$270M Airport Terminal Extension
SLPP Exhibits Outrageous Fiscal Indiscipline
On Thursday, 12th November, 2020, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio launched the commencement of a 270 million dollars work on the new airport terminal extension project that will accommodate one million passengers per year and supposedly provide 2000 direct jobs for Sierra Leoneans in the construction phase.
The said project, according to the chairman of the Presidential Infrastructural Initiative under the Office of the President, Dr. John Tambi, is been done on a BOT basis i.e Built, Operated and Transfer by Summa Group, a Turkish Company whose integrity leaves much to be desired.
Many citizens however, have viewed this project as outrageous especially when looked at from the point of financial expediency and cost-effectiveness.
This is so because the same Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) led government has had to cancel a 315 million dollars brand new airport construction project in Mamah which would have not only made it possible for Sierra Leone to own two airports but also made it possible for the creation of a new city thereby decongesting the capital, Freetown and created more jobs than what is now projected of the terminal extension project.
According to many economists, this project, which is a mere extension of the country’s old airport as opposed to a brand new mainland airport that was not only cost-effective but would have had far more reaching economic impacts, is the worst economic stupidity being exhibited by the SLPP government.
Giving a breakdown of the project, Dr. Tambi disclosed that the expansion of the Lungi International Air Port Terminal will take a period of two (2) years and the project will not cost anything to the government of Sierra Leone. He added that the investor will have to foot the bill for the project for a considerable number of years.
He disclosed that when the expansion is completed, the donor will have to collect back his money over time. He noted that the construction process will commence January 2021, adding that the new terminal expansion will include a new fire control room, control tower and the construction process will not disrupt any of the existing terminal currently in use.
Critics have therefore maintained that the expansion of the Lungi International Airport terminal is not necessary and it is a complete misplacement of priorities especially when this Bio led administration cancelled the 315 million dollars Mamamah International Airport Project that will usher in a new city and help to decongest Sierra Leone main capital city of Freetown and create more jobs for thousands of Sierra Leoneans.
However, the Lungi International Airport Terminal Expansion and the Lungi Bridge, all terms and conditions of those projects are yet to be tabled before the House of Parliament for approval by the people’s representatives.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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