GPRS/GPS Set to Transform Transportation, security Sectors in Sierra Leone
As the Transportation and security sectors continued facing inescapable challenges in doing business, the Corporation General Services Agency (CGSA) engagement with stakeholders in the security and transportation sectors for the introduction of the Global Positioning Recognition System (GPRS) in line with the Global Positioning System (GPS) in Sierra Leone is at advanced stage.
This was brought to the attention of the media at a meeting which drawn participants from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA), staff of CGSA, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS), SLRA, SLRTC, SRSA, Drivers Union, Bike Riders Union, Passengers Welfare Association and among others was held at the MTA Conference Room, Youyi Building in Freetown on Friday, 18th March 2022.
In his presentation, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Morrison K. Foday described CGSA as a youth led organization with strong ICT background which would have to play active role an integral role in the field of transportation and security sector in the country, adding that “Sierra Leone generally depend on the security apparatus for their daily activities and with the GPS put in place would emotionally become a key security apparatus”.
Mr. Foday maintained that the Global Positioning System was very organized because he said, after a vehicle had been registered with the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, the GPS would be fixed in it. He discussed that the GPS is not only reducing traffic congestion to fast track the movement of vehicle and pedestrians but would also reduce incidents of thievery and kidnapping if located in a street of fixed at home.
The CEO informed his audience that they were in close talks with their partners in Dubai, United State of America (USA) for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, noting that they had already signed an agreement with United Kingdom (UK) in terms of supplying the equipment and mentioned that Turkey would also come in to supply the sound system.
“We are now waiting for Government recognition and signing of agreement with partners to kick start the program”, he stated and continued that the GPS would help Sierra Leoneans to secure their homes and made them feel safe and always secured. He said the destination of a passenger or customers would be known because all the information of the vehicle including the number plate and address of the final destination of a passenger would be tracked by the Office of National Security (ONS) who are going to monitor and control the system.
Mr. Foday discussed that even someone take a bike at night would be safer through constant monitoring of their system and dilated further that CGSA is grateful to the Ministry of Transport and Aviation for the robust support and attention they have been accorded them since the start of the project with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He said since the project is in line with MTA, the current Minister of Transport and Aviation had given it all the required attention it deserves and emphasized that the Sierra Leone Police wanted the project to be implemented because it help reduce traffic congestion especially in Freetown. The CEO observed that, when there is high traffic congestion, drivers inflated transportation fares on poor people and sensitized that the street GPS will be under Government supervision, while stating that the one fixed at home is called house GPS and would be supervised by private individuals. “Even when a house is about to be engulfed or consumed by fire, the GPS would pick it up for quick solution.
Mr. Foday said the GPS would be accessible by the general public and discussed that if stakeholders in the transport and security sector continue coming together, we shall achieve our aim at making the system be embraced or useful to everyone for the protection and safety of all.
Talking on behalf of ONS, The Protective Security Expert, Nabie A. Kamara observed that the constant flow of electricity was necessary in the full implementation of the GPS scheme, but the CEO had earlier made it very clearly that they relied mainly on solar system in their operations, not largely depends from electricity supply.
Kamara maintained that the road congestion, lack of traffic lights and above all, poor planning city may affect the normal execution of the project and he spoke on the important of surveillance and monitoring of car theft.
Mr. Mohamed Zoker from the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) described the initiative as brilliant and had the full support of the Corporation, assuring that they were going to use dedicated route for the good implementation of the project.
Mr. Zoker updated listeners the General Manager for SLRTC was out of the country to buy buses for the operation of the corporation and expressed gratitude to CGSA for taking the project to the management of SLRTC.
The PRO for the Drivers Union, Mohamed Kaindaneh expressed hope that the justification which the system is going to enhance would help to guide drivers, adding that he was happy not only for the transparency and accountability which the system is going to enhance in the transportation industry, but it also a neutral development and welcomed idea for the whole country. “The system is going to be useful among private people that purchase public transport and give to drivers”, he stated and described public transport as a broad area which always needed Government and stakeholders’ involvement and encouraged citizens to make good use of the opportunity to enjoy permanent freedom and protection.
Representative of the Bike Riders Union spoke about the way and manner bike riders have been manhandled and molested with no justification and nodded his head in approval that with the introduction of the GPS, the prevailing harassments and lies against bike riders will be addressed and they will start to breath sigh of relief.
He discussed that their membership has signed documents to register their bikes under the Smart City to help address transport and security issues in the country and assured that they are readily willing to work with any development partner as far as the positive transformation of the sector is concerned.
Representative of the Sierra Leone Police, the Admin Officer Traffic, Central Police Station, ASP Alimamy Koroma said they were happy for what he described as new development because it will bring lasting solution to security matters and discussed that they have the mandate to arrest and detain and he encouraged CGSA and players in the sector to decentralize the program by taking it to the provinces.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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