After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves - Barack Obama

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Reply with quote  #1 
My quick estimate is that Lungi bridge should cost around $280-300 million to construct a 4 lane bridge (don't quote me on that). The cost of Mamamah airport has been placed at around $300-350 million. The question is which is the most cost effective. i.e. Which represents better value for money in terms of the potential economic boost they will bring? Should we be looking to do both?
Money Meter
Reply with quote  #2 
Where is the money for the Lungi bridge going to come from? Money debt from the Chinese? I though the current government was criticizing the previous government for taking more debt to construct Mamamah airport. Wonders never end. I am pretty sure those SLPP supporters who were criticizing the former government for Mamamah are fine with the new direction new bridge and APC supporters are against it.
Reply with quote  #3 
Money Meter I agree with you. Excessive government spending should be avoided. A bridge to Lungi however would be the perfect project for a toll road rather than the toll road we currently have. Would you agree?
Reply with quote  #4 

Personally, I am opposed to both projects - Mamamah airport and Lungi bridge.  Either is a drain on  government coffers now or in the future.  I believe we can do with a very efficient ferry system, not what we have now. 

A privatized ferry system that is efficiently run would still bring the economic goodies that the bridge or the Mamamah airport would bring.  The borough of Staten Island of New York city is linked to Manhattan by a well run ferry system.  We can do the same in Freetown.
Reply with quote  #5 
@Kamabai, I like the way you think, in that we do not place enough emphasis on attracting private investment. A private ferry service coupled to a private helicopter service would be great in the short term.

Having said that I still believe Lungi bridge would do wonders for urban regeneration. How about Lungi bridge plus a new airport somewhere like Kono. That way you open up the whole of the country.
Reply with quote  #6 

Good analysis.  My greatest fear about the Lungi bridge relates to maintenance.  If we could not repair the King Jimmy bridge for over one hundred years leading to that bridge's eventual collapse a few years ago thereby killing seven people, how can we maintain or repair a seven mile long bridge stretching from Tagrin to Kissy Dock Yard?

I am all for a second airport in Kono or Bo.  But the question is, what is the volume of air traffic to and from Sierra Leone to warrant a second international airport?

Growing up in the 1970s, I saw a properly run ferry system with modern ferries cruising the Freetown estuary.  In fact socialites used to have ferry escorts on holidays with bands playing on the ferries.  But as the national economy started to struggle, inefficiency resonated in all economic sectors, which led to the eventual collapse of the ferry system.  This is why I am advocating private sector intervention.  Government does a poor job at running businesses.
Reply with quote  #7 
We need to look at the  reasons why Sierra Leone needs a new airport or a bridge to Lungi. Sierra Leone does not have the financial base to properly maintain a new airport let alone a bridge.
The only justification for these items is tourism. Sierra Leone  can earn $200-$300 million annually, if it has decent infrastructure in place to attract tourists: good hotels, roads, communications, restaurants and  an ease to travel to the country and its landmarks. Then Sierra will be able to compete with Gambia, Ghana, Kenya , South Africa and the North Africa countries for tourist dollars. 

I would prefer the airport as a safer and less riskier venture. Unlike, Nigeria which was in contract with Julius Berger to construct a bridge linking Lagos to Victoria Island , Sierra Leone does not yet have the capacity for the long term maintenance for a bridge to Lungi.
No disrespect. I am not yet impressed by the Chinese engineers. A lot of Sierra Leone would


The airport would pay for itself in the long run with increased tourist revenue.  A $100 tax can be charged to tourists leaving the country. This is done in many Caribbean  countries.
Reply with quote  #8 
I've always felt a small international airport in Kono could be part of a long term diamond market strategy.
Reply with quote  #9 
I agree with everything you say on our record when it comes to maintenance. That is why any bridge will have to be built and run by private investors with a long term lease. Think of how much you pay to cross by various means today. Investors will make a healthy return in no time.
Reply with quote  #10 
@Kamabai, I'm just about old enough to remember those ferry escorts. Never went in them myself but knew about them. Great days. Will we experience those again in our lifetime?
Reply with quote  #11 
"Will we experience those again in our lifetime?"  DMK


Lets pray for Brigadier Bio to succeed.  Good times will come back.  
Reply with quote  #12 
But wait a minute, guys, what good is a "decent infrastructure in place to attract tourists", like Kamara stated, in a country where there has never been a productive middle class with robust entrepreneurship to help coordinate with to ensure efficient economic activities? Contractors are going to be needed for bridge and airport maintenance, food suppliers and cleaning services for hotels, transportation contractors for sightseeing and so on. Moreover, tourists are going to need a bang for their money and activities that are culturally and naturally specific to Sierra Leone or Africa are usually the driving forces to encourage tourism. In other words, who is going to own and manage the Sierra Leone Dance Troup? Who owns and manage that five star restaurant that specializes in local dishes? Contemporary African arts are in demand by tourists and who is best fitted to renovate Bunce Island also? 

