Kailahun Town, Eastern Province, Saturday 21 November 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has turned the sod for the construction of a bus station in Kailahun Town, eastern Sierra Leone.
Welcoming people to the occasion, Paramount Chief of Luawa Chiefdom, Sama Kailondo Banya, said that they were gathered to witness an important development for the construction of a bus station. He noted that because government should cater for the need of its people, the Sierra Leone People’s Party government was truly governing in the interest of the people.
“Your Excellency, Kailahun has suffered for a long time but under your leadership we are beginning to see development not only in Kailahun but in the whole of the country. Your government has given school buses for our children. If the township develops, cost of living will reduce in the district,” he said.
Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Dr Walton Ekundayo Gilpin, said that they were glad to partner with the Sierra Leone Roads Transport Cooperation for constructing the bus station in Kailahun.
He said he saw the political will in transforming the country under the leadership of President Bio, adding that that was why the bank partnered with SLRTC to deliver on the bus station.
“Rokel Commercial Bank will continue to work with the government in its development drive,” he assured.
Director General of SLRTC, Ken Green, thanked the people of Kailahun for providing a piece of land for the construction of a bus station in their district, noting that the move was because every citizen of the country should benefit from national and local development.
Mr. Green also thanked the management of the Rokel Commercial Bank for partnering with them to ensure decentralisation was achieved.
He told the audience that his cooperation was working very closely with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and that they had signed an agreement for the procurement of 200 buses that would be in country before April of 2021.
“The World Bank has also provided the government of Sierra Leone with a $50 million grant for the transport sector. The Ministry of Transport and Aviation will also procure additional 100 buses. So, by the end of 2023, 300 buses will be available with the cooperation and that would drastically reduce the constraints on the transport sector,” he noted.
In his short statement before the turning of the sod, President Julius Maada Bio said that development was a huge milestone in the history of Kailahun, adding that the bus would ease the problems of accessing public transportation.
He further stated that the country had long suffered from the lack of access to public transport system, but assured that his government would continue to put people at the centre of their development agenda.
“The country has for a long time lagged behind in matching up with modern developments. Transportation is very important but to access it there should be the requisite infrastructure to make it available. I am happy for this move, it is a right step in the right direction,” he noted.
President Bio also commended the initiative of SLRTC to partner with Rokel Commercial Bank in making sure that they ameliorate the transportation constraints of the people of Kailahun. He therefore urged the people of Kailahun to embrace and cooperate with the management of such a development.
“To the two institutions, I thank you for doing what I expect of you to deliver to the people. I especially thank the leadership of SLRTC for giving life once more to the institution that was only functional in Freetown,“ he noted.
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