Road construction has been identified as a key component of infrastructure development which is necessary for the enhancement of economic growth and prosperity of any nation, particularly a developing nation like Liberia.
While infrastructural development in road construction seems to provide an opportunity to further strengthen commercial ties between and among regions of a nation, road maintenance has also been identified as an additional endeavor which prolongs the lifespan of roads, keeping them safe and at most in a suitable form to allow subsequent economic activities.
The Vice President of the China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO Liberia) Zhang Sen, sees road maintenance as an important endeavor which must be prioritized by the Government of Liberia in its quest to link all regions of the country through road connectivity.
CHICO, Zhang told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in Monrovia, is dedicated to the provision of quality construction works in Liberia, believing that the projects the company has been doing over the years in Liberia embodies quality and durability, which he said is the priority of the entity.
Since its arrival in 2007, among other infrastructural projects, CHICO was instrumental in constructing the ELWA to Roberts International Airport road, the Cotton Tree to Buchannan, Grand Bassa County road as well as the Gbarnga to Ganta road, among several other projects.
Zhang noted that the development of roads, not only those constructed by CHICO, but other companies in Liberia, must be maintained over time, adding that “many contractors after they fix the road for certain time they need to sign another contract to maintain it, or else, after some years people will discredit the company for not doing a good job.”
Referencing the Gbarnga-Ganta road which was constructed by CHICO under a World Bank-funded project, Zhang informed LINA that the company signed a 10-year agreement under which it took two years to construct the road and an additional eight years to do maintenance.
According to him, the maintenance clause as enshrined in the contract will help preserve the road over time, thereby affording Liberians the opportunity to commute and engage in economic activities on a daily basis.
CHICO Liberia, like other Chinese companies, is dedicated to enhancing and building the capacities of the over 700 employees of the company.
Job training, Joseph N. Swen, who is CHICO’s Media Relations Officer, disclosed is the result of the lack of technical capacity in Liberia so the company made it its duty to train its employees on the job, noting that several Liberians are now able to do the jobs that were done only by Chinese contractors in the past.
Swen said this is the company’s own way of contributing to the human resource development of Liberia.
Meanwhile, Swen has assured that CHICO will continue to do all it can to help contribute to the infrastructural needs of Liberia through the provision of quality and affordable services.
“CHICO has been here since 2007, and CHICO is here to stay that is why we have secured a land where we want to build our regional headquarters. CHICO has been in existence for more than 30 years; we are in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, among other countries, keeping standard and professionalism always as our hallmark.”