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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

MPs approve US$36.65m loan agreement for rehabilitation of FBC

HomeAYV NewsMPs approve US$36.65m loan agreement for rehabilitation of FBC

MPs approve US$36.65m loan agreement for rehabilitation of FBC

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While presenting the agreement before the ratification, the Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Foday B.M Mansaray said the Minister of Finance signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone on 28th January 2016 with the objective of developing and improving higher education in the country, stating that the project will be implemented within a period of 30 months.
He said the idea of rehabilitating FBC was conceived during an Appraisal Mission from BADEA which visited Sierra Leone in April 2012, stating that the sum of eight million United State Dollars (US$8,000,000) agreement was signed between GoSL and BADEA, adding that thirteen million United State Dollars (US$13,000,000) have been signed by (OFID) since 18th April 2013 and 19th May 2013, respectively.
The Minister of State 1, Ministry of Finance informed parliamentarians that both agreements have been fulfilled.
Mr. Mansaray told parliamentarians that the GoSL will co-financed the project with the sum of three million six hundred and fifty thousand United State Dollars (US$3,650,000), whilst Saudi Fund will financed the project with twelve million United State Dollars (US$12,000,000) if agreed by the House.
He said the objective of the FBC project includes rehabilitation of existing buildings including accommodation faculties for students, the administrative building and halls for student activities with a total area of 48,000 square meters and rehabilitation of road networks.
Mr. Mansaray also added that the project includes expansion works including the construction of buildings for the Faculty of Architecture, the construction of lecture halls, accommodation for faculty staff and administrative facilities with a total area of 8,656 square meters and supply and construction of electricity network, using solar energy, among others.
He said the project is strategic to the enhancement of quality higher education through the improvement of the physical infrastructure of the college, thus creating a conducive and safe environment for learning.
While the parliamentarians were giving consensus view on the loan agreement, Hon. Frank Kposowa said that “FBC is now the citadel of deterrent,” adding that the college is “outrageously appalling.”
“FBC today has been degenerated to a secondary school wherein students walk on the desk to the back seat,” Hon. Kposowa said, stating that the House must treat the loan agreement as an emergency so that the project will commence.
Hon. Roland Foday Kargbo also called on the House to quickly ratify the “highly concessional loan,” so that the project will be speeded.
Hon. Bernadette Lahai, while calling on the House to ratify the agreement, said her concern is on the preservation of the rehabilitated structures.
“If there was a system of preservation, we will not be talking about such a massive rehabilitation,” she said, adding that students must take pride to preserve the university.
She called on the lecturers and staff, among others, to stop fixing their eyes on government to preserve their quarters, stating that “most of the officials occupying government quarters don’t have maintenance culture; even if the ceiling is falling on them, they will wait for government to do the maintenance.”
Responding, Mr Mansaray said there is a special section in the agreement that handles the area of maintenance and supervision adding that they will be putting a robust system to make sure that the structures are maintained.

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