- lament MPs
June 4, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of the Parliamentary Committees on Works, Housings and Infrastructure and Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security yesterday said too much money was wasted on feeder roads construction across the country, before the contracts were terminated by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The project to rehabilitate the roads in nine districts – Bo, Pujehun, Moyamba, Bonthe, Bombali, Kambia, Port Loko, Tonkolili and the Western Area – is implemented by the Rural and Private Sector Development project phase 2, amounting to billions of Leones.
Members of both committees averred that the absence of good feeder roads would mean farmers who rely of transporting their goods to bigger towns to sell would lose out.
Chairman of Works Committee, Hon. Kombo Kamara, said a lot of money was being spent on feeder roads without proper supervision by the respective line ministries, and called for a review of how contracts to construct the roads are awarded.
According to Hon. Dickson Rogers of Constituency 89 in Pujehun district, the rehabilitation of a 7km road from at Baoma Junction to Fornima in the southern district was not done properly, although Agriculture Ministry officials claimed it was 100% complete.
He said the sum of Le206,958,183 was paid as part payment of the Le387,107,795 project cost to the contractor, yet the contract was terminated without thorough supervision or consideration given to the huge quantum that had already be paid.
He said the road in question was currently in a bad shape with vehicles unable to ply as the contractors failed to construct culverts for the bridge, contrary to what was stated in the contract.
Hon. Thomas M. Turay of Constituency 30 also observed that the rehabilitation of a 6km road from Petebana to Rolaya was not done properly as a bridge along the route was now ‘a death trap’, although Le150,957,065 was paid to the contractors before the project was terminated.
He said meetings held with the contractor revealed there were delays in the payment of funds, which caused the latter to abandon the work.
However, Head of Civil Works, Agricultural Engineering Division in the ministry, Neilford Rose, said the Bo road project will be completed in June this year.
He said contractors were selected at district level, albeit conceding that serious challenges remain, including delay in payment of funds to contractors and poor standard of work by some road builders.