Positively impacting Sierra Leone’s economy: CRSG’s efforts in managing toll gates receives accolades

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The China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) has been at the forefront of managing the three toll gates since an agreement was signed between the company and the government of Sierra Leone. The company’s dedication to maintaining the 62km Wellington-Masiaka highway has not gone unnoticed, as it has brought significant value to the country’s economy, created job opportunities, reduced accidents, minimized travel time, and fostered investor confidence in the nation.

The partnership between CRSG and the government of Sierra Leone to increase toll gate tariffs has been met with acceptance from the public, enabling the company to continue its operations for the betterment of the nation’s infrastructure and economic growth.

As a responsible international company and investor, CRSG has demonstrated patience in light of exchange variation ratios exceeding 10%. The exchange rate adjustment, as per the contract, is deemed normal and serves to mitigate risks for the investor. Notably, this marks the first adjustment since 2017, indicating a commitment to upholding the terms of the agreement while considering the interests of all involved parties.

The approved toll tariffs, endorsed by the Cabinet, have taken into account the sacrifices and contributions made by CRSG, safeguarding the outcome of the current phase of operations. As outlined in the Concession Agreement, heavy-duty trucks are required to pay $92 USD (SLE 2,013) per toll gate, while tractor-trailers must pay $115 USD (SLE 2,628) per toll gate. Following extensive negotiations with the Special Technical Committee organized by the Ministry of Works, Group 5 vehicles, comprising heavy-duty trucks and trailers, will now pay SLE 700 (equivalent to $30.63 USD). This decision reflects CRSG’s commitment to addressing the impact of heavier vehicles on road maintenance, considering their potential damage to the highway infrastructure.

For lighter trucks and medium-sized trucks with less than ten tires, categorized as Group 4, the toll tariff has been set at SLE 40 (equivalent to $1.75 USD), offering a favorable option for the general public to transport their goods. Additionally, according to the Concession Agreement, the toll tariff for light trucks and medium trucks stands at $4.6 USD and $11.5 USD respectively.

In a move to offer additional benefits, CRSG has introduced pre-paid access cards for large enterprises and transportation companies, along with varying preferential policies based on the recharge amount. Furthermore, Monthly Pass Cards are available, providing residents with discounts for private vehicle travel near and along highway toll plazas. Eligible residents can secure unlimited travel through designated toll gates for a small monthly fee, ensuring convenient and affordable access.

CRSG’s pivotal role as the sole investor in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) road project, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone, has attracted global attention, particularly from Chinese companies and investors. The company’s business results and encountered challenges are closely monitored, with potential implications for investment decisions across various sectors. It is imperative for the government, legislature, and executive branch to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of investors in accordance with the contract, ultimately bolstering new investments and further development across the nation.

It is emphasized that the success of CRSG’s investment program holds far-reaching significance, and its failure could yield long-lasting adverse effects. Therefore, continued support and adherence to contractual obligations are essential for sustaining and fostering ongoing investment initiatives in Sierra Leone.

In conclusion, CRSG’s diligent efforts in managing toll gates and contributing to Sierra Leone’s infrastructure development are lauded, with expectations for ongoing collaboration and support to ensure sustainable progress and economic growth.

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