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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

KEY NOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTAND AVIATION, LEONARD BALOGUN KOROMA ON THE COMMISSIONING OF THE MODERN VEHICLE REPAIR WORKSHOP AND REFURBISHED LICENSE HALL AT SLRSA COMPOUND ON THURSDAY 31ST MARCH, 2016
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Apr 1, 2016, 17:00
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KEY NOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTAND AVIATION, LEONARD BALOGUN KOROMA ON THE COMMISSIONING OF THE MODERN VEHICLE REPAIR WORKSHOP AND REFURBISHED LICENSE HALL AT SLRSA COMPOUND ON THURSDAY 31ST MARCH, 2016

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen


All Protocols observed


I am greatly honored to be afforded this opportunity by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to deliver todays keynote address. His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma sends his regards and support to the Management of this noble institution for the concerted effort towards promoting Road Safety in our Country.


Road safety issues in Sierra Leone are of serious concern and posing serious challenges for road users. Road traffic crashes statistics are unbelievably high and these crashes are causes for poverty, disability and fatality. The consequences of road crashes affect not only individual families, but also impinge on the countrys development agenda.


However, we are encouraged by the strides made by this Institution in collaboration with the All Peoples Congress Government under the dynamic Leadership of HE Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to rebrand the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority(SLRSA) formerly Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA). The rebranding is a continuous process as we strive as a nation to attain the UN General Assembly Resolution on improving Global Road safety.


The SLRSA was established by statute in 1996 to regulate among others the conduct of the road transport industry. In addition to the Authoritys responsibility for registering and licensing of motor vehicles and Drivers, it also has a statutory mandate to promote and enforce road safety. In order to adequately promote road safety on a sustainable basis in any country, based on best practice, countries are required to develop and implement a robust national Road Safety Policy.


The modification of the mandate of the Authority as manifested in the change of name, and the necessity to actualize the national Road Safety Policy and Strategy, warrants the charting of a new strategic direction and vision for the Authority.


Furthermore, international donors are more inclined to support road safety components of National Transport Policies of Governments around the world. This is largely due to the fact that road traffic injury is a global health and development problem, and the ultimate goal of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety is to significantly erode the alarming statistics of road traffic crashes with its attendant socio- economic consequences.


The Government Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) focused on the three pillars of good governance: food security, job creation, growth and human development. Recently, the Strategy emphasized the importance of modernizing the structure of the economy and Economic growth was targeted as the driver of poverty alleviation and job creation. Transportation, which was the fourth pillar in the Strategy Paper, aims at the development of a national transportation network to enable the movement of goods and people to facilitate investment and economic activity in agriculture, resources and tourism.


Road traffic injury epidemic also has considerable impact on the economies of low-income countries like Sierra Leone. The global losses due to road traffic injuries are estimated to be US$ 518 Billion globally and cost Government between 1% and 3% of the Gross National Product; more than the total amount that these countries receive in development assistance.


The Governments Agenda for Prosperity envisages the emergence of Sierra Leone from a low-income country to a middle-income economy. Since a large proportion of our populations are young people, there is need for empowering and capacitating them to be self employed and self reliant.


In Sierra Leone, this high road traffic fatality is largely due to old age and poor maintenance of the national vehicle fleet. Most of the vehicle repair garages and motor vehicle training institutions in the country do not have the adequate facilities and capabilities to meet the challenge of improving the road safety status of the country.

 

One of the pillars in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety Safer vehicles- requires that Member States must ensure that their national vehicle fleet should be well maintained and road safety compliant.


Road traffic crashes is a poverty enhancing challenge as crash survivors and their families struggle to cope with the long term consequences of the event, customized initiatives and interventions to improve road safety in our nation are always an imperative.


This objective for the establishment of a Motor Vehicle Repairs and Skills Training Facility at the Authority is to provide safety investments, to build critical road safety management capacity in respect of infrastructure, vehicle and behavioral safety Programmes. Furthermore, the facility would guarantee the systematic process for road safety system improvement and knowledge transfer road transport industry personnel.


The facility would provide basic training in vehicle science and technology- this would entail basic theory and practical skills such as motor vehicle engineering, motor vehicle management, vehicle faults diagnostic techniques, vehicle systems practical, vehicle chassis systems practical, auto electrics and repairing motor vehicles.


Following the completion of the training, the trainees would be accredited certificates in Motor Vehicle engineering and would graduate as Motor Vehicle Mechanics and Motor Vehicle Technicians.


The Authority is desirous to affiliate the training facility to other institutions of learning such as the Engineering Faculty of the University of Sierra Leone and other tertiary and middle-level skills training institutes in the country.

 

Over the course of time, the facility would be affiliated with the City and Guilds Institute in the United Kingdom, so that the breath of the courses offered by the Facility would be broadened and the capacity of the trainees further enhanced.


It is anticipated that the establishment of the facility would guarantee the implementation of the National Road Safety Policy and Strategy, as outlined in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. It would also enhance the evaluation of the effectiveness of the delivery process on the National Road Safety Strategies.


The establishment of the facility would facilitate and strengthen the culture of quality management process with respect to road safety and thus reduce the incidence of the high traffic fatalities.


So as a Government, we welcome this laudable development in the Authority mindf
ul that road development is a high priority on the development agenda of the Government of Sierra Leone. The Government has embarked on a massive road development programme because of the major role road transport plays in the movement of passengers and goods. Government also attached equal importance to road safety which is one of the requirements for the operation of an efficient and effective road transport system.


I hope that the commissioning of the refurbished license Hall will speed up the vehicle licence process which is attracting a lot of complaints from the public.


On behalf of His Excellency the President, I therefore proudly commission the Ultra Modern Vehicle Repair Workshop and Licensing Hall.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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