For very good reasons, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma delayed the signing of a contract for the procurement of sixty vehicles (Land Cruiser and Prado Jeeps) for use by Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and some senior government officials.
The Minister (a former senior Civil Servant) insisted that certain conditions had to be fulfilled by the supplier (Era Services) before he could sign the contract document.
Hon. Balogun Koroma insisted that, the supplier must, as a matter of conditionality, fulfil the following conditions before any deal could be struck:-
- To provide manufacturers authorization issued directly from the manufacturer product, Toyota of Japan, guaranteeing stock availability and genuiness of the product;
- That the brochure submitted must include pictures and details of the vehicles most essential technical specifications;
- That the supplier must confirm in writing that he bears responsibility for paying duties and taxes and that the government will be under no obligation to even consider unbudgeted duty-free concession application from the supplCategoriesier for the clearance of the sixty vehicles;
- The requisite performance bond from the supplier equivalent to the 30% down payment.
He further insisted that, he must personally travel to Japan to verify the technical specifications of the vehicles before he would sign the contract. It is to everyone’s knowledge that, representatives of Era Services had openly described Hon. Balogun Koroma as “a very difficult man”.
When the substantive Minister (Balogun Koroma) travelled to China for one week, the Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay was appointed to act as Minister of Transport and Aviation. In the absence of Logus Koroma, Kemoh Sesay signed the contract without even informing the substantive Minister, as a matter of courtesy.
According to reliable resources, Logus Koroma has insisted that the supplier must replace all the twenty-four substandard vehicles he supplied the government and at no additional cost to the tax payers of Sierra Leone.
Many people are wondering why Kemoh Sesay had to sign a contract that he did not even negotiate. What was the compelling reason for Kemoh Sesay to have hurriedly signed the almost US$2M contract?
Reports say the supplier has agreed to replace the substandard vehicles with Prado Jeeps for Ministers while Deputy Ministers will now use the substandard Land Cruiser Jeeps.
The Anti Corruption Commission is expected to invite the supplier and officials of both the Ministry of Transport and NPPA (National Public Procurement Authority) for questioning.
Bravo, Logus Koroma!