The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the General Manager of the National Tourist Board and the Principal of the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), Dr. Philip Kanu have made their maiden site visit/meeting of the rehabilitation of the Hotel and Tourism Training Center Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project (STDPP/EIF-TIER 2) at the Brookfields campus of the Milton Margai Technical College in Freetown. The three officials were accompanied by their senior staff respectively.
Construction work for the rehabilitation of the Hotel and Tourism Training Center (HTTC) under the enhanced Integrated Framework Sustainable Tourism Development and Promotion Project is ongoing and as such, the consultant, Ideas Limited, charged with the responsibility for the supervision of works requested a maiden site visit with the contractors, Almadi Construction and Interlinks Investment.
The Minister of Tourism, Dr. Memunatu Pratt disclosed at the site that she is satisfied with the First Phase of clearing and demolition that is going on well noting that although she is not a contractor she observed during the cause of the inspection some issues that were brought to the attention of the contractors such as the low railings of the building that should be raised up while some walls should be demolished and spaces opened, admonished the contractors to construct an external staircase or ramp for disables which she reiterated is very important for the use of both disabled students and guests as government is promoting inclusiveness and asserted that this is the trend with all hotels and public buildings.
She continued that the contractors assured her that they would do the necessary changes, highlighted the cordial relations between the consultants and contractors as she underscored the relevance of the tourism sector in national and economic development as well as being one of government’s priority programs disclosing that this is the first time Sierra Leone is having such a facility to train students in the sector as is the case in other countries.
According to the Tourism Minister, the sustainable and state-of-the-art Tourism Training School would serve generations yet unborn as it would enable students to get a feel of the sector, guaranteed that it would be of international standard, that the project would be rolled out to other Technical Universities in the regions revealing that Unimak has already commenced its Tourism Course.
The Site Engineer of Almadi Construction and Interlinks Investment, Mr. Abdulai Conteh revealed that the six-month project would be completed on time as they have completed 90% of the demolition and now on block work that is 25% complete to be followed by roofing while the classrooms have been 30% compete but pointed out that their major challenge is the rains.
Among the issues discussed by all the stakeholders during the meeting were the signing of the contract, date of commencement and completion, building permit, performance bond, insurance, communication, temporary water, telephone and electricity connections, working hours, quality control, testing of materials, samples, structural matters, variations, architects instruction, ordering of materials, contractors report as well as advanced and interim payments
The meeting was chaired by the Consultants and hosted by the Contractors.