Lawmakers give ultimatum to Works Ministry
NOVEMBER 12, 2014 By Samuel J. Kargbo &Jariatu Bangura
As the preparations ensue for the official opening of the third session of the fourth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Works, Housing and Infrastructure has summoned officials at the Ministry of Works and contractors for update on the construction of a perimeter fence and rehabilitation of toilet facilities and the car park at Parliament.
Speaking at the hearing on Monday (10 November), acting Chairman of the Committee, Hon. J.B. Mansaray, requested Works officials to shed more light into plans they had put in place for the maintenance of roads leading to the House of Parliament and State House, ahead of event.
Hon. Mansaray accused the ministry of not treating Parliament with the serious it deserves, evident in the delay to complete the perimeter fence at Parliament, which he opined poses a security risk to lawmakers.
Also, Hon. Kombor Kamara said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works was misleading the Committee about the progress of the work, and threatened that stern action if the fence was not completed before the state opening of Parliament.
The ruling party lawmaker said that Le290 million which was given to the contractor was not enough to enable him do a good work, and urged that the ministry disburse more money for the project.
In his reply, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Abdulai Koroma, assured lawmakers they were working hard to complete the rehabilitation of Parliament building and promised the work would be completed on time.
Meanwhile, professional head of the ministry, Edward Ganda said the Seaside Construction Company was awarded the contract to construct both the perimeter fence and to rehabilitate the House of Parliament, adding that the quantum of money involved is Le1,714,556,391 (One billion seven hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and fifty-six thousand three hundred and ninety-one Leone).
Ganda also assured lawmakers that both construction works would be completed ahead of the official state opening of Parliament in December.