-Tony Blair assures
September 9, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has promised to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone by working with the government to deliver on its priorities.
He made this statement yesterday at the Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA), Cline Town where he toured the facility to get first-hand information about its operation.
He noted that whether the priorities of government were directed to roads construction; power generation, health care delivery, and sports development, they were willing and ready to work with them in achieving their goals, adding that Britain has been working with the Sierra Leone government for so many years.
“For many years, we’ve been having some projects here with my charity supporting the Government of Sierra Leone. We will contribute by ensuring that the process of the government liberates the opportunities of the Port,” he said.
He said the purpose of his visit was to discuss the importance of getting a first classic Port for the country in order to boom its economy.
“What is very exciting was that things are really happening here and the investment made by Bollore is a big one. This will improve like eight times the goods that are coming to the Port and especially when it is combined with new processes,” he said.
He said the kind of work that was going on at the quay was fantastic because Bollore was one of the premier companies in the world doing port development in Sierra Leone, adding that the fact that Bollore was investing in the country with the correct expertise, they would bring intellectual and financial capital into the country.
Quizzed about what urged him to come to Sierra Leone, the former British Prime Minister said he had had a connection with Sierra Leone for many years and that he believed in the country even though it has gone through difficult times.
General Manager of the Sierra Leone Port Authority, Abu Bakarr Bangura said the former Prime Minister visited them because he had long ago determined that the Port was a strategic engine to stir up the economy of Sierra Leone.
He noted that Tony Blair had been hearing about the progress being made at the Port, hence decided to get first-hand information on its activities.
He disclosed that the authorities have done a lot of transformational work at the Port, adding that it was structured, sanitized, cleaned and operational and that Tony Blair went there to see how he could give the necessary assistance that was needed.
“We have outsourced the key functions of the Port. We have outsourced the container section to Bollore Freetown Terminal and they are doing a good job. The bulk and break bulk which is the non-container cargo has been outsourced to both Freetown Terminal Bollore and Nectar, which is a British company,” he disclosed.
He added that the companies have brought in the necessary resources like cranes, generators, and that they have the technical and intellectual capacities that have made the Port one of the most efficient in West Africa.
The former Prime Minister toured the Nectar bulk and break-bulk company, Bollore Freetown Terminal, among other sections of the Port.