President Dr Julius Maada Bio has commissioned the start of construction of a 78 kilometre long Koidu-Guinea border highway, saying that the $94 million infrastructure will open business space and promote trade between Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Paramount Chief Mbriwa Sahr Youngai Kontanday said the turning of the sod for the construction of a major road linking the two countries was a key development for people in that part of the country, adding that past governments had failed the people of Kono.
He argued that the country had benefited a lot from the minerals from Kono but that there was no evidence of such mineral wealth for the people.
He further stated that only a President who truly cared for his people would think of investing in such roads, which would eventually pass through five chiefdoms and benefit seven chiefdoms in the district.
“On behalf of the people of the Kono, we say thank you,” he noted.
Managing Director for Group GUICOPRES, Youssouf D. Kamara, said they were very delighted to be a part of the history-making event, adding that the construction of the road would not only be significantly beneficial to the people of Kono, but it would also mean a lot to the country and its neighbours in the Mano River Union.
He further stated that their company came to Sierra Leone in 2013 from Guinea and had since contributed immensely to the construction of major roads like those in the townships of Kono and Kabala.
“I can assure you, Your Excellency, that we are going to do a great job on this road and at a speed that the people of Sierra Leone will appreciate,” he assured.
Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Ing. Amara Kanneh, said the road, once completed in the next three years, would meet international standards and assured that people would be compensated for their properties affected by the road work.
He said schools and community centres would also be constructed in big towns during the road construction.
“Your Excellency, one good aspect about this project is that it will create a lot of jobs for the youths of the various communities, and the construction of border facilities,” he concluded.
President Dr Julius Maada Bio said it was a great day for the people of Kono, adding that he was not only engaged in advancing reforms in the country but was also engaged in the provisioning of many infrastructural developments.
He added that the road would not only boost businesses along townships in the Kono district, but that goods could also be transported quickly.
“This project will open up the market space, help education to grow and most importantly it will help agriculture to grow and flourish. My government will not engage in cosmetic development but one that will bring lasting development to my people. We will ensure that this road is not only constructed but also maintained. On that note, I now have the pleasure to commission the Koidu-Guinea border road,” he closed.