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KL
Reply with quote  #31 
"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"
-----------------------------

This is as stupid a decision anyone can make. This is like setting a loophole for himself and future officeholders to steal more than they planned just to pay back peanuts when they are caught. But when you seize all their assets and throw them in jail, future officeholders will think only once before they attempt anything dubious.  So this is my beef with this president and this just hit the nail right where my suspicions are all along.
AK
Reply with quote  #32 
As far as the bridge is concerned, this is a copy I received from someone but I cannot rely on it because I am still waiting for him to send me the link.  But as far as I know, the government has yet to provide the details the deal.

*ROUGH CALCULATION FOR TOLL COLLECTION AT THE LINGI BRIDGE*

Investment = $ 2,000,000,000
Investment + 20% profit = $2,400,000,000
Toll period = 25 years
Amount to be collected = $2,400,000,000

1 year collection - $ 2.4 billion ÷ 25yrs = $96,000,000

1 day collection - $96,00,000 ÷ 365 days = $263,014

@ $5 per vehicle/ passenger we need 52,602 vehicles / passengers to pass thru d bridge per day

@ $10 per vehicle/ passenger we need 26,301 vehicles / passengers to pass thru d bridge per day

$5 is Le 45,000
Ferry ticket is Le 5,000

*Do we have up to 2,000 people/ vehicles per day plying lungi?*

Now tell me who will use the bridge?

Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #33 
"This is as stupid a decision anyone can make. This is like setting a loophole for himself and future officeholders to steal more than they planned just to pay back peanuts when they are caught. But when you seize all their assets and throw them in jail, future officeholders will think only once before they attempt anything dubious.  So this is my beef with this president and this just hit the nail right where my suspicions are all along."  KL


KL,

With all due respect, there is one thing that I don't understand about opponents/enemies of president Bio.  They were defeated in the last general elections.  Yet they want to instuct the president on how to rule.  Does that make sense?

Based on your postings on this forum, it is crystal clear that there is no love lost between you and president Bio.  Yet you believe that the president is stupid because he does not follow your dictates on how to rule.

Look, man, even in the great United States of America, there is something called a plea deal.  You admit that you have done something wrong, you show remorse and you pay a restitution and move on.  These types of deals are used even in cases that involve the misappropriation of millions of dollars.

The barbaric and primordial system whereby politicians brutalize their opponents for the pleasure of onlooking supporters has gradually faded away in Africa.  Surely, the president Bio that was wrongly accused by APC and NGC partisans of engaging in extra-judicial killings under the NPRC is smart enough not to listen to the advise of defeated opponents and sore losers.

Lastly, this is what I tell all the enemies of the president:  2023 is around the corner.  Run against Bio and remove him from office.  But don't expect him to take an advise from you.  He won't.  He is going to govern in his own way and so far he has been very successful.

I know you have already accused me of being a Bio supporter.  One thing I can say relative to that is that I have never been a member of a political party nor have I ever voted in Sierra Leone.  I left that country at the age of 18.  I consider myself a member of the growing pool of independents in that country.  When I criticize, I do so constructively, and not because I am toeing the line of a particular political party or that I am showing loyalty to a particular ethnic group.  Such a behavior is not consistent with good citizenship. 
KL
Reply with quote  #34 
KL
Reply with quote  #35 
Very sorry I called you a Bio supporter and, moreover, I don't wish bad for him, I only think his bridge and education policies are politically motivated and are not helpful to the country.  But I can say I have enough respect for you based on the way you have debated. 
kamara
Reply with quote  #36 

Political scientist, I am not against the Lungi bridge or disagree with you that it will improve Sierra Leone's economy. Regardless of  who pays for it. At an estimated of $ 2 billion excluding the interest which could be another billion,and $10.00 toll, it will require 27,400 cars to cross  the bridge annually to cover the  $2 billion. Do we have that traffic in Sierra Leone.

I was fortunate enough to cross the bridge that connects  lagos  to victoria island. It is a wonderful bridge. Nigeria , unlike Sierra Leone  was rolling in oil money, they could afford  to pay Julius Berger to construct the bridge. Victoria Island is one  of the wealthiest areas per capita in Africa, if not the world. The citizens of Victoria Island can afford to pay any assessed toll.

