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US$750,000 port grant agreement ratified

February 5, 2016 By Jariatu S. Bangura

Parliament yesterday ratified a grant agreement that the Government of Sierra Leone and African Development Bank, acting on behalf of the Korean-African Economic Cooperation Trust Fund, had signed for the development of Sierra Leone’s port master plan project, amounting to US$750,000.

Presenting the agreement for ratification in parliament, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Conteh, said the objective of the project was to prepare a port development master plan consisting of an infrastructural development master plan and a port’s investment plan for the country, which will be managed by the Sierra Leone Ports Authority.

He said the agreement would also help in the assessment and analysis of institutional and regulatory frameworks within the port sector and recommendations required for port development, adding that the project was in line with the country’s infrastructure development, as one of the main pillars of the Agenda for Prosperity.

He stated that the project would be executed by the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA), which has successfully implemented the transport sector project, adding that the SLPA has technical expertise and experience to implement the port master plan project, in accordance with the financing agreement.

“The component of the project comprises of collection and review of all relevant data to carry out a comprehensive analysis and forecasting of export and import demand, including assessment of port performance indicators, assessments of existing facilities and equipment within the port (Queen Elizabeth II), including access within and outside the port, preparation of base map for the Freetown port, including a land use plan looking beyond the boundaries considering a range of economic, social and environmental interface issues, ” he said.

Minister Conteh said a strategic environmental and social assessment would be undertaken inform the potential impact of port development, financial, economical and environment evaluations of the proposed development plan.

The project is due to be implemented over a period of 9 months following the review of previous studies within the port sector, which would form the basis of the port development master plan.

He concluded that the Ministries of Transport and Aviation and Finance and Economic Development would monitor the implementation of the project to ensure that it achieves its development objectives, auditing would be done by an independent audit firm sanctioned by the African Development Bank, to ensure prudent financial management of the funds.

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