Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 November 2020:
On Saturday, 14 November 2020, President Dr Julius Maada Bio laid the foundation for the construction of a major road network in the far West of the capital Freetown.
The thirteen miles long Goderich-Funkia road, will benefit over 30,000 people in the outlying communities, as well as boost the country’s tourism sector.
Marking the occasion, President Bio said that his government has prioritised road and transport development to promote improved standards of living and economic growth.
“The rehabilitation of the Funkia-Goderich road by my government is in fulfilment of the overall government strategy to open up communities, towns and cities throughout the country and to the free flow of goods and services, helping to improve the living standards of the people. Roads are part of the cornerstone of my government, and we shall continue to invest in the maintenance, rehabilitation and construction of more roads nationwide,” the president said.
President Bio noted that his government is committed to not only improving the road network in disadvantaged communities, but also to improving the living conditions of people, adding that he will provide more scholarships for young people to extend access to higher education.
He spoke about his government’s efforts in supporting struggling small business against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Next week, NaCSA will start to do an assessment of the needs of petty traders, so that Funkia traders too will benefit from my government’s support of Le1.3 million each to businesses across the country. As a government we are going to provide more fishing boats and nets to every fishing community in the country, irrespective of region, tribe or political leaning,” he said.
The President also called on the people of Funkia to take ownership of the road construction project, so as to help the government in monitoring the contractors to ensure the road is of good quality standard.
Director-General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority – Amara Kanneh, said the road construction will cover 1.35 kilometres – including the main Funkia Road and sections of Femi Turner-Gbendembu Junction.
He also said that the project which will cost $3.4 million, will include the construction of the road leading to the local jetty, and building of a new local market to be completed in June 2021.
But critics of the government are accusing the government of hypocrisy for condemning the former government’s spending of $1 million on every kilo-metre of the Wilkinson Road construction project when they were in power, and president Bio now spending almost three times more.
Speaking on behalf of the construction company – the CSE Group, Mohamed Sowe, said that the construction work is a significant project that would transform the local community and expand road connection network in Freetown, especially the Peninsular Road.
Political campaign is over. Now it’s governance time and realities are setting in. The truth shall prevail. Going down memory lane, I still recalled that, people on the other side, had criticized the ruling government, for talking boastfully, about a network of newly constructed roads, some completed and others remain incomplete to date, as their signature achievement. They’d asked the unfortunate question, “Nar road we dae eat?” and bent on discontinuing the projects should they be in power; that the roads were expensive. They followed through their promise when they came to governance in 2018. One of their first acts was to immediately, discontinued all road projects particularly, roads under construction in the northern region considered to be APC stronghold.
They withdrew every machinery and equipment from there to other priority places of their own estimation. Now, for those people who often say governance is about continuity, I’m afraid this was not a policy of continuity by the Bio administration, to stop, park and leave. Why president Bio changed his mind now in 2020, saying he’s all for investment in roads? The simple answer is, the president is a white color politician. The real answer is, good roads make it easy for people to fend for themselves something to eat. It’s easy to go anywhere.
I don’t understand the mentality of politicians, why they think they will be incomplete, if they fail to cry down the good works of their predecessors, even if, to the detriment of the citizens. I hope the president will consider as he promised, relaunching the construction to complete the Kamakwie artery. In fact, all roads across the country, needing construction without exceptions should be considered. Whether or not those areas voted for the SLPP shouldn’t matter to the statesman. President Bio is the leader of S. Leonne until 2023.
“An old woman always feel uneasy when dry bones are mentioned”.
Hmmm the behavior, governance style and irresponsible utterances are just typical o America’s Trump, is really sad.
I wonder whether president Bio has ventured out of the capital Freetown to the North, in places like Falaba, Musaia, and further North to Bendi, the last major town to the Guinean border, and see the impact of his decision to halt road construction in that part of the country. That road that link that major part of the country to Kabala and all the way to Freetown, that was under construction, and suddenly brought to sudden halt on his orders, some parts of it has now been reclaimed by mother nature. So when Bio say his government is committed to road construction, I wonder which roads he is talking about.
When you asked the locals, they say the project is under review, because the APC government under EKB was paying through their noses for these contracts. That’s what they were told. And Bio is now fighting for them, and is determined to review the contracts, because at the time the government was not getting value for money. And here we are, he is Committing the same offence he levelled against the previous government. He can get away with it because even the national audit office is under his whims.
The cobalt and all the signs are still lying their in craters, and that looks like the aftermath of a bombing raid filled with red mud of rain water which render the roads impassable. At the time of the election, voters were optimistic about his government doing the right thing to complete that road, but three years later that optimism has been replaced by pessimism that Bio and his government will do anything but. Its like Bio has poked a needle in their large inflated balloon of hope, and took out all the wind and with all the broken promises.
Now this: “The President also called on the people of Funkia to take ownership of the road construction project, so as to help the government in monitoring the contractors to ensure the road is of good quality standard.” (lol) Goodness gracious! what do ordinary citizens know about the quality of road standards? Instead of hiring a road safety expert to vigilantly keep a watchful eye on progress, he is smugly out there, day-dreaming asking clueless citizens to act as examiners. Seriously, this President and his criminal cabal never cease to amaze me.
Answer – what does a street trader know about the application requirements for road surfaces? Ask a busy market woman what a geotechnical road surface looks like and she will hand you a bag of onions. (lol). Does a butcher know the main differences between asphalt, concrete, and bituminous materials and in which terrain they are most effective? Again, how on earth does this President expect poor uneducated people to examine and evaluate paved roads to ensure that they are safe and durable?
Mr President think carefully before you speak. Everyone is listening to your utterances; Are you also going to ask our local fishermen to intercept rogue fishing vessels on the high seas and arrest their crew while our navy is sitting idle and getting paid for doing nothing? Come on man – mind your language – wake up from your deep slumber.
If 1.35km = $3.5M
Then 50 KM = 50KM X $3.5M
This is. $175M dollars.
Seriously president Bio. Please review that contract before it is signed and awarded.
Whosoever negotiated this bogus contract should be sacked. It is not done in the best interest of the country and it’s economy