading” allegations suggesting that “in recent weeks there have been many motor accidents along the Red Light-Gbarngar high way because CICO failed to provide safety signs and detour routes according to the contract with the Government of Liberia.”

On the contrary, the company said flagman are currently posted along the highway and are seen using the required red and green flag for traffic control along with damaged ones regularly replaced while the replacement of damaged personnel protective equipment at Weala and Gbartala continues up till now.

The company expressed deep regret that the paper will attribute isolated incidents of motor accident to CICO, neglecting the fact that vehicles moving at high speed are currently running into safety drums painted white and black which are used along the highway to serve as a barricade at culvert construction sites for traffic control during road works.

Additionally, the company said safety agents are being assigned at various sites in the Weala section with 10 to 15 minutes briefings aimed at educating workers in each department on a daily basis while safety officers and agents monitor the site for unsafe practices, contrary to the Front Page Africa allegation that “the world Bank, International Monetary Fund, the European Union, African Development Bank, USAID, have been lax in allowing foreign contractors to construct sub-standard roads in Liberia”.

CICO said with the designed, rehabilitation and maintenance of the Red Light- Gbarnga highway and that of the Konola bridge by CICO, trade and commerce is expected to boom within a matter of time when the road is officially dedicated, thus allowing the free flow of traffic in that part of the country is a major international route.

Accordingly, the company said the highway project which contract agreement was entered into between CICO and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works seriously considers health, safety and environmental management plan as a working tool for the implementation of the project and is being made possible by the company’s health and safety team comprising local and international staffers.

The company maintained that CICO as a leading road construction company in Liberia respects all forms of human dignity and labor and will continue to respect the principal of fair play as has been demonstrated with all of its projects in the past.

Making the disclosure, CICO said it is therefore needless to create an ugly effigy of a company that has and continue to positively contribute to the reconstruction drive of post war Liberia, reiterating that it remains steadfast and will continue to respect the laws of Liberia as well as specifications spelled out in the contract agreements.

Similarly, the management of the company assured the public of its preparedness and willingness to successfully complete and turn over the Red Light- Gbarnga road project according to schedule and will continue to help in the reconstruction drive of post war Liberia.

CICO is expressing thanks and gratitude to all residents along the Red Light-Gbarngar Highway for the level of cordial working relationship and said that no resident will be victimized as a result of CICO’s work on the road project. CICO therefore called on the media to at all time seek proper inquiry from top level management of the project before going to publication.

The Ministry of Public Works has in recent days issued several pronouncements advising all Liberians who continue to build on drainage structure or swamp land to desist noting that such is creating more flooding problems in the country.