The Government and donor partners are not comfortable with the manner in which project funds are utilized in Sierra Leone, and among them is the Kuwaiti which has faced serious set back in its implementation as a result over (Le12bn) one hundred and twelve billion Leone’s may be going down the drain unaccounted for.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice including the Anti –Corruption Commission needs to institute an investigative panel on how the funds meant for the Lumley and Goderich road were utilized by contractors, SLRA and the Ministry of Works and also make necessary investigations on procurement compliance on the project to avoid wastage of both Government and donor funds.
As a result complaints have been made by motorist and pedestrians of Lumley Road which followed a subsequent publication on the AWOKO Newspaper on the project. It has however been confirmed by the SLRA Public Relations Officer, Amadu Koroma that the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has indeed terminated the contract awarded to Burharm International Consultant a Kuwaiti construction firm due to poor implementation of the project.
The PRO further disclosed that SALCOST, CEC and the China Seven Railway Group may be asked to bid for the project, and it will then be up to the management of SLRA to select an effective construction firm to award the contract.
The termination of the Lumley Road contract came as a result of the protracted delay in completing the project by both Burharm and UNETEC and that most of the terms and conditions of the contract agreement were also not implemented by the contractors.
According to the SLRA Public Relations Officer the project was funded by the Kuwait Government and OPEC since 2004. The project was designed for the construction of four lanes (Dual Carriage) from the Lumley Police Station to the Juba Bridge and another two lanes for the Goderich Road.
The project was also designed to construct a bridge at the now excavated site but due to the poor performance of Burharm, another construction company, BAO was sub contracted but they were also incapable of handling the project.
In view of this unfortunate situation that has befallen the project the Sierra Leone Roads Authority Public Relations Officer Amadu Koroma said the management of SLRA instituted a remedial measure to reinstate culverts so that the excavated site will not hinder the free flow of traffic along the Lumley Road and its environs.
He said SLRA is aware of the difficulties facing residents of Lumley, motorists, and pedestrians as result of the deplorable condition of the road especially at the excavated site which is regarded as an eye sore and embarrassment to the Government.
He maintained that temporary measures that have been put in place by SLRA is to install pipe culverts to the site to ease the flow of traffic until the proper bidding process ends.
“SLRA management has also expressed disappointment and dismay over the APC Hon. member of Parliament Salymaty Turay’s comments which were regarded as inciting youths against SLRA workers”, he said . Mr. Koroma also called on residents to exercise patience and give SLRA workers the chance to do their work before the rains. By Saidu Bah