…“If the work is not done, we will evaluate the portion they have done and we pay them and give the contract to a different company,” Senator Dillon
“I am not an engineer to defend EAST on its technical capabilities, but why would a government grant this amount road contract when it lacks the technical and financial capabilities to do road projects,” Ex-minister McGill said in a leaked WhatsApp message.
MONROVIA-Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillion said EAST International Company risks rigid action from the government if it does not carry out Roberts International Airport (RIA) Road Project as agreed.
The Senator spoke to New Republic over the weekend after several people complained about the poor performance of the RIA road project being carried out. He described the road work as a ‘Death Trap’ and said EAST lacks both the financial and technical capabilities to carry out such major highway work.
According to him, EAST international needs to hire another company to fast-track the work or risk tougher action.
Senator Dillon said, that when the contract was taken to the senate in 2020, he and other Senators like Oscar Cooper (former), Nyonble Kangar, and Sando Johnson (former), “we rejected that contract. That company did not show capacity, both technical and financial to do that major road. This year, I wrote the senate to bring our attention to that road. It is based on that, the Ministry of Public Works came out to speak.”
He continued: “Unless another company joins them, with both technical and financial capacity. I am further demanding to know how much we have paid already to EAST International.”
According to him, EAST was contracted to do Clay, Bomi to JayJuah, (the hometown of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) but they soon amended and asked EAST to do RIA road.
“Our argument was EAST International was given the contract to do neighborhood community roads, but to give them this major contract, they must show the technical and financial capacities. The technical details of doing community roads are not the same as doing major roads. You needed to show us the outcome of the feasibility studies.”
The contract was signed by the previous government of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
“If we find out that the company does not have both the technical and financial means, then we are under obligation to take the needful action.”
“Anytime I talk about the RIA road, they will get one person and put them in iron jacket to start doing something, holding shovel and digger to make people believe that they are working.”
You cannot damage both ends of the road at the same time. They just chakala the road. As it is done, If EAST is left with that road alone; it will be like that until 2029.
We have legal ramifications, for nonperformance; the contract can be canceled; since it is a pre-finance contract.”
“If the work is not done, we will evaluate the portion they have done and we pay them and give the contract to a different company.
But Senator Dillon’s reaction seems to have been earlier voiced out by former Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill who sent a communication to some of his close confidants. The message seen by some journalists called for a complete review of EAST International contract. But former Minister McGill’s message was out before the statement by Senator Dillon.
Part of the message from Ex-Minister McGill states: He “Put in context. EAST Road contact was rectified in 2017. The procurement, awarding of the contract, and rectification of 59M contract was done by the legislature in August 2017-two months to the election. The only road contract ever rectified, signed on September the 5th at 4:30 pm by president Sirleaf and published on September 7, 2017.
Another 19.95M grant East in January of 2019, totaling almost 79m.”
“I am not an engineer to defend EAST on its technical capabilities, but why would a government grant this amount of road contract when it lacks the technical and financial capabilities to do road projects. The current president with advice from the cabinet asked to amend the existing agreement with EAST International because the government could not borrow additional 116m. I think the legislature should call for a public hearing about this whole EAST contract,” his message sent to some of his confidants said.
When this paper contacted EAST for comment, the Chairman declined to answer. A text message was sent, but there was no response.
Also, when a text message was sent to the Ministry of Public Works’ communication department for comment, there was no response.