From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, President Koroma Blasts Corrupt Contractors
By Aruna Turay
Dec 2, 2010, 17:28

President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has come down heavily on contractors and consultants in the country.

Various contractors and consultants were summoned to State House on Wednesday 1st December 2010, where the President expressed disappointment over the lethargy being exhibited by contractors and consultants in executing their contracts.

President Ernest Koroma strictly warned his guests to desist from such acts, as according to him, ‘it is not going to be business as usual’.

Defaulters, he emphasized, will not only have their contracts terminated but will also have the wrath of the country’s laws to contend with.

In a no nonsense mood, Ernest Koroma said the issue was not open for dialogue and emphasized that the meeting marks the final warning.

President Koroma

He made public that his government inherited a situation in which the government and people of Sierra Leone were losing huge amounts of financial support from donors. He added that even government sponsored projects were being closed as a result of poor implementation.

“We were losing support because the donors held the views that we do not have the capacity to handle the projects they were supporting,” President Koroma pointed out, adding that his government effected certain changes on assumption of office.

These changes, he said, have yielded some fruits, as according to him, some contractors have now realized that their business must be handled with seriousness and a positive change of attitude.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the president confessed that there are still difficulties with some contractors.

According to him, some contractors are still in the habits of not meeting deadlines and other contract specifications. He noted that this situation is negatively impacting on the relationship between the government and its donors.

Information and Communication Minister said the meeting was summoned in the wake of complaints by donors that most of the projects they are funding in the country are either incomplete or poorly implemented.

I.B Kargbo cited the Kambia/Conakry Highway as a typical example of one in which the government had to terminate the contract and re-award it to another contractor as a result of the lethargy the earlier contractor was exhibiting.

“The President has vowed that this time round he will not only severely deal with defaulting contractors but also consultants,” he disclosed.

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