Nov 1, 2013

Le56 billion for road maintenance in Sierra Leone


The Chief Executive Officer of the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RMFA) has disclosed to the public that Le 56 billion has been approved for road maintenance nationwide.

Speaking at a news conference and in radio interviews on SLBC and Radio Democracy 98.1, Abdul Kalokoh said part of the money would go towards “patching potholes” on 23 streets and overlaying of 25 others within Freetown.

He said Le 9 billion had been allocated to 17 local councils for the maintenance of rural feeder roads, adding that 15% of the amount had been disbursed already to the councils. He pointed out that the “allocation and disbursement is consistent with the government’s policy of devolution of maintenance of rural feeder roads to local councils.”

Kalokoh rejected responsibility for the poor state of the roads saying “SLRA draws up its work plans and what we do is to monitor and evaluate the importance of the proposed project and based on the available resources, we disburse.” Quoting the Road Maintenance Fund Administration Act, he said SLRA was supposed to submit its proposal in October of every year. He also made clear that although the decision has been taken to allocate these funds, the RMFA does not at this point have this amount available for disbursement. The allocation anticipates monies to be collected for the RMFA between now and March of next year.

Mr Kalokoh denied that this allocation was a response to recent public criticisms of the poor state of Sierra Leone’s roads and the recent sacking of the Minister of Works and the Director of the SLRA (see natinpasadvantage(part_3).htm ); he insisted it was part of a budget allocation process that began several months ago. He said funds for the RMFA did not come from the consolidated fund but rather from levies on every litre of fuel bought and the registration of vehicles.