The negligence of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation on maintenance and monitoring of government buses has leftover forty government buses languishing at the Freetown Teachers’ College field, Jui for over a year. This is happening even as Sierra Leoneans suffer in the face of a constant public transportation crisis.
This has also forced hundreds of Sierra Leoneans to trek by foot to and from their offices and some spending colossal sums to reach their destinations daily.
Transportation is key in every country, as it enhances productivity in business in every facet including food condiments. The hiking of prices by the private transport providers has impacted negatively on the price of almost everything in the country.
The transportation sector has become horrible and worrisome. The public outcry sparked by this status quo has become prevalent in the country which has ignited the cost of living and affects the livelihoods of ordinary people. Those who buy foodstuff both from the provinces and in major cities spend colossal sums in transporting them. Commercial drivers charge triple, compared to the stipulated cost government has pegged for transportation. This chaotic situation in the transport sector has been largely due to the growing population and corresponding inadequate vehicles.
They are using it as an advantage. The transportation crisis has intensified in the country, especially in the city, Freetown.
It is saddened to note that the traffic sector is full of ‘daylight robbery ‘through ‘unauthorized bookings’ by drivers under the direct instructions of officials in the traffic sector. It is no secret that such a clandestine act has led drivers to bulldoze their way on helpless passengers, on whom they impose unwarranted charges, thereby causing a huge economic burden on poor Sierra Leoneans.
This has made the people who work and receive meagre salaries find it difficult to survive. Most of the average man’s salary goes into transportation, adding salt to injury in terms of the constant suffering.
Conductors and drivers talk to passengers with no courtesy. Due to the mad rush for transportation in the morning hours, passengers have no option but to board these vehicles in the face of all this humiliation. This has made some people lose their lives due to the reckless behaviour of the drivers. Some have serious injuries while some have lost their properties. The ministry is giving blind eyes to all this.
This culture of lack of maintenance is commonplace across government. The APC government bought these vehicles in question but since then no proper maintenance had been taken. They have been in deplorable condition. Most of these busses have stopped running except for some running in the provinces.
We want to crave the indulgence of the government and the Minister of Transport and Aviation to buy new buses and maintenance the old ones. This will create high competitiveness, which will ease the burden caused by transportation on the masses.