By: Abu Bakarr Kargbo
The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) will soon celebrate the transformation of the vehicle registration that will be fully modernized automated.
Autospect (SL) Limited, a company owned and managed by Sierra Leoneans is poised to spend over US$20 million for the construction of various sites across the country that will make the government of Sierra Leone proud of a decentralized and modernized vehicle registration system. Company Officials have confirmed that over 500 people will be gainfully employed when Autospect starts its transformation work at SLRSA.
Investigations carried out by this medium has revealed that the three companies claiming to be managing the manufacturing and issuance of registration plates had their contracts expired in 2014 and they are been financed by foreign companies like Ghanaians, Nigerians and Lebanese.
“In Sierra Leone today, some people are in the usual habit of discriminating against foreign nationals. This situation is becoming more worrisome to a point that we attach racism in everything we do most times without due diligence,” sources at the SLRSA remarked, citing Autospect as a case in point, wherein a group of Sierra Leoneans who have been working closely with foreigners wants to selfishly derail the existing contract between the SLRSA and Autospect for the production of number plates, vehicle registration licenses among other services.
Over the past one week, the media landscape has been abashed with several accusations in relation to a contract being awarded to Autospect Company, which comes following a press conference held past Thursday February 20th, 2020 where the three companies, STC, BILHAQ and IAS, who have been producing number plates for SLRSA and whose contract had expired since 2014 expressed dissatisfaction over treatment they say meted out on them by SLRSA and the Transport Ministry.
Among many of the accusations levied were that the contract was awarded without following procurement procedures, the new company is a foreign –owned that will charge over 300% increment in the prices of number plates and that the three companies that have been producing the number plates are been treated unfairly among other allegations.
However, after thorough investigation by this medium, it has been discovered that Autospect Company is a Sierra Leonean company owned by a Sierra Leonean born and breed, who was awarded the contract way back in the days of the All Peoples Congress (APC) led administration with all procurement processes followed to the letter.
Investigations further revealed that the company is contracted as a service provider for the SLRSA and it is all set to invest lots of resources towards the construction of structures across the country for the authority.
The automated services that will be provided by Autospect will transform SLRSA to international standard in which there will no longer be delays in the production of number plates, vehicle registration, licenses and renewals.