An investigation into the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute’s (SLARI) incomplete projects revealed that the WARPAA Laboratory at Rokupr Research Centre lacks equipment and chemicals.
The Audit Team observed during the provincial visit that a completed building was seen in the institute’s compound. The Finance and Estate Officer informed the team that finances for the construction of the building were provided by WARPAA for which the objective was to house all laboratories of SLARI in a single building; thereby positioning Sierra Leone as the leading rice research centre in the sub-region.
The contract cost of the building was Le3.2 billion and was awarded to IMAX whilst contract for laboratory equipment and chemicals costing US$399,147 was awarded to Razpec. These contracts according to the Auditors were awarded in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and were to be completed one year after signing them.
As at 7th August 2018, payment to IMAX had been completed whilst US$151,829 was made to Razpec. During the time of the verification which was done on 13th September 2019, the building had been completed but remained abandoned due to the fact that the laboratory equipment and chemicals were yet to be supplied by Razpec.
Further review of correspondences between the Project (WAAPP) and the Ministry of Finance revealed that there were goods stocked at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay as counterpart. Funds to enable the supplier to clear the goods have not been paid by the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Auditor General recommended that the Director-General in collaboration with management should ensure that the Ministry of Finance is contacted to ensure that funds to enable the supplier to clear the goods at the port are provided to enable completion of the project.