Ghost of Leonard Balogun Koroma (Logus), former Minister of Transport and Aviation under the leadership of the All People Congress (APC) who corruptibly procured over 100 buses is haunting the government of President Bio as they seem to be embarking on similar direction with regards procurement of over 200 buses.
Reports from China depict that the SLPP Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabinneh Kallon, Executive Chairman of National Privatization Commission (NCP) Umaru Napoleon Koroma, former SLPP Member of Parliament, Hon Rado Yokie, one Amadu Bello and a Ghanaian national signed a contract for the supply of 200 buses with Golden Dragon Bus Company Limited without going through any form of procurement process and technical assessment as established by the National Public Procurement Authority Act of 2016.
Minister Kabineh Kallon has already described the flawed and corrupt-laden procurement of 200 buses as an ‘epoch making event,’ according to reports from China.
The reports furthered that the minister said that his presence in China is a demonstration of the government’s relentless commitment with Golden Dragon through RDC to acquire the two hundred 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.
Another report from the Public Relations Department of Nation Commission for Privatization (NCP) revealed 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.
Surprisingly, while the Minister of Transport is saying one thing, another thing is being said by the Executive Chairman of NCP who is also the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP).
“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.
That what happened in china was an exploratory discussions and signing of memorandum of understandings with private partners ahead of any subsequent legal agreement that would serve the interests of both parties- a situation which has already prejudiced any procurement process for the 200 buses.
Besides, the team that made the ‘’exploratory tour’’ and eventual signing of the MOU had no technical person in the transport sector- not even anyone from Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) which is very worrying.
Even the background of the picture exposed the fact that the signing of an agreement had already been made for the ‘Sierra Leone City Bus Project’ in a flawed and possibly corrupt manner, the government is contradicting itself on the whole 200 bus contract.
Details on this in subsequent editions.