Why Dodge the Unit Cost? Balogun Must Open the Bus Package!
The unit cost of our hundred new buses seems to have become a secret society that must never be exposed to anybody else apart from its members. The unit cost has metamorphosed into a package that our Transport Minister is reluctant to open.
While being interviewed by Parliament yesterday, July 22nd, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, either consciously or unconsciously, evaded telling parliament the actual unit cost of the buses; all he could tell the curious MPs was that the 100 new buses came with a big cost package that he refused to open to the peoples representatives.
Earlier, the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, Bockarie Lewis, also cleverly escaped the unit cost of the buses while being interviewed over the weekend by Dr. David Tam Baryoh on the Popular and widely-listened Monologue Program. Dr. Baryoh applied all available tactics to cajole Mr. Lewis to disclose the unit cost of the buses but to no avail. Lewis insisted that the unit cost of the buses did not matter but the attendant package which he did unveil.
Do Sierra Leoneans not have the constitutional right to know the unit cost of the 100 buses purchased for them via a loan on their behalf? I am beginning to suspect that there are dreadful skeletons in the procurement cupboard that is why the unit cost of the buses continues to be a very a secret society.
What has aroused my suspicion the more is the fact that total cost of the buses, 12m US Dollars, revealed by the Transport Minister is in complete concordance with the total cost disclosed by the Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray.
Therefore, there is also the highest possibility that the concealed unit cost, if uncovered, will also be in total agreement with the unit cost revealed by Kamarainba. There is need for Parliament to lead a delegation to China to find out the unit cost to prove Kamarainba right or wrong. The citizens must know the true unit cost of the buses, why hide it?
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