Sierra Leone has within a year or two witnessed rapid road construction from across various locations in the country, and that of which the Pendembu-Kailahun road project is not an exception. Having conducted site visit and pre-bidding, the bid opening also form part of the bidding process.
The bid opening brought together representatives from other government institutions, civil society groups, Sierra Leone Roads Authority and bidders dominating the ceremony.
Present among the bidders was China Railway International Group Company, CSE, China Railway 20th Bureau Group Limited, China Railway Seventh Group, Beijing Urban Construction Company Limited, China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CICO, CHICO, CFHECL, and the contractors of the first face of the project (Kenema-Pendembu) highway ISU Engineering and Construction Company Limited.
The Director Of Administration, Sierra Leone Roads Authority who acted as Chairman for the program Hassan Augustine Turay said the bid opening is not organized to witch hunt anybody, whilst noting that most of the bidders are presently implementing projects on behalf of their institutions and the country which in itself is an assurance that they would one day be a successful bidder, and therefore they must continue to be corporative as they might not tell when the day would come.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Director General, Sierra Leone Roads Authority Abdul Aziz Kamara said President Koroma has before now promised to make this country a works yard, and it is empirical that infrastructure is being made a priority under his government.
The people of Kailahun have suffered for far too long, he said, and noting that with the lots of gains meeting other people on various parts across the country, none has however not been replicated in Kailahun, and therefore noting that the road to Kailahun would surely be a thing of the past.
The bidders have gone through the pre-bidding process’ he said, whilst stating that the bid opening is not the last stage in the process and therefore adding that bidders must not see as it as an edge to grabbing the contract, as evaluation also has to be done, he said.
‘We are well engage with other pipeline project that needs urgent address’ he said, and noting adding that the bidding process is like a lottery, and urges the bidders to patient till the end of the process.
In his submission during the bid-opening ceremony, the Acting Director of procurement, Sierra Leone Roads Authority Amara Kanneh said the presence of consultant of the project is a clear indication that depicts the realization of the project. Even though the consultant was not present for the pre-bidding in Kailahun, yet their representatives formed part of the team that went to Kailahun, and they have always helped the authority in making decision that concerns the project, Mr. Kanneh said.
Submitting the lowest bid does not automatically qualifies a bidder as the winner he said, whilst noting that at SLRA they do not give contract but rather they award contract to bidders. He explains more on their projected qualification upon the completion of the bid opening.
Mr. Kanneh said having ten bidders in the bid-opening is a clear indication of inclusiveness in the process, and that that the process strictly counts on quality work.
He however assured resident of Kailahun that come March of this year, the contractor of the country would have been ready to kick starts the operation.
The ceremony was climax with the disclosure of the bidding document that were submitted by the bidders, of which majority of the bidders submitting their bid prices in dollars and a few others submitting theirs in our local currency.