The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), through Auto Parts Freetown (APF) Company, has opened its first ultra-modern vehicle service and learning center at SLRSA Office on Kissy Road in Freetown.
The modern service followed a ten years agreement between Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) and Auto Parts Freetown (APF).
The ultra-modern service provides quality spraying, vehicle inspection and repairs, selling of spare parts, driving school and a learning centre for local mechanics.
Chief Executive Officer, Auto Parts Freetown (APF), Jurgen Sonck, said APF has been in existence for the past twenty-one years and had been in the country for the past eight years.
He said, there is always engine smoke on the road which he opined is as a result of lack of quality spare parts in the country, adding that bad spare parts destroys’ a vehicle. “Good spare parts improve (the) quality of cars and ensure road safety,” he said.
Adding that APF sells quality spare parts at an affordable price, and gives six months warranty to customers, Sonck also disclosed that intake of local mechanics will be determined by SLRSA authorities. He however, did not say whether the training for local mechanics will be paid for or free. He added that these local mechanics, after being trained, will be evaluated and tested and certified.
Sonck said he had invested over 500, 000 Euros on spare parts, and over 250,000 Euros on refurbishment of the building which is currently being used as the ultra-modern center.
He revealed that plans are underway to set up other branches in at least two other places across the country, noting that the one in Freetown is a test case.
Executive Director, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority, Ibrahim Sannoh, reiterated that the refurbishment of the building being used by APF is at no cost to SLRSA. He added that APF will collaborate with two automobile schools in Belgium and will have exchange programs with some of the local mechanics being offered opportunities to be trained in Belgium.
Transport and training consultant, Lamin Kamara, said before being incorporated into the training program the local mechanics will have to provide a West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), adding “We are yet to decide whether the training will be paid for or not,” he said.