The government is working on a long-term process of free education Image may contain: one or more people which is a good thing but how about also encouraging Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora for the short-term also?
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #13 
What’s the latest on the bridge? I hear an updated feasibility study has just been released to the public. If someone has access to it can they please post it
Reply with quote  #14 
So it looks like President Bio and his team read Bintu! Or is it that great minds think alike?

We have previously speculated here that a bridge could potentially be built using private money rather than government loans. Looks like that is the way they are going. Let us pray they are able to attract investors. There is a huge pile of money sitting in private equity waiting for good opportunities to make a return. We can attract some of that investment if we have credible plans. 
Reply with quote  #15 
"What’s the latest on the bridge? I hear an updated feasibility
study has just been released to the public. If someone has
access to it can they please post it" (Specky)

In brief, 90% of bridge traffic and toll monies are going to come from pedestrian crossings (Themne traders) because there is not enough motor traffic to an airport with the least amount of landings and takeoffs. 

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #16 
Is developing Lungi part of the plan?
Reply with quote  #17 
It may well be but one of the issues I have with this proposed building of a bridge is that there are more urgent infrastructural needs. Water and sewer, electricity and the poisonous environment that is prone to all kinds of diseases. You sit back and wonder what the hell are these people thinking. And, moreover, if developing Lungi is part of the plan, they better hurry up with efforts toward planning and development including orderly street systems before the rush to buy property.

Momodu Lungi
Reply with quote  #18 

Cool down.  This thing is out of your hands.  The projects that you listed are fine.  But what sets the Lungi bridge apart is that it is not going to be constructed with government money.  I wonder why it is so difficult for some of you guys to comprehend simple things.  A bidding process was launched a couple of days ago and many investors showed up.  They were charged $200,000 to see the bridge's plan.  Many paid.  Why the hell should the country not go ahead and encourage investors to join the government in moving the country forward?  Similar big time projects have been undertaken in other developing countries.

It is too late for the naysayers.  Construction will start before the end of the year and hopefully will finish in 2023.

Welcome to a MODERN SIERRA LEONE!!!! Let the bellars go bot cotton tree.
Reply with quote  #19 
The reason why I spend too little time here at Bintumani these days is because people are prone to talk the party talk, and with their identity being masked, take no responsibility when things don't happen. But l will like to see who bids for a project that does not appear to yield much returns to their investment just so the SLPP will feel a sense of accomplishment. Like I said, a bridge to and from Lungi will get more pedestrian traffic than anything else. 
Stupidity Galore
Reply with quote  #20 
"But l will like to see who bids for a project that does not appear to yield much returns to their investment just so the SLPP will feel a sense of accomplishment..."  KL

Look at this illiterate jackass who spends his time partying in the United States challenging a project that has been thoroughly researched by seasoned Ph.D holders. 

Do you understand anything about public-private partnership dynamics?   This is one reason why president Bio hardly engages the opposition.  Too many stupid folks.
Reply with quote  #21 
Someone once said, "people get (phuckin) angry when the brain cells goes poopoo". This is so true about these Bio-Trumpies! To them, Bio is jesus and the SLPP is their religion. The greatest KING on Earth, the KING of Kings, KING LOGGY,is their satan. They will call him "jackass", not educated, can't construct simple sentences, etc., etc. [rolleyes][rolleyes][rolleyes][rolleyes]

Fine! This KING is going to smoke a joint, drink some rum and wait very patiently for this wishful thinking to evaporate in their face as no one in his or her right mind will ever invest in this crazed idea of a Lungi bridge.

