The Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Minister of Finance Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Works and Public Assets and the Director-General of Sierra Leone Roads Authority has on Wednesday 9th September 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with several road construction companies for the financing of forty-one critical roads rehabilitation of City and Provincial Township Roads.
These roads include Mayenkineh Road, Orugu Bridge, Sackville Street, Lucas Street, A.J Momoh, Macauley Street (Murray Town), Leicester Road (Berry Street), Internal FBC Road Network, Main Juba Road, Parsonage Street, Tiama Junction-Njala University, Internal Njala Road Network Kosso Town-Hastings, Funkia-Goderich (Inclusive of Bridge) Gbendembu-Majay Town, Bandajuma -Pujehun, Mattru Township among other roads.
In delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Finance said Road was part of government priorities, noting that the theme of the 2020 Budget which was “Fiscal consolidation for job creation and human capital development” and road construction is part of job creation.
“Roads are very important for this administration because roads link very well with the Human Capital Development like accessing schools, health facilities, and agriculture.
I am pretty sure that up to 10,000 jobs will be created in the process,” he said.
He said for the pavement of the roads, the Ministry will start off with 25 percent of the total cost and more payment will be made when it is proven that the 25 percent have been exhausted.
“We want these roads to be completed before June next year,” he said.
He admonished contractors not to be starting so many roads at the same time, adding that if they can start and complete five roads within a very short time they should go ahead and do that instead of starting over 10 roads and leaving them uncompleted.
According to Jacob Jusu Saffa, these road projects will cost the government 349.4 Bn Leones for the first installment in 2020 and the rest will part of the 2021 budget.
He calls on Sierra Leone Road
Authority (SLRA) to enforce traffic management during the rehabilitation of these roads in order to ensure traffic flow.
The Director General of Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA) Ing. Amara Kanneh, regarded the planning process of the project as very thorough as questions were adequately answered, noting that they are now moving to the next stage which is implementation, and there is where they are expected to play key roles.
He said as the authority responsible for managing the road network, their own responsibility is to ensure that contractors work within the stipulated time in the agreement, ensure quality, and manage the cost element.
“I want to assure you that we are up to the task; we have done that before and we can even do it better this time around,” he said.
The Minister of Works and Public Asset Hon. Peter Bayoku Conteh congratulated the contractors and reminded them that the government is focused on building better roads that are of quality, timely implementation with value for money.
He reminded contractors that his Ministry will be monitoring the work, noting that they have conducted similar exercises in the past and those that were found wanting were reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) and advised contractors to take their work very seriously to avoid the consequences of the law.