The first report from the Sierra Leone Government Media in China about the procurement of 200 buses for the country is that the Government of President Julius Maada Bio has already agreed to buy over 200 buses without the necessary procurement and technical assessment from a Chinese company called Golden Dragon.
New Age learnt that the 200 buses according to the agreement will cost the government of Sierra Leone little above 20 million United States Dollars.
The report from China indicated that the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon has already described the flawed and corrupt-laden procurement of 200 buses as an ‘epoch making event.’
The report furthered that the minister said that his presence in China is a demonstration of the government’s relentless commitment with Golden Dragon through RDC (the agent between the government of Sierra Leone and Golden Dragon) to acquire the 200 commuter buses to ease transportation problem in the country.
“The Minister said his ministry, the Commission for Privatization, Road Transport Corporation and the Procurement office were all actively involved with negotiations leading to the signing of the agreement,” the report from China maintained.
National Commission for Privatization (NCP) in trying to save their name stated in their own report that the Chairman, Umaru Napoleon Koroma together with other stakeholders held “negotiations with one of the best bus manufacturers in the world- Golden Dragon in China’’ whose outcome can lead to potential supply of Build Operate and Transfer of 200 buses that would significantly salvage Sierra Leone’s aging transport problems.
How did they know that Golden Dragon is one of the best bus manufacturers in the world is another thing. Why is the Minister talking about agreement and the Executive Chairman of NCP is talking about negotiation?
“If ongoing negotiations are successful, the team will return home to commence the appropriate legal processes that may see Sierra Leone undertake an agreement in line with the country’s procurement laws,” the report from NCP says, contradicting and contrasting what the Minister of Transport and Aviation had already stated.
As both the Minister and the Executive Chairman are confusing themselves, the background of the picture exposed the fact that the signing of an agreement had already been made for ‘Sierra Leone City Bus Project’ in a flawed and corrupt manner.
More on this in subsequent editions.