The Informer (Monrovia)

19 February 2013

Liberia: Capacity Gap Chokes Liberian Engineers - World Bank States

The Liberia Country Office of the World Bank has stressed the need for more trained road engineers for the country.

Addressing journalists recently at the Bank Liberia's Office in Manba Point, Monrovia, the Country Manager for the institution Inguna Doboraja said Liberian engineers are not yet adequately up to the task to build and maintain the country's road network. She described this as a major gap for country's road infrastructure development.

Madam Doboraja asserted that the Bank takes into consideration building the capacity of Liberian engineers as very serious so that they will be able to maintain the road infrastructure development that are currently been funded by the Bank.

The Bank has pumped in at least US$450 million in the country's road infrastructure development. Some of these road projects have been completed, some ongoing while others are yet to begin.

Madam Doboraja furthered that foreign engineers may not always be the ones hired to always build and maintain Liberia's roads, but Liberian themselves should take up the challenge and be the architects and implementers of a kind of quality roads they will like to see in their country.

Meanwhile, Madman Doboraja has named some of the Bank's funded projects as Monrovia -Buchanan Highways, reconstruction of the collapsed Old Bridge in Vai Town, rehabilitation of Monrovia City streets, revamping of the Pleebo-Barclaville Road, and the Gbarnga- Ganta-Guinea Border which is yet to be started.

According to Madam Deboraja, the road projects are funded by the Bank in accordance with the Government of Liberia's priority.

"Liberia's Major highways have been or are under full rehabilitation, providing for major commercial and transit routes within the country and connection with other countries in the region," she stated.

She furthered that, "the port sector has been restructured, involving the setting up of successful, landlord port authority and concessioning of Monrovia's Port on public private partnership basis. Roberts International Airport was upgraded with navigational aeronautical, meteorological and security equipment."

Madam Doboraja asserted that the International Development association (IDA) has helped the Liberian Government introduce long-term road asset management concept, using output and performance based contracting on main corridors from Monrovia to Guinea Border, and from Monrovia to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

These projects, according the Madam Doboraja, have also systematically financed rebuilding of institutional capacity by building up the infrastructure implementation unit located at the Public Works Ministry which is programmed to form the nucleus of a future Road agency or authority of Liberia.

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