STATEMENT BY DR. KAIFALA MARAH, MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND NATIONAL AUTHORISING OFFICER OF THE EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND DELIVERED ON MONDAY 15TH JUNE, 2015 ON THE OCCASION OF THE SIGNING OF WORKS CONTRACT FOR MOYAMBA – MOYAMBA JUNCTION ROAD AND BRIDGES PROJECT
Colleague Ministers Honorable Members of Parliament your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Your Excellency, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European in Sierra Leone, Mr. Peter Versteeg Staff of the European Union Delegation and Member State Development Partners
Government officials Members of the Press and Civil Society Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me welcome you all to this signing ceremony. As you are aware, infrastructure for socio-economic development in Sierra Leone as detailed in the Agenda for Prosperity, and consistent with vision 2035, is among the key flagships of Government. It is my great pleasure, on behalf of the Government of His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, to sign this Contract for Road Works: the Moyamba Junction to Moyamba and number of bridges.
Mr. Chairman, as we know, the Moyamba Junction to Moyamba road is an important corridor for access to the fourteen chiefdoms in the Moyamba district and beyond. The road works and bridges will therefore be constructed to ease access, and to fully harness and maximize economic inclusion for the people of Moyamba and the South.
Phase 1 of the project will(i) Rehabilitate the road from Moyamba Junction to Moyamba Town, covering 32.9km; (ii) Construct a new Gbangbama Bridge and to replace the Bailey Bridge in the Moyamba Township which was constructed in the 1970s.
Phase II will involve the construction of a new Mabang and Magbele bridges. As you know, the Mabang bridge collapsed two years ago. As a result, it has caused considerable distress to residents and motorists in the area since then. But we are turning over a new page in the history of the Mabang and Magbele Bridges, which for the first time, will be two-lane bridges.
The project is expected to contribute to poverty reduction by stimulating the local economy and encouraging livelihood activities. The project will also create much-needed jobs to local communities, including women and youth; and will cost an estimated EUR 40.7 million, and is expected to be completed in 24 months. The Government of Sierra Leone’s contribution will be to provide resources for land compensation and borrowed pits.
Mr. Chairman, let me take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to the European Union for committing Funds for this project, and for the continued support to Sierra Leone. This financial assistance is highly valued as it supports our Government’s strategic efforts in the development of infrastructure projects, particularly roads and bridges.
Let me recognize the efforts of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, the National Authorizing Office and staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for bringing this process forward as desired.
I thank the contractors, Messrs’ MSF Engenharia, S.A / Electrofer, S.A. for their involvement in this process. Our expectations are high, and so wish the project is delivered on time and with value for Money. Let me also thank all the stakeholders who have been instrumental in the issues that have led us to the contract signing of this important road project. I will encourage all of us to work together and support each other and ensure smooth implementation and completion of the project.
Mr. Chairman, with these remarks, I thank you all for your kind attention.