School bus services in Freetown have resumed after months of non-service. The service was brought to an abrupt halt sometime in November 2019, just before the close of the first term. The buses were under the control of local councils, including Freetown City Council. Apparently, local councils could not manage the service, salaries and running costs of the services. The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, said on a radio program, on Monday 27th January 2020, there were constraints including operating costs and maintaining the school bus service. The Ministry of Finance will provide money to local councils to keep the school bus service up and running, reducing the amount allocated to councils for cleaning days. Joseph Kamara, of the Methodist Boys High School, noted that the sudden halt of the service made him and other school colleagues late for school because of the limited commercial transporters available. He complained about commercial operators charging half-way fares. Mayor Aki Sawyer noted the budget allocated for the cleaning day does not meet the total expenses involved to carry out the exercise. She complained about expenses and the lack of equipment for the first cleaning day of 2020. The Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Finance, Ahmed Sesay, confirmed Le715,000,000 was disbursed to the FCC for this year’s first cleaning exercise, and Le2.8 billion was disbursed nationally to the local councils.
By Ade Campbell
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