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Sierra Leone Parliament ratifies ARISE IIP’s Dry Port Agreement …major economic boost, US$ millions of investment and thousands of new jobs on the way.

HomeAYV NewsSierra Leone Parliament ratifies ARISE IIP’s Dry Port Agreement …major economic...

Sierra Leone Parliament ratifies ARISE IIP’s Dry Port Agreement …major economic boost, US$ millions of investment and thousands of new jobs on the way.

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AYV News, July 8, 2024.

The Parliament of Sierra Leone has debated and unanimously ratified the ARISE IIP’s ‘The Dry Port Concession Agreement by and Between Sierra Leone Ports and Harbours Authority and the Government of Sierra Leone’.

This is part of a groundbreaking Industrial Zone Agreement between the ARISE Integrated Industrial Platform (ARISE IIP) and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to develop and operate a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Koya, Mile 36.

Presenting the Agreement before ratification the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Fanday Turay said the Arise Agreement is geared towards investing in the dry port and river port industrial zone of the Port Loko district with millions of United States dollars Investment and underscored that the agreements are divided into four phases.

He also said the dry port will do connectivity to the region and improve industrial growth, and help to lower prices and also create huge employment for Sierra Leoneans, especially the youth.

The Minister also said the agreement would increase cargo volume and that the dry port would provide an environmentally friendly atmosphere to enhance growth and productivity in the business sector.

The minister said: “This will be done in four phases. In this Phase, the sum of $25 Million shall be allocated for the construction and equipping of the dry port facility to handle up to 35,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) per year. This will include a 15MW dedicated power plant and administrative building which will be built in the first 2 years.

“The dry port will significantly enhance the capacity of the Port of Freetown (Queen Elizabeth II Quay), allowing for more vessels to call at Freetown port, thereby boosting the port’s competitiveness relative to other countries.

“In this phase, the $15 million will be allocated for a river port, including procuring a barging fleet for container delivery by sea/river and modifying the Mabang bridge to allow barge passage. This will be done within 2-3 Years.

“An additional $9 million will be used to expand the dry port’s capacity to accommodate up to 50,000 TEU. The final phase will be for general upgrades and the sum of USD$6 million will be allocated for this phase.

“The GoSL holds an equity stake in the SEZ, and profits from dry port operations will be allotted as a contribution to government revenue through dividends.

“The Agreement will reduce congestion at Seaports. By taking cargo to inland locations, dry ports alleviate congestion at seaports, leading to smoother operations and reduced delays. It will also enhanced connectivity. This dry port will enhance connectivity between seaports and the provinces, thereby facilitating efficient transportation and distribution of goods.

“This dry port is going to spur provincial economic development by attracting businesses, creating jobs, and fostering industrial growth in the provincial areas. When this port starts operations effectively, there will be a reduction in truck idling time within the city which will free up roads, decrease wear and tear, and lower carbon emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability.

“Placing empty containers at the dry port will eliminate the need for exporters to make unnecessary round trips to the port, saving time and costs. It will enhance faster vessel discharge due to reduced port congestion and will lower import prices, as vessels will no longer incur the $20,000 per day cost of waiting to berth.

“As an extension of the Port of Freetown, the dry port will remain under customs oversight, minimizing the risk of smuggling or misdeclaration of goods. This Port will offer first-class facilities for customs and other administrative procedures away from congested port areas, speeding up the clearance process and thereby reducing unnecessary bottlenecks.

“While there will be no changes to the duties or fees collected by the government, the enhanced efficiency in import and export operations will increase cargo volume, thereby boosting revenue from duties. Transportation of goods via barge or convoy is up to 75% cheaper than using individual trucks, offering substantial cost savings.

“Overall, importer costs will be 10-30% cheaper than current rates, making the dry port a highly cost-effective solution. ARISE IIP has a proven track record of successfully building and operating dry ports in Togo, Gabon, and Benin. Their expertise ensures the project’s success and reliability.

“In conclusion, the ARISE dry port project promises significant economic, logistical, and environmental benefits, positioning Sierra Leone as a competitive and attractive destination for global trade and investment”.

The above development will be an addition to ARISE IIP’s proposed $120 million United States dollars to develop SIZ – Koya (Sierra Leone Industrial Zones).

It can be recalled that in 2023, the Sierra Leone Parliament ratified the establishment of the Koya Industrial Zone, a project that will catalyse the industrialization of Sierra Leone.

The Koya integrated industrial zone is designed to host companies specialising, among other things, in agro-industry, timber processing, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods manufacturing, electric vehicle manufacturing, and paint and tile manufacturing.

The Company is also currently working with the Government of Sierra Leone to construct a 400 to 500MT of Rice Mill in the country.

It is aimed at boosting economic growth and skilled jobs and raising export revenue by attracting investors through streamlined permits and approvals required to do businesses in Sierra Leone.

The Parliamentary Chairperson on Transport and Aviation, Hon. Ambrose Maada Labbie said the agreement is a Presidential Manifesto geared towards the improvement of the economic growth in the country.

He said the investment amounted to millions of dollar project and would create many employments for the nation, while referring to the agreement as non-controversial and went on to heaped praises on the State.

Acting Opposition Leader, Hon. Daniel Koroma said the idea is great and went on to note that he is impressed with the agreement and believed that the agreement would create revenue generation for the State.

He said the intention of the President is to generate revenue and support the President on the agreement.

Acting Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Silikie applauded MPs for their contributions to the debate and requested the Parliamentary Oversight on Transport and Aviation to monitor the implementation of the agreement and do justice to the people of Sierra Leone.

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