Lebanese Overshadowed Liberian Contractors On Gov’t Owned Projects – GNN Investigation Uncovered

 

PX credit: FPADespite of promises made by the 24th President of Liberia, George Manner Weah during his inaugural address said “As we open our doors to all foreign direct investments, we will not permit Liberian-owned businesses to be marginalized. We cannot remain spectators in our own economy. My government will prioritize the interests of Liberian-owned businesses and offer programs to help them become more competitive and offer services that international investors seek as partners,” President Weah during that brilliant address assured his fellow Liberians.

The Liberian leader assurance seems not to publicly being actualized in the interest of his compatriots, many of whom who are also strafing to overwhelmingly compete with their foreign competitors, mainly the Lebanese in the construction industry who are now believed to have taken the center stage in receiving all lucrative government owned contracts, while Liberian contractors lacking behind without a single contracts being given them.

Our investigation has uncovered that many of the presidential contracts including the Fourteen Military Hospital, and others have been awarded to a Lebanese businessman, owned construction company, the Bitta Construction Company owned by one Mohamed Bitta who is believed to be a friend of the Liberian leader, Ali Kobiessi of Building Materials Center (BMC)  is reportedly being contracted to revamp the VIP terminal at the RIA.

According to the investigation, Both Bittar and Ali of BMC are also said to be involved in construction of several of President Weah’s private properties including the reconstruction of the 9th Street property, the Jamaica Lodge Resort, and what is believed to be his dream house near the Baptist Seminary on the Roberts field highway, while qualified Liberian engineers are being left behind.

According to a local daily published recently quoting the PPCC, the Bittar Construction Company was awarded the contract for the supply of building materials worth US$2,977,230.31 for the construction of the 14 Military Hospital.

Both Bittar and Ali of BMC are also said to be involved in construction of several of President Weah’s private properties including the reconstruction of the 9th Street property, the Jamaica Lodge Resort, and what is believed to be his dream house near the Baptist Seminary on the Roberts field highway, latest information gathered has uncovered that Bittar was also awarded the Doe Community road contract.

Some Liberian contractors who spoke to this outlet have all expressed disappointment in President Weah despite of his promise made that Liberians who have benefited from his government by awarding contracts but instead this has proven to the contrary, a situation the indicated has the ability to discourage Liberian owned contractors to abandon their professional careers as trained construction engineers and turn to another career.

President Weah must come to the rescue of his compatriots, the Liberian construction companies to also award them lucrative contracts, they also have employed dozens of Liberians who are depending on them to feel their respective families, as it is done to their Lebanese counterparts.

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About Cholo Brooks 7818 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.