US$2B Lungi Bridge Project Kicks Off

 

By Thomas S. Kembay

His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio has on Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 opened the tender process for the Lungi Bridge which is estimated at between US$1.8 to 2.1 billion at State House, Freetown.

Addressing foreign investors, government officials, private investors and the media, President Bio stated that infrastructural development is one of his administration’s key priority areas of investment leading to diversification.

According to the first gentleman, infrastructural development should not be seen as a burden to the country with huge debt but it should be financed in such a way that the public and future generation would not be liable for the debt.

“We are not going to build a bridge or airport for which the people of Sierra Leone are going to pay a big interest for the next 30 years,” said President Bio, noting that such infrastructural development does not make economic sense.

Each infrastructural investment or development, he said, must be paid back by itself in 10 to 20 years depending on the financing model.

He therefore emphasised that infrastructural development should be affordable and must be self-funded.

“Infrastructure must be purposeful and must unlock tangible economic growth to improve the quality of life of each citizen,” he said warning against kick backs and bribery around infrastructural development.

In his contribution, Chairman of the Presidential Infrastructure, Dr. John Edward Tambi disclosed that the government will not incur any debt from the construction of the bridge, noting that the bridge will pay for itself.

He pointed out that the bridge is not just a mere bridge but a structure that connects two economic zones.