The Majority Chief Whip of Parliament who serves as Chairman of the Transparency and Accountability Committee, Hon. Claude Kamanda on Wednesday 24th June 2015 expressed dissatisfaction over the proposal to award a fresh “re-contract” for the rehabilitation of roofing of the Airports Terminal Building. The contract is estimated at four hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars. This resolution came up during the committee oversight hearing at the Freetown International Airports at Lungi in the Port Loko District.
During the summons which attracted Parliamentary Committee Members and senior Management Staff of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority, Hon. Claude Kamanda eloquently said that he will not allow government to spend another huge amount of money on such a contract. According to the disciplined MP, the said contract was awarded in 2011 to a contractor, Barrows of Nigeria but the latter did not complete the job as expected in the terms and references.
“Gone are those days when people fraud government” he noted adding that “the contractor must be urged to re-do the job without any money, because this is a disservice to the state”.
The Chairman earlier said that his committee relates with compliance in Ministries, Departments and Agencies and during probing if the latter fall short of any malpractice or corruption they will take the necessary action.
“Our committee is here to know how far you have gone with your mandate, responsibilities and activities” he said.
Explaining to the Senior Management Staff, the Clerk of the Committee, Augustine Sesay said there are relevant sections in the Constitution of Sierra Leone that gives the Oversight Committee the powers that are equivalent to the High Court, to probe, detain and investigate MDAs. He therefore asked them to speak under oath.
In his Response, the Acting General Manager of the Airports, Mr. Sheik A. Sawarray-Deen said in 2011 the rehabilitation of the Airports Terminal Building contract was awarded to Barrows of Nigeria. He said the contract was expected to be completed by 2014. During the course of rehabilitation, a heavy storm hit the roofing of one of the terminal buildings. He disclosed that during the renovation period, the contractor was reminded to re-roof the building with standard corrugated iron roofing but the latter refused to do so. He went on, “onto this moment, the building is leaking and they have roughly estimated U$450,000 for the rehabilitation”.
However, in a patriotic mood certain Members of the said Committee including Hon. Aaron Koroma of Constituency 62, Hon. Hannah Songowa Bundu of Tonkolili and Hon. Francis Amara Kaisamba of Constituency 10, Kenema District frowned at the fraudulent action of the contractor and concertedly said that Barrows of Nigeria should re-rehabilitate the building or face the required penalty.
“Government will not spend money on the project again, the MPs said in unison”
The oversight hearing was climaxed by a tour at the Airports facilities.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.