By Alhaji Haruna Sani
In order to aid statistical activities in Sierra Leone, the United Nations Office for Project Services has handed over 18 World Bank’s purchased motorbikes to Statistics Sierra Leone.
Mohamed Koroma, Head of Operations and Logistics, UNOPS, said the objective of the procurement was to aid Statistics Sierra Leone with the needed logistics to implement the mid-term census and it operations in the country.
He said the project was to be initially implemented from 29th September 2021 to December 2022, but that due to Covid-19, there was a delay in the implementation.
He said within the next few months, another 17 procured vehicles will be handed over to Statistics SL.
Development Secretary- Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), Sam Kpakra, said as data collecting institution, Statistics Sierra Leone is always on the road and therefore needs such items which came in very timely, because the ones they have since 2015 during the last census have now worn out.
He said the motorbikes were actually meant for the just concluded census, but they are still timely because the institutions need them.
Moses Williams, Chairman Stats SL Council, said World Bank is the largest donor institution in the country and that all the 18 bikes and the 17 pending vehicles were not given as a loan, but at no cost.
He said World Bank support to Sierra touches every sector and praises UNOPS for taking their time to procure such items, further stating that UNPOS always have value for money.
Albert Bangura Will, Project Coordinator, Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa, said the 18 motorbikes were purchased under the World Bank Statistics project.
He maintained that Statistics Sierra Leone had earlier benefited a $30 Million project under the regional project of harmonizing and improving Statistics in West Africa, which instrumentally have the country’s specific project with the aim of modeling and reconstructing Statistics head office.
He thanked UNOPS for their demonstration of competence and credibility.
Samuel Ansumana, Public Relations Officer, Statistics SL, thanked the Government of Sierra Leone for their commitments to Statistics Sierra Leone.
He said the donation of the 18 motorbikes and the 17 pending vehicles was a clear indication of the strong and untouchable relationship between World Bank and Sierra Leone. “We are supporting the process of decentralization. This Bank will help us move to all districts including the remotest and farthest part of the country to collect data. We will also want to assure that the 18 motorbikes are distributed in all 16 districts in our offices so that they can be used for their intended purposes,” he said.