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Parliament Exposes Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Others

Parliament Exposes Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Others

During a regional road oversight visits on Monday 19th October, 2020 in Bo, Kenema, Pujehun, and Kailahun, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Works and Public Assets uncovered mass variations and irregularities on the ongoing projects by the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) executed by sub-contractors including  SALINI, First TRICON, and CHICO among others as they fail to provide records ds.

The oversight visits was based on high variations and massive irregularities, discrepancies as well as inadequacies that had been impacting negatively on the part of SLRA undermining don’t funds towards the development of road trust and confidence.

Chairman of the Committee Hon. Basheru Silkie who also doubles as Deputy Leader of Government Business representing Constituency 082 Bo District in his statement noted that: oversight visits have uncovered several discrepancies regarding the manner in which SLRA has been handling issues bordering on the socio-economic national development.

He said that as a responsible Committee, they decided to construct the oversight function as part of their Constitutional mandate to monitor, supervise, and investigate SLRA, and their sub-contractors to better understand and explain how those discrepancies relating to the delay of the construction of Kandeh Town Bridge along the Bo Matru Jon among other things. He also noted that as Committee they discovered series of liability effects on the Kissy town road in Bo City, the Pendebu to Kailahun road by CHICO, the Blama road by First TRICON as well as Kenema contracted and constructed by SALINI which according to Chairman those roads should have been completed within the stipulated time frame March 2020, adding that; they also discovered that SLRA engineers of the various road projects the Deputy Director of operations Samuel Emmanuel Lewis and Francis Soloku Bockarie have caused serious problems for councils in terms of improper road infrastructural works.

Deputy Chairman Hon. Sheku Munirr Turay of Constituency 099 Pujehun District in his addressed stated that; SLRA, and the sub-contractors lacks proper coordination and adequate relevant information in terms of their operations to perform their work effectively and efficiently. He disclosed that; SLRA and its various road contractors were unable to define their expenditures whereas he said a lot of variations and adequacies among other things needed for further explanation in order to ascertain their investigation.

Meanwhile, the Committee also discovered and blamed SLRA that; there is not much company road designs as well as feasibility studies done on the road pointing out series of lapses such as lack of technical expertise on site among other things.

The Committee also further discovered several variations thereby lack of adequate proper records in terms of update and status report at all levels with timely and accurate information on commitments with regards to expenditure for road works and services for which “they”, SLRA responsible.

The Committee on its investigation also discovered that; SLRA deliberately failed to ensure site expatriates to ensure company sensitive designs are display including road signs and road markings, reflectors for vehicle drivers and as well as pedestrians particularly school children in certain villages and township crossing points as well as signs visible in most of the areas where  they are supposed to be but have nether been kept in their stores for no good reasons but SLRA engineers rather keep defending the contractors instead of the citizens.

The Committee also visited the CSE construction of three (3), Bridges include Sewe, Wanje and Moi river and as well as the rehabilitation of Badajuma road to MRU bridge projects, the Moyamba-Moyamba bridge project (Magbang bridge), as well as the Wellington, Masiaka highway respectively.

Amongst the SLRA sub-contractors present during the oversight were the Senegalese CSE Moyamba-Moyamba (M-M), resident engineer Abdulai Mbow, First TRICON, SALINI and CHICO.

In their response, they all confirmed and accepted all that was commented by way of concerns raised by the Committee describing them notwithstanding the huge challenges earlier stated including COVID-19 and the required materials but they assured and promised that they will have to tackle notwithstanding the time elapsed.

By: Ahmed Y. Turay

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