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“Le2.47bn for Wilkinson Road rehabilitation is waste”

...Hon. Segepor S. Thomas

NOVEMBER 24, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Sierra Leone Peoples Party Member of Parliament representing  constituency 078 in Bonthe district last Friday said in the Well of Parliament  that the Le2.47 billion allocated for rehabilitation of the Wilkinson Road was a complete waste, not least because approximately US$20 million had already been spent on the ‘poor quality’ 5km road.

Speaking as lawmakers debated the 2015 national appropriation bill, Hon. Sengepor Solomon Thomas said the controversial Wilkinson Road is the most expensive road in the world as the average expenditure per kilometer cost US$600,000, instead of US$4 million, which the government spent on the Wilkinson Road project.

“Wilkinson road is the most expensive road in the World. The average expenditure for a kilometer cost US$4 million, and such is unacceptable. The road is highly bumpy and substandard,” Hon Thomas said of the road which was constructed less than three years ago.

He said the public deserves an explanation for what he referred to as wasteful expenditure, noting that the government would not have the temerity to state that such an amount was to pay contractors or pay compensation for destroyed water pipes when the road was being constructed.

The submission of the lawyer-cum-lawmaker caused some tension in the Well of Parliament, as ruling party lawmakers tried to defend the alleged profligate spending by the current regime.

Meanwhile, Hon. Thomas observed that the Le3.3 trillion budget has no direct allocation to the establishment of a disease control centre that will help prevent and combat future epidemic in the country.

He called on the need for the establishment of an effective and accessible laboratory, despite conceding that one is being constructed by the Chinese government.

The Ebola stricken country, he said, should be able to conduct fast diagnoses instead of going to Ghana to access better healthcare