By Yusufu Sesay
The Ministry of Finance Technical Committee 2 in the ongoing Bilateral Budget Discussions on Thursday 12th October, 2023 unanimously approved the proposed budget of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) for the Financial Year 2024, amounting to NLe139, 009,683 (One Hundred and Thirty-nine Million, Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-three Leones).
The approval hearing was held at the conference room of the Ministry of Finance at Treasury Building on George Street in Freetown.
Speaking at the ongoing budget hearings, the Director General of SLRA, Ing. Amara Kanneh, disclosed that the mission of the public institution is to provide a safe, reliable and sustainable national road system for the enhancement of the socio-economic development of the country.
The Director General said the proposed FY2024 budget comprised operation/administrative costs in a bid to improve organizational efficiency for the development and maintenance of all roads and related structures on the national road network.
Ing. Amara Kanneh said government is desirous of developing a sustainable and cost-effective road maintenance strategy with the aim that strategic roads are passable throughout the year.
According to him, government will construct roads that lead to touristic areas in a bid to boost the tourism industry, as well as roads leading to productive agricultural areas.
The Director General said the policy pronouncement on infrastructure was considered during the FY2024 budget preparation for roads development and maintenance management.
He highlighted SLRA’s key deliverables for the construction and maintenance of selected roads, including Tikonko – Mattru, Kambia - Tompari – Kamakwie, Kailahun – Koindu, and township roads in Kenema, Makeni, Port Loko, Bo, Freetown amongst other roads.
Ing. Kanneh further gave assurance to the Technical Committee that the Lumley - Tokeh Road and Hill Bypass Road will be completed this year, noting that if the money requested by the Authority is granted, most of the road maintenance and monitoring would be done.