…over delays in roads construction
September 15, 2017 By Jariatu s. Bangura
Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Works, Housing and Infrastructure have indicated they would summon senior officials of the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) over the snail pace of roads construction carried out in Kenema and Kabala, among other districts.
The committee yesterday held a meeting with five construction companies – First Tricon Company, in charge of Moyamba and Kenema townships road; Pavifort, in charge of Kabala-Kurubola; China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), in charge of the Wellington-Masiaka road; China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO), in charge of Bo-Bandajuma, Pendembu–Kailahun roads; and CSE. Others present at the meeting were supervisors and senior officers at the Sierra Leone Road Authority.
Acting Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Albert Deen-Kamara, said the Kenema road project was to be completed within two years, adding that at the current pace the contractor was doing the work could linger on for nine years.
“We really want to know the main problem responsible for the snail pace of road work across the country. The work is slated to be completed within two years, but fifty percent of the work has not been done. The President, MPs and people of Kenema township are not really happy about the way and manner in which the work is going on. We would also have to call Road Maintenance Fund for them to explain as to why they are yet to provide you [contractors] with the necessary funds to effectively carry out the road work,” said the lawmaker.
Chief Quantity Surveyor of First Tricon Construction, Clement Amodola, said although the project was to be completed within two years, only 10 percent of US$3milion has been disbursed to them since the signing of the contract in 2016, adding that no further payment has been made in the last eighteen months.
He claimed that RMFA had written a letter to the company informing them that no supplies would be made to them, adding that they have since gone without materials to continue the work.
Hon. Francis Kaisamba of Constituency 10 in Kenema district said the district is one of the most deprived in terms of better roads, adding that it was agonising that the construction of roads was taking very slow pace.
“As I speak now the road is impassable and it is like an abandoned one that has not been in use for a longer period. Sometimes we really want to ask who could be responsible for the work to have been done in a rather snail pace. We are not a happy people,” he expressed.
On his part, Hon. Edward Stile Jengo of Constituency 87 in Moyamba district said the issue of RMFA not disbursing funds to construction companies was alarming and urged his colleagues to treat it with all the seriousness it deserves.
“We should not allow RMFA to tarnish the image of some construction companies who have been doing well in their work. If we allow them, they will kill these companies slowly and nothing will come out of it,” he stated.