A ports concession agreement has been signed between the government of Sierra Leone and the French company of Bollore for 20 years according to the Chairman of the country’s National Commission for Privatisation, Abu Bangura. The concession will be named the Freetown Terminal and will transform Sierra Leone into a transhipment hub in the west African region, he said. The total investment in civil works and port handling equipment over the 20 year concession period exceeds 122 million dollars with the first initial phase exceeding 20 million dollars which would mean visible infrastructural development and improvement within the first two years of the agreement, Bangura explained. ”Income to the government of Sierra Leone includes an initial income of 6 million dollars followed by an annual rental fee of 2.1 million dollars rising to 18.7 million dollars by the year 2020 and various other fees paid to the Ports Authority,” he added.
Transport and Aviation Minister Alieu Pat Sowe stressed that the container terminal is still owned by the government. “The container section has greatly improved from 3000 to 4500 containers now coming into the country,” he disclosed. Chief Executive Officer for Bollore, Dominique Lafont said ”the company wants to showcase Sierra Leone in the international market as well as increase transhipments and other facilities to meet international standards.” The company has operational branches in Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast, the Middle.
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