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04
March

Parliament Ratifies US $153M Road Project

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By Mariama Mansaray

The House of Sierra Leone Parliament yesterday ratified a One Hundred and Fifty Three Million Dollar ‘Concession contract for the finance, design construction, operation and maintenance of the Wellington-Masiaka road between the government of Sierra Leone (represented by the Ministry of Works Housing and Infrastructure) and China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) dated December 2015.

 

The project according to Abdul B Barrie Works Minister seeks to widen to Four-Lane and Tolling of the Wellington-Masiaka Highway on a design build operate maintain and transfer arrangement for a period of twenty five years and noted that it socio-economic importance and harmony is in line with the propose Mamamah Airport following critical examination from the Ministry of Finance, Works, SLRA, RMFA NRA, PPU and contractor CRSG.

As a justification, the Minister of Works said: “the project falls within pillar four of the agenda for prosperity and will link the capital Freetown to the provinces. The project will reduce traffic, create jobs for unemployed youths and will create easy access to Mamamah airport. The design makes provision for a two lane median reserve for future development and protection from encroachment among many other things.”

As part of it implementation strategy the project is outlined with the following features; administrative arrangement, construction stage operational stage, toll charges and profit sharing.

Apparently, there were huge disagreements over Toll Charges as some MPs where saying is too high and not in the interest of the public.

The Toll Charges are Sedan Vehicle Le, 200.00,Taxi Le3,000.00, Minibus/Jeep Le 5,000.00, Medium Bus Le 10,000.00, Coach Le 20,000.00, Light Truck/Pickup Le 20,000.00, Medium truck Le 50,000.00 Heavy truck Le 400,000.00 and Tractor and trailer Le 500,000.00 but however, there is an alternative route should one does not want to use the 20.1 km Toll route.

Making their comments, prior to the ratification of the agreement, Hon Paran Tarawally SLPP, Bo district said that the agreement is significant for the development of the country noting that all the unanswered questions where addressed at the pre legislative hearing and praised the fact that rehabilitation of work will be done on to the point of handing over the road after twenty five years.

Hon. Rosaline Jariatu Smith, APC, Western Urban expressed pleasure that an alternative route to the toll free use is not compulsory.

Hon Mustapha Brima SLPP noted that too many restrictions will not be profitable.

However, Hon. Ansu Kaikai Acting Minority Leader described  the process as wonders from God but noted that monitoring and supervision of CRSG is key, his comments where corroborated by the Majority Leader Hon. Ibrahim Bundu.

 “Monitoring is our responsibility for this road not to spoil, I urge all of us to monitor the project,” Hon. Bundu urged.

It was however, unanimously agreed by the House that the agreement be ratified.

 

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