The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education has signed a contract with two consulting firms (Seacon/C+S and Yorma Engineering) for the commencement of the 1st phase of construction work for Kono University of Science and Technology. The meeting was held at the Ministry’s Conference Room in New England Ville.
MTHE’s Minister, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, mentioned that the presence of a high caliber of people to grace the signing ceremony is an indication that the entire process is gradually having a divine touch. He noted that in as much as the funding Agency (EWCOWAS Bank for Development-EBD) has its own time profile, the Government of Sierra Leone has seen the need to play its part by using its own money in the process as well. Prof. Wurie pointed out that Kono University would start in two different prongs, the prong of getting the infrastructure and the prong of getting the students to start the access programmes, each of which are already set to commence this year. “This afternoon is a manifestation of the fact that we recognize that the transmission from secondary to tertiary is getting larger…we have to create the institutions as well as ensure the quality of what they get. We are now doing the Admin Building, the Assembly Hall, and lecture halls. The hostels, further lecture halls, canteen etc. will come in around June of next year,” he projected.
According to the Chairman of the Office of Presidential Infrastructure Initiative (OPII), Dr. John Tambi, Kono University of Science and Technology got funding of $33 Million from EBD to build a structure, but because of the slow process of accessing the funding from EBD, the Government of Sierra Leone is using its own money, besides the $33 Million, to build an administrative building, assembly hall and lecture halls as a manifestation of what the President wants to do in Kono. “We have selected two consulting firms represented by indigenes of Kono, because we believe we need ownership of this project,” he said.
Member of Parliament (MP) representing Constituency 029 in Kono District, Hon. Rebecca Kamara, assured the public of their readiness as MPs to play a proper oversight role in a bid to ensure that accurate work is being done on the construction site. “We will have to monitor and ask the contractors every relevant question to see that a very good job is done,” she vowed. She appreciated the Government of Sierra Leone for implementing the Local Content Policy by giving the contracts to indigenes of Kono District, envisioning that more contracts are given to Kono people in due course.
In her vote of thanks, MTHE’s Director of Research, Planning and Development, Ms. Sia Fasuluku, commended President Bio’s foresight and belief in what he promised during his campaign period by bringing education to the doors of Kono, adding that kids within the District no longer have to go farther in their quest for tertiary education, as they need not leave their homes anymore. She thanked all key players in the process of actualizing a dream that the Kono people have always had, anticipating that such laudable achievement in Kono would be the beginning of more development in the District.