• February 5, 2024

CONSTRUCTION OF TIHUN PRIMARY SCHOOL STILL IN SHAMBLE!!

CONSTRUCTION OF TIHUN PRIMARY SCHOOL STILL IN SHAMBLE!!
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By Alusine Fullah

The Sierra Leone Audit Report presents the overall result of our work for 2022. In undertaking this crucial work and keeping with our statutory obligations, the conducted the audit of financial statements, compliance with relevant legislation, performance audit and the audit of information technology systems within Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and other institutions of like nature.

National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) is a semi-autonomous government agency which augments the work of social sector Ministries and Agencies and local authorities in delivering social services to deprived and remote communities across the country. It is governed by a Board of Directors with representatives from Government, donors and civil society.

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NaCSA’s broad mandate is “to provide and otherwise engage in social relief programmes and to promote community-based demand-driven and sustainable development activities leading to the alleviation of poverty and improvement in the speed, quality and impact of development initiatives in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, relevant ministries, private sector partners and other interested partners”

However, looking at the report profoundly, it is evident that National Commission for Social Action has not been up to the task of its mandate. The just released Audit Report has exposed several leap holes of the commission. The report states the following:

Contract Terms not Met for the Reconstruction of RC Primary School, Tihun The Commission awarded contract for the reconstruction of RC Primary School in Tihun Village, Bonthe District, on 3rd December, 2021 at a cost of SLE1,956,083, and with a completion date of June 2022. From examination of records, we observed that payments totalling SLE890,505 (representing 46% of the contract value) had been made to the contractor. During physical verification at the project site on 25th September 2023, (15 months after the contract completion date), we observed the following: Construction works of the new school structures had not been completed.

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From interviews with community people, we observed that since December 2022, the contractor had abandoned the site due to alleged lack of funding to continue the construction works.  Pupils in classes four, five and six were using make-shift zinc structures to take classes because the permanent school building was demolished to make way for the new structures, which had not been completed. The community people informed the audit team that during heavy downpour of rains, classes were halted due to the rains and heavy winds. Below is evidence of status of work at site

According to the official respond of NaCSA: the Project has not stalled as reported by the beneficiaries, the contractor requested a 25% increase in project cost as a result of rapid increase in the cost of construction materials and transportation. The project team has written to the NPPA seeking approval to request for funds from the Ministry of Finance to cover the 25% variance requested. Furthermore, the Commission has met with the contractor and it was agreed that, the contractor should resume work whilst we await approval from the NPPA.

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