On Monday 29 August 2022, the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) officially handed over the Sewa Grounds Market for its completion to seven contractors and is expected to host over 3000 traders after its completion.

Explaining the duration of the contracts, the Consultant for NASSIT, Abel Onomake said the work is expected to be complete in the next 120 days starting from Monday the 29th of August 2022.

In his statement, the Minister of trade and Industry, Dr. Hinga Sandi thanked NASSIT for their timely intervention, adding that he has looked at all the engineering processes and that it would be good for traders. He said traders within the Central Business District of Freetown have suffered for so long, stating that after the completion of the building, traders would now have a dignified market place to find their livelihood.

Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon briefed that before the start of the project, his Ministry and that of NASSIT have been engaging behind the scene just to see this project get to its completion stage. He informed that as a Ministry, they have also started implementing a World Bank project of constructing market structures, over-head bridges for pedestrians and street traders across the city of Freetown.

From his side, the Director General (DG) of NASSIT, Mohamed Fuaad Daboh started by explaining the delay for the completion of the Sewa Grounds Market. He said since 2018, the contract of the market has been under serious investigations by different Government institutions especially the ACC to know how the contract was awarded and why the project was not completed before the time frame given.

“So this caused the delay but however, for the past two years now, we have been working with the management and board of NASSIT to see how we can complete this project. It has been back and forth, we have to go through the procurement process and I think that went well. So we are here today to officially hand over this building to the contractors” he said.

The DG went on to explain to the general public that with efforts made they have been able to reach to the stage of awarding the contract to 7 contractors that would ensure the building is completed for the stipulated time given to them.

He emphasized that the money for the project is an investment money and so therefore, he added “after the completion of the market traders are expected to pay for the facilities before they can have access to it.