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Parliament put in abeyance new toll-gate charges, opposition credits decision to political cohesion

The House of Parliament has decided to suspend the initiation of the proposed toll-gate charges, which was scheduled to commence on March 1st, 2024. The suggested prices had been the topic of much discussion and debate amongst lawmakers and the general public, with many expressing their disapproval.

Following the summoning of all relevant parties, including the Ministry of Works, Sierra Leone Road Safety, and the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), the parliamentary committee requested that the proposal be redrafted and resubmitted with financial and traffic data reports for further deliberation.

After conducting additional consultations, the Speaker of the House announced an indefinite postponement of the implementation of any new charges, pending a review and public consultations.

According to the opposition leader in the House, Hon. Abdul Kargbo, this decision was a result of political cohesion, following his strong statement against the proposal due to its potential impact on economic activity. He further elaborated that important decisions such as these should be carefully considered and communicated adequately to the public.

Moreover, he strongly disagreed with the notion of an underperforming business, which was submitted by the toll-gate operators, stating that if such were the case, suggestions for revision should have been made earlier. Regardless, he emphasized that any changes to the existing toll-gate charges must receive the approval of the House of Parliament, which represents the people's interests.

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