President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed satisfaction regarding several ongoing development projects she inspected while attending the National Vision 2030 National Convention in Gbarnga, Bong County. En route to Monrovia on Sunday afternoon, President Sirleaf made a brief stopover at an asphalt plant in Weala, Margibi County, set up for the reconstruction of the Monrovia-Gbarnga highway.
Inspecting the road equipment, President Sirleaf said she was impressed at the momentum and was eager for the reconstruction of this major highway to start. Meeting with local employees of CICO, the Chinese company that will be constructing the road, the President urged them to be patient because the government will do all within its means to protect their labor rights throughout the project.
President Sirleaf made this comment in reaction to claims by the Liberian workers that they are underpaid as compared to their Chinese counterparts. She thanked the workers, first, for peacefully channeling their concerns, but added: "Let me tell you, before a baby walks, it has to crawl first, and this goes with this road construction. We have not even started yet, and you have started complaining. Please cooperate with the company as we start the project soon."
Mr. Victor Smith, Deputy Minister of Public Works earlier briefed the President on the progress made, informing her that physical work on the highway itself will commence next week. He added that the Ministry of Finance has released compensation funds for those whose houses are being demolished to pave the way for the reconstruction and expansion of the highway.