The Government needs to properly evaluate the proposal in light of the other pressing needs. 

Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #37 

"I only think his bridge and education policies are politically motivated and are not helpful to the country."  KL 


KL,

Thanks for the kind words.  It is always good to be civil in debates.  All development initiatives are politically motivated.  Why does Donald Trump want to construct a wall between USA and Mexico?  To appease his base.  Why does he want an infrastructure bill overhauling America's infrastructure to pass in Congress?  To win over independent and democratic voters.

The free quality education policy that president Bio implemented in Sierra Leone has already won him thousands of votes while identifying him as a serious statesman in the international arena.  Meanwhile, the opposition is looked at as a bunch of dull heads and troublemakers.  This is not good for the opposition in Sierra Leone.

From what I can see, the construction of the Lungi bridge is now a matter of when and not if.  What credible research have we seen from the opposition detailing how the bridge would hurt Sierra Leone's economy?  Nothing.

A national economy cannot be managed through propaganda.  Voters want to see the government working towards success.  This is exactly what president Bio is doing.  He is not going to crack down on the opposition as many expect.  That would make him look bad in international affairs.  However, some ass kicking would take place occasionally when the opposition misbehaves.  But no mass crack downs. 

Kamara,

PPP (public-private partnership) investment projects are not new in regions like Latin America.  Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile have transformed their economies through PPPs.  It is estimated, for example, that in a five year period, 2012 -2017, Chile successfully executed 70 PPPs.  Why are Sierra Leoneans struggling with the thought of executing only one PPP?

If we keep arguing that we cannot undertake an investment simply because we are poor or that the demand for the product does not currently exist, we are never going to transform Sierra Leone economically.  Singapore rose from a GDP per capita of $500 in the 1960s to becoming one of the wealthiest nations on earth.  How did they do it?  Smart economic policies and enforcement of the rule of law.

Those who are arguing that there is not enough vehicular traffic between Freetown and Lungi to justify an investment on a bridge are presupposing that economic conditions would remain static even after the bridge is constructed.  I beg to disagree.   For one, airlines like KLM have pulled out of Sierra Leone due to the dangerous nature of travel between Lungi and Freetown.  Second, the bridge is coming with an expanded and modernized airport with a revitalized hospitality and tourism industry that would create a rising demand for the use of the bridge.  Consequently, resultant economic boom would be used to take care of any other pressing needs that the country may have.
KL
Reply with quote  #38 
Bossman, so far, all those against the bridge/PPP do not think it is a bad idea only that there are more pressing needs than a bridge at this time. Like I stated earlier, water and sewer, electricity, the stinking environment and orhers are more important than a bridge at the moment. The health and economic conditions of the nation are dependent on clean and available water and sewer. Without sustainable electricity your bridge can hardly function. You can compare all the other countries you mentioned to Salone only that Salone is unique in it's own right. We can agree to disagree on this issue.
Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #39 
"Bossman, so far, all those against the bridge/PPP do not think it is a bad idea only that there are more pressing needs than a bridge at this time. Like I stated earlier, water and sewer, electricity, the stinking environment and orhers are more important than a bridge at the moment."  KL

KL,

There are always going to be pressing needs everywhere in the world.  But what many critics of the Lungi bridge don't tend to comprehend is that the investors of the bridge are not interested in Sierra Leone's other needs.  Those needs must be taken care of by the Sierra Leone government.  What the investors are interested in is the construction of a bridge.  Can you force them to invest their money in areas that they are not interested in?  That is not the way the world works, bra.  To those investors, it is either the bridge or they are out.
KL
Reply with quote  #40 
" To those investors, it is either the bridge or they are out."

Well may be they should take their bridge monies somewhere else because this is becoming very suspicious. But before I go further into this, what's really in it for the investors and who are they? Are they Chinese investors? Have you read details of the the agreement? In other words, what do you know about the feasibility studies? 
Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #41 
"Well may be they should take their bridge monies somewhere else because this is becoming very suspicious."  KL


KL,

What I have noticed with the skeptics of the Lungi bridge project is that either they don't understand how public-private partnership (PPP) investments and its accompanying build, own and operate (BOT) contracts work or they simply don't trust the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL).

