The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon has confirmed to pressmen that the 50 buses which were bought to aid the free quality education flagship of the New Direction are to start full operation on the day government has set aside for the reopening of schools.
He made this confirmation at the weekly Ministry of Information and Communication press conference on 29th August 2019.
He added that his ministry has partnered with Ministries of Finance, Local Government and Basic and Secondary Education to ensure the smooth management of the buses.
He went on to say that after serious negotiations, the Ministry has distributed 47 buses to different parts of the country with Western Urban having 12 (the highest) out of the 47 buses distributed, adding that 3 buses will be kept for any emergency or if there is need for more at the district level.
“We have put in place mechanisms for the smooth operation of the buses so as to maintain them for a durable period of time. City and town councils in different district will manage the buses on a cost-recovery basis,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Brima Lennie also added that they have hired Chinese specialists to train the drivers and that it was part of the bargain from the company they bought the buses from.
“We have also arranged for a mobile garage which is set aside for the maintenance of the buses at anytime and anywhere. The Chinese specialists are here to basically give more orientation on operation of the buses as these buses were specially made and there are certain facilities in the buses that need special orientation” he ended.
The Ministry also claimed that the procurement process for the buses, which cost $4.9 million, was normal and transparent and they were all insured by the National Insurance Company.
According to the Minister, the buses are to be launched before schools reopen in all the different judicial districts by Ministers and Members of parliament in the different districts across the country.