November 26, 2015 By Ibrahim Jaffa Condeh
Two ruling All Peoples Congress Member of Parliament say they support the government in their decision to construct a multimillion dollar airport which the International Monetary Fund has reportedly described has a “vanity project”.
The Mamamah Airport project has generated controversy within World Bank and IMF circles as economists in both Britton Woods institutions regard the project as untimely, insisting that government should instead used its resources to strengthen the decaying healthcare infrastructure and other sectors.
However, it seems the government and their supporters are determined to push ahead with the project, especially after receiving a boost from the Chinese government.
In an interview with our reporter, Hon. Ibrahim Nox Sankoh of Constituency 097 insisted the construction of the airport was ‘valid and on it right track for development’.
He said: “The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank declaration that the construction of the airport at this time cannot be in the best interest of the country’s economic position is totally unacceptable due to the fact that the country deserves advanced development.”
The ruling party lawmaker claimed that the decision to construct the controversial new airport would bring rapid development in the country, although he did not state how.
Also, another ruling party lawmaker, Hon. Abdul Salam Kanu, representing Constituency 101, opined that the construction of the airport was “a blessing in disguise for the country” even as the government and partners are working on the post-Ebola recovery plan.
It seems abundantly clear that the current administration is determined to go ahead with the project despite disapproval from the World and IMF who support the government with direct fiscal aid to strengthen the economy, which was dealt a heavy blow by the Ebola outbreak.
Two local newspapers this week quote both the Foreign Minister and Deputy Minister of Information as having said that the project will go ahead.
What the World Bank or IMF will do in such circumstance remains unclear. The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry Kerali, while on the visit to Sierra Leone last week, could not be drawn into what their next line of action will be should the government kick against their advise. He simply remarked that, “we don’t speculate; we shall cross that bridge when we reach there.”