Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 August 2018:
The premier Sports Betting and Lottery Company – Mercury International, last Thursday 9th August 2018, made a proposal to the government of Sierra Leone for the construction of 80 classrooms, costing $1.5 million.
The offer was made to the Minister of Basic Primary and secondary school education – Mr. Alpha Timbo, at his New England Ville office in Freetown.
The proposal the company said, is geared towards complementing the government’s effort in achieving its flagship free and quality education programme, and in recognition of the infrastructural challenges faced by the government in achieving its ambition of delivering free education.
Presenting the proposal to Minister Timbo, the Management of Mercury International Company SL Ltd, assured the minister of Mercury’s continuous commitment to supporting the government in the development of the Country through education.
Mercury says that its support for education in Sierra Leone in the past, has focussed largely on providing scholarships for qualified Sierra Leoneans to pursue professional courses overseas, and the payment of school fees for over one thousand Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and University students every year.
According to Mercury, supporting education is a right step towards nation building, hence the reason why the company has prioritized educational support in achieving its corporate social responsibility, through Mercury International Charitable Foundation.
“Mercury will fund the construction of 80 single classrooms in 4 phases of 20 classrooms each, starting this year; with the first phase to commence 1st October 2018 and ends in September 2019”, said Mercury.
The government is expected to work with Mercury by providing appropriate construction specification, building permits and the allocation of land for the construction of the classrooms.
The entire project Mercury says will cost about Le12 billion (USD 1,500,000).
Mercury’s proposed also states that the construction work will be supervised by the Ministry with advance payment, regular valuation payment, and a final payment to be made by Mercury International directly into the respective contractor’s accounts within 30 days from receipt of valuation certificates from the Ministry.
The contract for the construction will be tendered through an open bid and final decision will be made by a joint committee comprising of Mercury International and the Ministry of Education.
Receiving the proposal, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education – Timbo, expressed his profound gratitude to Mercury International for such a laudable venture in complementing government’s effort to materialize its free and quality education programme.
“It is clear that there are infrastructural challenges with the implementation of the free education programme, but the 80 classrooms from Mercury will help greatly to accommodate close to 6000 pupils across the country”, Minister Timbo said.
The Minister also assured Mercury of the Ministry’s commitment to ensure the successful implementation of the project and said that the contract tendering process will be free and fair.
The Ministry will ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of the project from start to finish, he said. He called on other companies to follow the exemplary footsteps of Mercury as part of their corporate social responsibility, in supporting the government in its developmental strides in the country.