No agreements have yet been signed since the government has not yet decided on the investor to go with.  Sources close to the government intimate that there are interested investors from China and Europe.

I have also not read any studies associated with the bridge project.  But I have watched the power-point presentation of the project that was made on the day that the project was launched.  I advise that you watch the video with an open mind.  It is available online.

You will be sold on this project when you watch the power-point presentation.  You asked what's in it for the investors?  Money.  Lots of money.  They are going to invest between 1.8 billion to 2.1 billion dollars.  They will own and operate the bridge for 25 years.  During that period of time they will be able to generate 11.2 billion dollars in revenues.

What is in for Sierra Leone?  An expanded economy, with higher GDP per capita incomes, better infrastructures and the twin cities of Lungi and Freetown with  developed hospitality and tourism industries.  And with all of this, we don't have to pay a dime in loans.  So, as you can see it is a win-win for both the investors and Salone.

The bridge comes with a modern airport, a major conference center and hotels and restaurants in Lungi and the Government Wharf area in Freetown where the other end of the bridge will be.   And before I forget, a coastal super highway between Goderich and Waterloo is also going to be constructed.

Funds for the expansion of the airport and the ultra-modern conference center have already been secured. It is going to take 4-5 years for everything to be in full operation.  So the choice that Sierra Leone has to make is either to stay underdeveloped with a primitive society or to invest in the creation of a modern society that would attract foreign direct investment.

Lastly, as I have already argued, countries cannot tell investors where to invest their money.  Yes, we have a multiple of needs but for now we have only been able to find investors for a bridge.  The investors are there to seek their own interests and not the interests of anybody else.  If we turn them down they will take that bags of money elsewhere.  It is either the bridge or bust. 
  
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #42 
Political Scientist, you should be hired by The Brigadier to be the main pitchman for the bridge.
KL
Reply with quote  #43 
In response to your first paragraph, true many Bio and or SLPP skeptics "simply don't trust the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL)." Personally, with this administration, I feel like I am watching a horror movie, one that reminds me of the previous administration. This has little to do with my political leanings, but as a concerned Sierra Leonean,

Yes I watched the presentation not too long ago and I had to depend on the presenter's description as the power point presentation was done by an immature or willfully done for whatever purpose.

Meanwhile, I am not bought for this project and I am surprised, or may be not, that you are bought after watching the presentation. Like the saying goes, "the devil is in the details" and the presentation never provided enough details to convince me. I saw one Indian-looking fellow that gave a brief description or analysis yet not a single European or Chinese, the nationalities of the final bidders, for this project. It would have helped greatly to hear from the horse's mouth rather than a card-carrying government proxy.

So my friend, buy into this project as much as you can but until the final bidder speaks and the government provides the public with details of the contract, there are going to be critics like me. 







Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #44 
"Yes I watched the presentation not too long ago and I had to depend on the presenter's description as the power point presentation was done by an immature or willfully done for whatever purpose."  KL

KL,

I am glad that you watched the power point presentation.  You may dismiss the presenter,   which is your prerogative.  But for your information, the presenter was Dr. John Tambi, a man with three Masters degrees and a Ph.D in Engineering.  His work experience spans from New York City where he graduated from New York University to the United Nations to South Africa.  So, the guy is no amateur or a scrub as you may want to think.  

Second, since the conference was an investors' conference, the primary goal of the government was not to get Sierra Leoneans to be sold on the bridge project but to win over investors.  Any government that deliberately goes out to win over citizens to an initiative before pursuing it is a lazy government that should be kicked out of office.

Sierra Leone is a small open economy (SOE) that participates in international economic transactions.  Accordingly, we are open to investors all over the world.  Investors paying $200,000 just to see the plan of the bridge last week must be very serious-minded dudes.  What this means is that the only thing that is going to stop the Lungi bridge from being constructed is if the investors that paid that exorbitant sum of money refuse to bring their money bags to start work. But no amount of resentment or criticisms from the opponents of the government will stop the project.  Let's realize that we are not talking about government money.  It is private money.  Investors will always invest where they will have more bang for their money,.

