Following the proclaimed increment in the price of vehicles and other means of transportation machines using the tollgate, the National Consortium On Public Accountability has called on the Government for an Immediate Review of this new killer Toll Gate Tariff Increment.

They maintained that,  the Minister of Works and Public Assets Dr. Dennis Sandi, has again exhibited features of weakness to serve in putting forward and proposing a new tariff to be increased for an incomplete Toll Gate is controversially meaningless and inconsistent.

They maintained that, in their assessment, the new tariff charges, has sparked widespread concerns among citizens who are already grapping with economic hardship, adding that the move has reignited scrutiny over the Toll Gate agreement, which was initially established during the tenure of the previous APC government under Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

The Toll Gate Contract Agreement was a naive and failed legacy of the APC administration hoping if implemented accordingly will develop and enhance effective infrastructure in the country. In 2017, the APC government, in collaboration with the China Railway Seventh Group entered into a Build, Operate and Transfer agreement in order to expand the 62km two-lane highway into a four-lane carriageway, with a project value of $161 million. On the other hand, the current government, during its time in opposition, took a critical stance on the Toll Gate construction, making campaign promises to reassess the agreement and possibly terminate the contract. Reminiscing also, this government made it very expicit that, you will ensure an optional road be constructed in order to avert a compulsory road usage. This government pledged to terminate it sooner you had the opportunity to be in governance. Yet few individuals have ignored the position of genuinely reviewing this agreement. Few bad eggs have instead concentrated to be part of the poor agreement living the citizens to continue wallowing in agony, frustration, pains and hopelessness.

Thus, an infinitesimal number of bad eggs have turned their ugly eyes to a collective syndicate of ‘Brown Envelopes’. This Toll Gate Contract Agreement is very shanty and devastating as it is for the Chinese rather than for the people of Sierra Leone. It is evidently lucid that, it is not found to be in the nation’s best interest. However, since assuming power, there has been a notable lack of action that was well articulated during the 2017-2018 campaigns regarding such new tariff attempt. We considered few individuals who chose to collect ‘Brown Envelope’ thereby leaving the greater masses in an abject poverty and suffering.

The new tariff increment of Toll prices, scheduled to come into effect on March 1st, has sparked significantly terrifying fears and concerns in all sectors more especially the provinces and Western Rural as there will be an increase in the transportation and other commodities. In the consideration of the current economic challenges facing the nation, an escalation in toll charges would undoubtedly add to the existing burdens of citizens who are already struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, the government intends to implement the proposed toll charges without presenting the matter for a better evaluation by Civil Society Organizations and the Media. This itself is an attempt to avert the tenets of democracy in the country.

The timing of this proposed increase raises questions about the government’s priorities and its commitment to the welfare of its citizens. In the face of economic hardships, it is crucial for the government to prioritize policies that will alleviate and reduce suffering in the country rather than exacerbating the burdens by ordinary Sierra Leoneans.

As discussions on the Toll charges continue, citizens are urging the government to honor its promise of reviewing the Toll Gate Agreement and to ensure that any decision taken is genuinely in the best interest of the country and its people. Failing to do so would only deepen the suffering of the already burdened populace.. “   They stated.

In their projected recommendations, the asked that, the Minister of Works be immediately sacked as he is not competent to present his case to the president and the people of Sierra Leone.

That, they should put a hold onto this Tariff increment until further notice.

That they should Include all CSOs in the initial process of the review of this contract agreement.

They demanded to see an optional road immediately, as well as asking that the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) completes the four-Lane now as they have cheated the people of Sierra Leone since the road is not a four- lane drive.

They added that, they are worried over the extortions of fuel cost in the provinces because of the action of selective forces in the government. If they paid higher cost to transport their fuel to the provinces, it will definitively have a negative impact on the people.