The Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education Dr. Turad Senesie has registered his disappointment over the ‘willful’ delay by contractors to complete the construction of Technical and Vocational Education Training institutes in Kono, Kambia, Sahn Malen in the Pujehun District and Masingbe in the Tonkolili District respectively.
It could be recalled that the Government of Sierra Leone, during the All People’s Congress (APC) regime, secured a loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) worth $4,637,101.45 for the construction of technical institutes in the aforementioned areas.
The companies awarded contracts to do the construction work were Jalmans Construction and Trading Company, Hamid’s Enterprise, Poontar Trading and Construction Company, Kamandor Construction, Procurement and General Services, Business-in-Engineering Science and Technology, Nasrulia Construction and General Merchandise, MIB Construction and General Services and Panther Construction and General Services.
According to the project documents and specifications, the various contractors were supposed to construct classroom blocks, administrative and laboratory blocks, site development works, workshops for practical, boreholes for water, as well as electricity supply, among others.
In a meeting with consultants and contractors in the ministry’s conference room recently, the Deputy Minister Dr. Turad Senesie noted that the construction work ought to have been completed and the completed buildings handed to the government since December 2017.
He stated angrily that unfortunately, as at this month, construction work on the various sites are yet to be completed despite several attempts by the ministry to get the above-named institutions up and running by mid-September.
Dr. Senesie said it appears as if the contractors were not ready to cooperate with the ministry in fulfilling the agenda of the current government.
“I see your actions as an act of sabotage and also as a way of depriving Sierra Leoneans of what they have right to. It is unacceptable. We must have these institutions up and running for the good of this country,” he warned.
He thus issued a two-week ultimatum to contractors of the Kambia and Sahn Malen projects to conclude the job or risk being handed over to law enforcement agencies for appropriate actions.
“We have done everything humanly possible to have those buildings up and running. I am asking the project director to present the documents to the ACC for them to help us have the contractors complete the job or where people should pay, they have to,” the Deputy Minister ordered.