…over roads maintenance fund
November 23, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
The Deputy Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has called on Parliament to put together a memorandum of understanding that officials of the SLRA and Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) will pledge compliance with.
Speaking in a meeting summoned by Members of Works, Housing and Infrastructure Committee in Parliament, Memuna Kumba Jalloh said they have had constrains in receiving funds for roads and brushing of roads in provincial towns in the country, thus causing delays in doing their work as a monitoring body to contractors.
She said due to delays in remitting funds they have divided their monitoring session into two frequencies instead of four quarterly bases every year.
“We are urgently pleading that we develop a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions to enhance the regular funding for the maintenance of trunk and arterial roads,” pleaded Ms. Jalloh.
She revealed that a clear absence of synergy between the two institutions citing instances where contractors are paid by the RMFA unknown to the SLRA. “We should be the one paying the contractors, despite knowing the fact they [RMFA] continue paying the contractors without our knowledge,” she said.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of RMFA, Abdulai Kalokoh, said they had gone ahead to pay contractors in accordance with the RMFA Act, adding that a whooping sum of Le1.6 billion was paid to SLRA for brushing of roads and other activities, with Le.503, 700,000 disbursed in May 2015 and Le.708,170,802 remitted in September.
He said the SLRA has failed to submit returns for the month of May, thus leading to quarrels between the two institutions. He added that a joint monitoring and evaluation inspection team subsequently reported that work done was unsatisfactory and that the SLRA failed to employ local contractors to do the brushing, in violation of the Local Content Policy.
“I have never endeavoured put my personal issue in my work and I want them to send in their request for funds timely as we cannot give out funds if reports are not submitted for funds disbursed,” insisted Kaloko.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Kombor Kamara said huge sums of money had been disbursed for feeder roads, brushing, debris cutting and potholes, and urged the two institutions to work in harmony.
He also urged SLRA officials to submit their report on funds received on time before requesting for another, adding that if work was not yet completed they should explain the circumstances to the RMFA.