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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Parliament ratifies container terminal concession agreement

HomeAYV NewsParliament ratifies container terminal concession agreement

Parliament ratifies container terminal concession agreement

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Explaining to Members of Parliament about the agreement, the Transport Minister stated that the Government with a business reform strategy programme of the Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA) with the objective of improving efficiency, productivity, customer service delivery, capacity building and overall financial operational performance of SLPA, decided to go into the agreement with Bollore.
He maintained that such agreement will promote investment and private participation as the country will be transformed into a regional centre for processing, manufacturing, assembly and distribution port within the region which will in turn increase the export and import volume handled at the Port.
According to him, a new deep quay of 270 meters and a new berth with a depth of water of minus 13 meters that would accommodate larger container vessels will be constructed and the purchasing of new equipment including two ships to shore gantry cranes and four rubber tire gantries amounting to $120m (one hundred and twenty US Dollar) will be provided.
The minister disclosed that this is the first time the country is benefiting from becoming a share holder of 20% as equity owner and that the government will grant a concession of 50% exemption on its income tax liability for a period of 10 years following the date of operation.
After explaining about the agreement to the Members of Parliament, the Speaker of the House, Hon S.B.B. Dumbuya opened the floor for members to debate as to whether the agreement should be ratified or not, but no MP stood to make a presentation, so the Speaker was left with no option but to ask for vote for or against and the ‘I’s” had it.
Normally, when bills or agreements are laid before the House for debate it is the Chairman or the Deputy of the Committee in charge of the Ministries, Departments or Agencies (MDAs) that will start the ball rolling by trying to convince members as to why they should support or reject the bill or agreement, but in this case nothing like that happened.
So, at the end of the day the agreement was unanimously ratified by the house with less than 15 minutes after the Minister finished his presentation on the agreement.

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