Parliament squeezes road contractors
The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Works and Technical Maintenance on Monday 15th July summoned four road constructors and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) to answer to questions regarding their contractual performances in their various areas of responsibility. This according to the committee members is in complement of the effort of His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on road infrastructure.
The Committee Chairman Hon. Kombor Kamara of Constituency 56 in the Port-Loko District said that the selected Committee Members of Parliament (MPs) summoned the various contractors to inquire about their performances and to foster efficiency and effectiveness to meet the growing demand for good road network across the country.
Hon. Kombor Kamara first of all expressed appreciation for the turnout of the contractor including the Director General of SLRA Mr. Munda Rogers who awards contracts.
He explained that the committee was constrained to summon road contractors in a bid to be better informed on the basis of their performance and to caution them on the need to work within their required deadlines. Hon. Kombor Kamara pointed out that the meeting further seeks to deepen Parliament’s understanding of contractual arrangements and to explore the challenges facing their various operations. The committee inspected contractors documents such as Business Registration Certificate, Valid Registration License, Evidence of Payment of National Social security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) and Evidence of Payment of National Revenue Authority (NRA) etc.
The contractors and engineers from the different companies and enterprises claimed to have completed 75% of their jobs and boasted of an effective work force including permanent and casual staffs and also seasoned engineers to fast tract the work to meet their respective deadlines.
Contractors unanimously agreed that the meeting with the Parliamentary Oversight Committee is of great significance and timely. They entreated Honorable Members of Parliament to facilitate payments of contract funds in time as this is the biggest challenge contractors are faced with.
In his contribution, the Director General of SLRA Munda Rogers reacted that he has suffered a series of accusations and allegations of being a rich man because he is the awarder of road contracts and most of these contracts are being awarded to the Senegalese company CSE. The Director General debunked these aspersions stating that the Senegalese are often the highest bidder of contracts and bidding is mostly done by technical experts.
Rogers bemoaned that bidding process is often tedious and in some instances he is forced to travel abroad to verify bidding documents of these foreign companies.
The committee has however proposed a feasibility visit of the various sites to have a first hand knowledge of what is going on.
Contractors present included Ram Construction Enterprises with Samuel Gborie as proprietor, M.Y. Lans Trading of Yabome Lansana, Yorma Engineering Service led by Shar Enjima Sessie and the CSE Construction Company.
By Mohamed Yusuf Turay
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