By Jariatu Bangura
Managing Director of Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) has told Members of the Committee on Works, Housing and Infrastructure in Parliament that tenants occupying the OAU Villa Estates in the west and Low Cost Housing in Kissy, east of Freetown, owe the corporation over one billion Leones.
Magnus Coker told the Committee that he had written several reminder letters to those defaulting occupants, but they have on each occasion ignored pleas from the company to pay their rent, a development that has put the institution in great financial uncertainty.
Mr. Coker said they have made available copies of the letters to the Ministry of Works, but that the Permanent Secretary, to whom the letter was addressed, was yet to respond, adding that the Housing Act provides that the ministry should provide oversight functions over their operations.
He further revealed that they have been unable to pay salaries of staff for the past two months. “We only depend on these rents; there is no other revenue source for the institution. The Kissy Low Cost Housing is on mortgage and we are not collecting any money from them,” he noted.
Chairman of the Housing Committee, Hon. Kombor Kamara, said the Works Ministry should play an effective oversight role over SALHOC, albeit unfortunately that is not the situation as the former has clearly failed to perform its statutory responsibility.
He said frantic efforts should be made for the ministry to fully participate in the process of collecting the huge amount owed them. “This development has come to the attention of President Koroma. The Committee should endeavour to collect all the tenant fees and those who refuse to pay should be chased out of the villas in order to give space to others,” he said.
Meanwhile, the following are names of tenants who are indebted to SALHOC: Mrs. Adiza Deen Magona of villa 3, owing Le44,636,100; Mrs. Nenneh Sow of Villa 4, owing Le20,000,000; Mr. Brima Ndoeka of villa 6, owing Le.68, 792,200; Mr. Ahmed Tejan Conteh of Villa 14, owing Le55,000,000; Mr. E. Jordan-Kanu of Villa 15, owing Le60,837,000; Hon. Amara Sheriff Conteh of Villa 17, owing Le.47,270,000; Hon. Madusu Kamara of Villa 19, owing Le31,908,200; Mr. Munjuru Jalloh of Villa 20, owing Le20,250,000; Sheik A.A. Koroma of Villa 22, owing Le99,000,000; P.C Bai Shebora Kasanga II of Villa 25, owing Le18,500,250; Mr. Unisa Conteh of Villa 30, owing 12, Le167,200,000; Mrs. Isata Fullah of Villa 31, owing Le30,000,000; Sampha Sesay of Villa 32, owing Le45,000,000; deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Sheka Tarawallie of Villa 33, owing Le35,000,000; Hon. P.C. Brima V.S. Kebbie of Villa 38, owing Le98,500,000; Mr. Abdul B. Barrie of Villa 51, owing Le38,424,164; Mr. Alhassan Conteh of Villa 57, owing Le99,000,000; Mr. Sheka Charles of Villa 58, owing Le54,000,000; Hon. Dr. Moses Sesay of Villa 60, owing Le81, 000,000; and Kalleone Group of Companies (Old Skool) owing Le153, 000,000.