By Vidal Bultman, We Yone :
The Deputy General Manager Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC), Foday Lansana Suma(FLS) in a press conference held recently in their conference room at Blackhall Road in Freetown said to the press that the management of SLRTC is going to ensure that the newly arrived 100 buses benefits the people of the country.
He thanked the government for providing the 100 buses for the corporation, saying, it will address the transportation problems of commuters.
He added one of their main priorities is to provide affordable transportation for the entire citizenry at a low cost and that they are not a profitable institution.
“ We are not politicians, we are technocrats and we don’t pay much attention to critics for us not to loose our focus,” Suma noted, adding: “we want to ensure that the users enjoy the services we are providing for them and promised that they will provide more bus services before the end of President Koroma’s term in office.’’
The Deputy General Manager maintained that it is the very first time in the history of the country for a sitting government to procure 100 brand new buses for its people, adding : “when the buses arrived in the country, the management of the corporation inspected them and they were satisfied with them”, noting their main focus is on service delivery.
He further dilated on the workshop, which he said is presently under renovation by the Chinese, adding the Chinese people have been of great benefits to the people of Sierra Leone based upon the long standing bilateral relationship between the two countries.
In the area of capacity building, he said, before the arrival of the buses, the corporation deemed it necessary to increase it capacity that makes them in the sound footing to take care of the buses, stating they have also recruited seasoned experts to head various departments.
“100 buses are not enough, but we are going to manage them for the time been until more is been provided,” the Deputy General Manager maintained, adding with the well experienced head of the Technical Department, Dr. Robert Coker- repairing of the old buses are in progress and some have been already repaired.
In his contribution the Marketing Officer who also doubles as Public Relations Officer, Mohamed Zoka gave a brief background about the establishment of the corporation, adding during various administrations, buses were brought into the country, but the 100 buses is a record set by the present administration headed by no less a person than President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
He also promised: “this time around it will not be ‘business as usual’, adding their primary objective is to ensure that the buses are well taken care of.
“We want to ease the suffering of the masses and 100 buses will not solve the transportation problem in the country,” Zoka maintained, while itemizing how they have allocated the 100 buses and they have partner with the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (A BC) to establish a school bus service to which they have allocated 15 of the buses.
He also touched on the newly arrived spare parts, the ticketing which he said very soon they will introduce a new ticket system that will give users the opportunity to purchase their tickets either on daily, weekly or monthly basis at a very reasonable price.