By Hayal Alemayehu : Reporter
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) has instructed Midroc Ethiopia Project Office (MEPO) to consult with it when recruiting foreigners for the scores of projects it is currently undertaking in the country. MEPO, which about a year ago took over several projects from Midroc Construction, has been in the processes of recruiting thousands of Filipinos to speed up the host of projects the latter failed to execute according to schedule, informed sources told The Reporter.
With about 350 Filipinos currently busy with MEPO’s projects including the AU hotel building, the company is about to finalize preparations to recruit thousands more, according to the sources.
MEPO’s desire to take on additional foreign workers has given rise to anxiety among local employees as the Filipinos have taken over a number of tasks, such as carpentry and masonry works, that had been undertaken by them.
Prompted by a raft of complaints on the matter, the ministry has instructed MEPO to let it know and consult with it about the profile of foreign workers and what kind of task they will be assigned to before it starts processing works permits for them, the sources said.
“The ministry believes that jobs that do not need a special skill or knowledge and can be done by Ethiopians should preferably not be outsourced,” said an official in the ministry. “The ministry therefore has ordered MEPO to liaise with it before it recruits foreigners. It has issued instructions to this end.”
MEPO is in a rush to speed up projects lagging behind schedule including the Piazza City Center, which has yet to rise from the ground after 13 years despite the various reasons attributed to the delay.
Engaged in contracting and management services, MEPO has been busy importing brand new machineries and tools for the execution of these projects.
There is a long list of planned projects in Midroc Construction’s plate which have failed to take off from the drawing board and be realized on the ground.
Headed by an expatriate, MEPO “is struggling to breath a new life” into these projects, sources said.
Repeated attempts to get comments from of MEPO officials were not successful.