Bra, there is a saying that money talks in the world that we live in .  Accordingly, money regulates life. From what I hear, construction will start in September of this year.  Since we are a democracy, those against the project and who want Sierra Leone to stay a primitive society with a tendency to abdicate its responsibilities to its citizens are free to demonstrate against the project.  But those of us who support the idea of an emerging modern society in Sierra Leone capable of achieving high growth rates and of being competitive internationally will pray that the government succeeds. 
KL
Reply with quote  #45 
Bossman, I said nothing against the presenter only the poor quality of the power point. As a matter of fact I made it clear that I depended on him more than the power point. 

"What this means is that the
only thing that is going to stop
the Lungi bridge from being
constructed is if the investors
that paid that exorbitant sum of
money refuse to bring their money
bags to start work"

YOU GOT IT!!!
This is exactly or close to it that myself and others are concerned about when we stated that there is not enough vehicle or passenger traffic for investors yield profit in twenty years if my memory serves me well. I will be one happy Sierra Leonean if this goes through but I have my doubts. 
Political Scientist
Reply with quote  #46 

"This is exactly or close to it that myself and others are concerned about when we stated that there is not enough vehicle or passenger traffic for investors yield profit in twenty years if my memory serves me well."  KL

KL,


My apologies if you thought that I thought that you were disrespectful of the presenter.  Far from it.  I may have confused what you wrote with an audio that I listened to attacking the president and the presenter.

I have heard many of the critics of the bridge complaining of low vehicular traffic between Lungi and Freetown, which is true.  But how do we create traffic and economically rejuvenate Lungi and parts of Freetown if we do not want to invest in something that will stimulate that process? 

Before the civil war, the population of Freetown was less than one million.  Today, it is two million mainly due to post-war migration between the provinces and Freetown.  A similar thing will happen in Lungi with the bridge construction creating over 5,000 jobs a year.  Unemployed ‘savicemen’ are going to relocate to Lungi for jobs.  What follows will be a rising demand for goods and services in that area, which would include transportation to and from Freetown.
 
I first landed at the Kotoka International airport in Accra, Ghana in 2004.  I was disappointed because it was below the standard of Lungi.  Fast forward, I was there last year.  I saw a totally different airport comparable to many that I have seen in Europe and America.  The result?  Air traffic has increased fourfold to Ghana while commercial activity in the vicinity of the airport has quintupled.   This is what investment in infrastructure does to the economy.  The economy expands as demand for goods and services increases.

Our population has doubled in the last forty years while our gross domestic product (GDP) has shrank.  The result is that unemployment has increased as per capita incomes in the country continue to fall at an alarming rate.  There is no way we can reverse this process if we are not predisposed to pursuing sound economic policies.

I would have been the first to cry out against the bridge if government was going to borrow money to have it constructed as that would remove resources from other areas of urgent need.  But that is not the case. Correspondingly, we must relinquish the mentality that everything in the country must be owned by the government as that is totally antithetical to the fundamental teachings of capitalism. 

Thus, I am very comfortable with the investors of the bridge owning and operating it for 25 years as per the contract and passing it over to Sierra Leone.  They will make bags full of money but Sierra Leone will be modernized with a larger GDP and GDP per capita.  Bra, this thing is not about party politics.  It is about the future of Sierra Leone. 

BTW I am already in the process of purchasing two town lots in Lungi.  I must be in this process of massive economic rejuvenation.   I don’t know about you but for me, the thought of landing in Lungi and having a choice between spending a night at a four- or five-star hotel or renting a car and cruising across the bridge to Freetown is overwhelming.  Accordingly, I may not have supported any candidate in the last elections but if Bio pulls this off then he will get my campaign donation in 2023.  

KL
Reply with quote  #47 
And we can end this engagement with the following link and thank you for your input.

Deja Vu
Reply with quote  #48 
Those quantity surveyors of any potential bidders will be working overtime crunching the numbers to discern if there will be any ROI (Return On Investment). They will need to know the toll charge to be levied to help their number-crunching.

I am afraid the Government might have no choice but to subsidise the project from the outset or during the construction phase, if the toll charge is not going to be stratospheric - beyond the means of the average commuter. The UK's Hinckley nuclear power project readily comes to mind to draw parallels from.

I was never against the Airport project, so i am not against this one. Investment in infrastructure and utilities in itself is not a bad thing.

Good luck to the Government in attracting an investor who will risk assess rigorously and take the plunge and leap into the unknown.
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