Image result for Black Man smoking cigar and drinking rum
This is the same crap they've been peddling around when I said Bio does not have the balls to engineer a case against the BIG kahuna. Now, all of a sudden, there is nothing about prosecuting him. Come to find out, the bozo sent a delegation to the BIG kahuna to help them save face because he has a grip somewhere between their legs.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Reply with quote  #22 
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #23 


The Commissions of Inquiry are about FACT FINDING.  No one, I repeat no one gets arrested for anything.  Ernest Koroma was invited to appear before the Biobell Georgewill Commission of inquiry.  The law says that he did not have to appear in person.  So he sent his  cousin, former Attorney General, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to represent him.  That Commission is now in recess as Judge Georgewill has traveled to Tanzania.
After all the deliberations of the commissions are ended, the Commissioners will send a report with recommendations to the president.  The president will act on those recommendations and request the judiciary and the anti-Corruption Commissioner to enforce them.

Regarding Vice President Juldeh Jalloh's visit to Ernest Koroma, this was induced by the visit of former Liberian head of state Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who visited EBK last week.  She had the intention of bringing EBK and president Bio together for a peace meeting.  That was not possible.  But Bio promised her that he will send his VP to meet with EBK.

Bra, I know that in this discussion forum, people like to score cheap points.  But it is very important that we follow how the news unfolds on the ground so that we will give correct assessments.

I know you will want to prove how powerful EBK is and how he will do anything with impunity.  Not so fast brother.  Realize that APC had earlier bragged that they will not cooperate with the commissions of inquiry.  My question is, why, including EBK are they cooperating now?

The notion that Bio will send armed men to arrest EBK was something that was erroneously conjured by you.  That is not how the process works, brother.  The president is waiting for the recommendations of the judges before EBK and other APC folks will know their fate.  Bra, these Commissions are supported by Sierra Leone's development partners.  They are no joke.

As far as the Lungi Bridge is concerned, I advise that we wait until all the facts are out.  But what I can say here is that folks underestimated the president on the free quality education project but it happened.  Underestimate Maada Bio at your peril.  The guy is focused is determined on developing Sierra Leone.

Reply with quote  #24 
A levelheaded Bio supporter with with a convincing case to make though I disagree with some of your take. Will respond later but man dae enjoy de weeked fos.
Reply with quote  #25 
Political Scientist, I am not sure how often you visit or participate in this forum. For the millionth time, I am going to repeat myself...if there is one thing, and one thing only, I wish for is to see EBK and others in the slammer. My suspicion, however, is that regardless of what conclusion the Commissioners come up with, EBK will remain a free man. I don't think Bio has what it takes to do so and this is my beef with him. My suspicion is that he will hide behind the excuse of national unity and that picture of EBK and his henchmen in Makeni speaks volumes.

As for the Lungi bridge, I am not sure what facts you are waiting for. But regardless of who pays for it, Sierra Leone will be far better off, comparatively, with a public-private partnership endeavor to cure the ills of its toxic water and sewer, electricity and the environment than a bridge to nowhere.

And finally,

"Underestimate Maada Bio at your peril. 
The guy is focused is determined on
developing Sierra Leone"


Reply with quote  #26 
And finally, about the bridge to nowhere, don't let that PPP crap derails your thinking process. In so many ways, PPP means, "SALONE PEOPLE, OUR INVESTMENTS TOWARDS THIS BRIDGE IS GOING TO BE BACKED BY YOU. IF WE DON'T GET OUR INVESTMENT RETURNS IN DUNKY YEARS, WE OWN BUNCE ISLAND. And pray to God the investment partners are NOT Chinese.Image result for bunce island
Reply with quote  #27 
The bridge to Lungi will be great if it is economically practical of feasible. Investors are not going to pour 2 billion in Sierra Leone, if they are not going get a quick return on their money when there are alternative and safer investments worldwide.

If two billion is to paid over twenty years, that is $100,000,000 a year, excluding the interest charges which we do not know yet. 

If a toll fee  of $10.00 is charged, you will need 27,400 cars a day to cross the bridge to repay the loan without interest. At $5.00. it will be 54, 800  daily.
Do you have that traffic to sustain the repayment of the bridge loan only. The Govt needs to think seriously before embarking on the venture. Forget the theory and look at the hard facts.

Yes , if the bridge is completed, it enhance and develop tourism and turn Lungi in to a mega city. This in turn will reduce the congestion on Freetown.

Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #28 

"My suspicion, however, is that regardless of what conclusion the Commissioners come up with, EBK will remain a free man. I don't think Bio has what it takes to do so and this is my beef with him."  KL


I do not participate on this forum on a frequent basis.  I am for the most part a peeper but I am familiar with the positions of some of the members of here, yours included.  Now to the issue.

