In the words of the minister of Information and Communications, I B Kargbo at the usual press briefing at his Ministry conference room last week, “infrastructural development of any country is determined by the roads network which can influence national development.”
And the acting Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Munda Rogers, confirmed that ahead of the rains the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has embarked on proactive maintenance and construction of roads network throughout the country.
He categorically explained that with the limited funds available a lot of maintenance works were ongoing on at Signal Hill, Lumley to Malamah, Ferry Terminal to Airport via Port Loko and roads at Kissy and its immediate environs.
“Works are ongoing on the Kenema and Kailahun highway, Makeni-Kono highway, the Bo-Freetown highway, the Masiaka-Pamlap highway and Banjuma to Mano River bridge roads, “ said Mr Rogers.
With regard the controversial roads fund, he said it was not meant for maintenance but one that was used to pay salaries and to undertake other administrative programmes.
He said with the economic trend of things in the country, most of the roads fund was now used for roads maintenance.
Mr Rogers said they were aware of the traffic jam in the city but attributed it to the attitudes of some reckless poda-poda and taxi drivers “who are in the habit of stopping right at the middle of major streets in Freetown to either drop or take passenger without taking cognizance of other potential roads users”.
He also attributed the unnecessary traffic jam in Freetown to those street traders who have abandoned the main market structures for street trading.
He maintained that the problem traffic jam would be over with the construction of the hillside road and rehabilitation of other by-pass roads in the city.
He explained that the change in management at the SLRA was being complimented in the level of performance, adding that they might not score 100% but they were striving very hard to attain 70% on the whole national infrastructural development programme. On issue regarding the termination of contract on the Masiaka Pamlap road, Mr Rogers disclosed that there was a lot of irregularities and underperformance by the contractor, and that the Authority was left with no alternative but re-tender the contract for potential bidders to bid.