NASSIT Ferries Storm Backâ€¦Internationally Certified!
The stormy NASSIT ferry issue that has unwarrantedly become central media attraction has now finally been laid to rest as the few repairs they needed on them have now been fixed and have been internationally certified to be seaworthy and ready to ply the seas; according to a news meeting with Sierra Express Media.
Sources from Lloyds Shipyard, a company with an excellent maritime pedigree that spans over a century and currently undertaking operation in Dakar Senegal, have revealed that the few structural arrangements that were to be done on the ferries have now been completed and will soon land on the shores of Sierra Leone, ready to rescue the sea transportation needs of the people of Sierra Leone as was originally intended by the Trust.
It could be recalled that in 2008 the Trust found the need to invest in riverine transportation, particularly given the hazardous situation passengers face between the Lungi, Government Wharf and Tragrin shuttle.
When the Board of the Trust sold this idea to key stakeholders that represented members of the public, the contributing members and members of the civil society in the country, studies were jointly carried out to find out how the idea could be actualized.
In late 2008, the said two sea vessels; now dubbed NASSIT Ferries were purchased through a broker, Daemen shipyard. One of the vessels is a passenger only while the other carries both passengers (about 150) and vehicles (about 80 cars).
It must however be noted that these vessels were not bought new and so needed some work in terms of safety and structural work to bring them to international standard which NASSIT made very clear right from the beginning. The work was done by Daemen with a comprehensive scope work given to them. On completion of the job Sierra Express has found out, the Trust hired the services of Lloyds Shipyard from the UK to inspect the work done.
On inspection documents show that a few structural and safety work necessities were identified as not being done and further proof have it that Board and management sought the services of a maritime organization in the sub region to undertake the works.
International tenders were put out and three companies bid; one from Senegal, Dakar, another from Ivory Coast and the third from Ghana, Tema. The bid was won by the Dakar company. At present the vessel MV Bai Bureh is docked in Dakar having undergone the recommended works to be done by Lloyds. The ferry is expected to be back in the shortest possible time.
It must also be noted that the Trust by findings made in no way contradicted procurement rules and made sure all stakeholders were brought onboard to ensuring the wish of the people were adequately represented. Civil society activists this press talked to see no reason as to why NASSIT must be solely responsible for act that was everybodyâ€™s initiative and was done in apt public interest.
NASSIT it must be noted, has gained a credibility for what could be called responsible investment, taking every care to invest monies of the contributors to the trust and has never been found wanting until this small glitch that has now been blown to casting shadows over the whole good works ventures of the Trust.
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