Why do you think that Ernest Koroma should be sent to prison?  The interesting thing about these commissions of inquiry is that folks presuppose what should happen without having a thorough understanding of why the commissions were established in the first place.  As I mentioned in my earlier comments, the commissions are about FACT FINDING.  They are not criminal courts that require indicted folks to appear in person before a judge and thrown into prison if found guilty of the charges for which they were indicted.

As I elaborated earlier, the findings of the commissions will be forwarded to the president by the judges with recommendations.  It is left with the president to determine how he will act on those recommendations.

President Bio has reiterated repeatedly that he is NOT interested in sending anyone to prison only for the state to spend millions of Leones feeding him.  According to him, all he is interested in is for money stolen to be returned to the state.  We have even seen how folks that have been caught in the ACC net have been told to cough off the dough and how they have all complied.

It is also important to realize that the world that we live in today has changed drastically.  With globalization, an alliance system of developmental partners now litter in every corner of the world.  So, independent states must be careful relative to how they pursue governance processes.  For example, Sierra Leone does not pay the exorbitant salaries of the judges of the commissions of inquiry.  Nor does Sierra Leone pay their skyrocketing hotel bills.  

It is my understanding that the judges reside at the luxurious five-star Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko hotel.  These expenses are all taken care of by Sierra Leone's development partners.  What that means is that the Government of Sierra Leone must tread carefully so that it cannot be a violator of the human rights of its citizens, no matter how grave are the wrongs of those citizens against the state .  

You also commented on the supporters of Ernest Koroma.  The question is, in their support of EBK have those supporters broken the law?  If no, then what do you expect president Bio to do? 

Let’s put it this way, contrary to what many folks think, Bio has really burnished his democratic credentials with the way he has handled his opponents, especially the APC.  He has only kicked their asses when they have crossed the line.  Otherwise, he leaves them to do what they want they want to do.   Afterwards, Sierra Leone is a free society.

Relative to the Lungi bridge, ten or twenty years from today, folks will admit that it was one of the best investments that Sierra Leone ever made.  Years ago, when the Government of Nigeria started talking about constructing an 11-kilometer bridge to connect the commercial district of Lagos island to the mainland section of the city, all hell broke loose.  Opponents of the venture lambasted the government for going on a spending spree that would throw the country into debt for years.  The government went on to construct the bridge, the second longest in Africa.  What happened later?  Nigeria’s economy received a massive boost as commerce increased ten-fold since the bridge facilitated movement of the people.

Those who oppose the Lungi bridge are myopic with a static mindset.   They fail to realize that apart from the fact that foreign airlines have pulled out of Sierra Leone because of the danger associated with travelling between Lungi and Freetown,  commercial activities and cash flow between the North and the Western Area have stalled in the past simply because it is very difficult to travel from the North of Sierra Leone to the western Area.  

The interesting thing about Sierra Leoneans is that if a project of the Lungi bridge magnitude were to be pursued in Guinea or Liberia, their admiration for such a venture would have no bounds.  But when it pertains to their country, they act as if their country does not deserve to be developed.  But what would you expect of folks who would prefer to die in other countries than in their own?  

Let me close by drawing the attention of Kamara to the fact that the Government of Sierra Leone has not indicated anywhere that it was borrowing money to construct the Lungi bridge.  The government states that the bridge is a PPP (Public – Private Partnership) investment project.  So why talk about a loan?  If an investment fails, investors lose their money.  They don’t ask their partners for a refund.


Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #29 
“Years ago, when the Government of Nigeria started talking about constructing an 11-kilometer bridge to connect the commercial district of Lagos island to the mainland section of the city, all hell broke loose. Opponents of the venture lambasted the government for going on a spending spree that would throw the country into debt for years. The government went on to construct the bridge, the second longest in Africa. What happened later? Nigeria’s economy received a massive boost as commerce increased ten-fold since the bridge facilitated movement of the people.” - Political Scientist

Are you referring to the bridges built by German Contractor Julius Berger?
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #30 
Regardless of where one stands on the pros and cons, it appears that Lungi Bridge will be built.

What investment opportunities will there be for our Salone entrepreneurs to make a profit? Should they take a wait and see approach? I imagine a good number must have lost their shirts buying land around the proposed Mahama Airport site.
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